Although healthcare travelers can be a diverse group, many share some similar qualities. After all, not everyone is willing to move to a different location every three months and take on a new challenge. Whether you’re a nurse, speech therapist, or occupational therapist, having certain qualities will help you be more successful on the road. Keep in mind that you don’t need every quality listed to do well as a healthcare traveler. But it’s helpful to ask yourself if you have any of the following traits:
- Sense of Adventure: You don’t have to be the most daring person in the world to thrive as a healthcare traveler, but it helps to have a sense of adventure. If you are someone who is not afraid to try new and take a chance, life on the road may be for you.
- Adaptability: As a healthcare traveler, you need the ability to adapt to different locations and settings. For example, if you are a physical therapist, one assignment may be in a nursing home while the next one is working as a school therapist. If you are a nurse, you might be asked to switch shifts or float to a different unit. Being someone who adapts well to change will help you through your travel career.
- Initiative: If you are someone who can take initiative and make things happen, you may find working as a healthcare traveler is a good fit. Although you should have a staffing agency working with you, it’s still helpful to take charge of your career and pursue the assignments you want.
- Outgoing personality: Although you don’t have to be the life of the party, you may find it easier to work as a traveler if you are friendly and enjoy talking to people. As a healthcare traveler, you meet new people on each assignment. Being able to talk with anyone is a great asset when starting a new assignment.
- Assertiveness: It’s not always easy to be the new kid in town, but being somewhat assertive may help. There may be times you have to stand up for yourself and not be afraid to speak your mind. Keep in mind that “assertive” and “aggressive” and not the same thing. Coming across as too abrupt or aggressive will not win you a lot of friends when you start a travel assignment.
- Confidence: Believing in yourself is key to the success of a healthcare traveler. It takes a confident person to tackle a new city and start a new job every three months.
- Resiliency: Working in healthcare can be stressful. Add to the mix, starting a new assignment, meeting new people and learning your way around a new city, and your stress meter may climb. But if you are resilient, you may see it all as a challenge you can handle.
- Ability to Learn Quickly: Starting a new healthcare travel assignment means learning new policies and procedures, such as the facility’s charting and computer system. Someone who catches on to things quickly will often do well as a healthcare traveler.