Starting your first healthcare travel assignment is an exciting time. There is a lot to do, including setting up your home and learning your way around your new facility. But with all the anticipation, your first travel assignment can also bring a little stress.
It’s helpful to realize that there is nothing wrong with you if you get a little stressed. Some people feel anxious before they arrive at their new assignment. For others, stress may slowly build the first week. Feeling a bit stressed does not mean you made a mistake and working as a healthcare traveler is not the right fit. It’s normal to feel a little apprehensive.
Try to keep perspective. Realize you will most likely get through the first few weeks of your healthcare travel just fine. Also, keeping a few of the following suggestions in mind may help.
Being organized as you go into your first assignment will help decrease stress. For example, make a list of everything you need to pack. Call ahead of time to have utilities turned on. Keep a copy of your medical license, immunization record, and CPR card on your computer or phone in case it’s needed. If you are driving to your assignment, have your car checked out before you leave.
Lean on your support system
Even if you don’t know anyone at your new location, lean on your support system back home. Call or text friends. Video chat with family. Just staying connected with the people you care about may help ease the stress of being the new kid in town.
Whether you check your email, Instagram or text messages ten times a day, give it a break from time to time. Staying connected is great. But give yourself a little time away from technology and enjoy your new surroundings. For example, go for a walk or just sit outside at night and enjoy the stars.
Get enough rest
Lack of sleep can make every situation more stressful. Starting a new healthcare travel assignment means you’re living in a new environment, which may also affect how well you sleep. Try to maintain good sleep habits, such as going to bed and waking the same time each day.
Cut yourself some slack
Don’t put pressure on yourself to do everything perfectly when you get to your new job. For instance, if it takes a few days longer than you planned to set up your apartment, no big deal. If you need a couple of weeks to learn the policies at your new job, that’s okay.
Regular exercise is one of the best stress busters you can find. Even if you’re busy, make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days. Exercise won’t only help keep stress at bay; it may help you sleep better and have more energy.
Don’t overdo it
Starting a new job, living somewhere new, and being away from family and friends is a lot for anyone. Cut yourself a little slack if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed. Hang in there. Most likely in time, you’ll feel right at home.