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With the economy taking unexpected turns, and lately, for the worse, this generation of working class knows that combining career and leisure is almost synonymous to a dream. However, if you’re in the healthcare sector, this may not be the case.

For nurses and certified nursing attendants, one can travel while at the same time fulfill the sworn duty to care for and nurture people. There is an actual industry for travel healthcare and it is stable, exciting, and ideal for individuals yearning for both professional and personal growth.

Read on as we traverse the basics of this caregiving travel trail. Sit back, grab hold of the passport, and take it slowly: a rewarding and maximized professional life!

The Ride: What Caregiving Travel Is

It is a specialized field of practice for nurses and nursing attendants from various clinical backgrounds. This particular type of alternate career evolved from healthcare trends like nursing shortage, the rise of aging population with more healthcare demands, and reduction in the number of students choosing healthcare as field of study.  

Ambitious and fun-loving healthcare professionals are matched by independent travel healthcare agencies to enticing staffing destinations of their choice. This allows professionals to build work experience while furthering leisure pursuits in life. Moreover, the pay is competitive and has potential for international travel assignments.

Caregiving travel professionals are essential because they bridge the gap between supply and demand for healthcare. By augmenting staffing shortage, safe staffing ratio is ensured and this is essential for improved quality of healthcare. Patient safety is ensured and errors in the workplace are minimized if not nil.

So, try moving around a little. Can’t ignore the city lights’ call? Does the wind blow towards the mountainside? Is the tropics the missing piece? There are tons of multiple travel trails waiting!

The Passenger: Personal Qualities of a Successful Caregiving Travel Professional

With travel comes the constant unsettling feeling that comes with change. After all, this calling involves regular transfers. Before one embarks on a travel assignment, one must think like a traveller: open, adventurous, and adaptive.

Being in a new place at a time means one would have to meet new people and be able to create a harmonious relationship with them in a short time. It also means being introduced to unique practices, customs, and attitudes. An adventurous caregiving travel professional understands that different places come with different challenges and health needs. This should not be viewed as obstacles but rather as professional roads that beg to be unraveled.  It also helps if the traveller is able to socialize easily in a new environment. A successful traveller thrives on flexibility, freedom, challenges, and love for learning new things.

In contrast, if one finds himself not comfortable with having to navigate a new environment, then one might want to pause and reflect on it. Being distraught with having to interact with new people and adjusting to specific rules and processes may also hinder one from becoming successful. After all, no great adventure comes easy. It’s always riddled with challenges. It surely is a climb, but rest assured, the view will be great.

The Passport: Requirement Checklist

One may ask, “What does it take to secure a seat on this dreamy ride?” While this alternate career holds a promise of fun and exploration, one must understand that this recognized specialty requires a solid knowledge and skill set. One must be a licensed or certified health professional of good standing and with at least a year of nursing or attending experience. Any field of practice is acceptable so one can have previous work experience in trauma centers, ICU, or even the outpatient healthcare facility. There are tons of staffing destinations that perfectly match everyone!

In addition to this basic requirement, some specialty areas may also look for additional certifications like basic life support and advanced cardiac life support, among others.

Most staffing companies require documentations like driver’s license, recent laboratory test results and immunization card, medical certificate, and list of references or recommendations. Organized compiling of these documents is an efficient practice that guarantees a smooth application process.  

Lastly, an up-to-date and precise resume is an integral part of this travel. Usually a single page, this resume should effectively present one’s educational and work history. If the space permits, one can briefly describe the roles and responsibilities involved in these experiences. Indicating bed capacities is a subtle way of showcasing one’s skill and performance. Personal information like marital status, number of children, and social security number should not be included.

The Destination: Choosing the Right Location and Agency for Assignment

A trip is not baked without a destination. Choosing a travel staffing agency for representation is a major stop in this trip but with several choices presented, this can be overwhelming. This should be taken patiently as finding one’s match equate to a safe and pleasurable travel experience.

The easiest way to narrow down these choices would be to ask for other caregiving travel professionals’ objective account of their experiences. After all, the best source of information are the ones who have been on the same trip that one is about to undertake. Take note of both the pros and cons but be critical because there may be a tendency to accentuate the bad ones. At the end of the day, this ultimate decision is personal.

An Internet search of different caregiving travel agencies is the next logical thing to do. Take time to read the websites. Choose few ones that appeal the most and do a bold thing by communicating with respective representatives. Among the most important aspects to ask include insurance, housing, and pay. How do they arrange for these things? What are their terms?

Other questions of importance include: reimbursement for licenses needed in each state, opportunity for continuing education, bonuses and whether they are taxable or not, and shifting schedules.

Lastly, it is a wise move to run a background check on the company. Read the reviews and find out if they are a member of regulating bodies authorizing this specialty. Membership mean these companies adhere to specific service standards and uphold a strict code of ethics for the welfare and protection of their staff.

The Trick and Treat: Pros and Cons of Travel Healthcare

It can’t be overemphasized how pleasurable and satisfying it is to practice one’s profession while having the luxury to explore new places. It is like being paid to have fun! The pay is competitive and the caregiving travel professional is insured. It can also be enriching being exposed to different fields of care. For some people, travelling has renewed their motivation and sense of purpose in the practice of their profession. It may be a good idea to try when one is at a point where a permanent job post becomes a major source of dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, it can bring some form of isolation especially to the ones just starting the caregiving travel trail. It may also not be an ideal work setting for those who have families of their own and with younger children.

Caregiving travel is fast-paced and thrilling with rewarding sense of purpose and rich network. While it spells fun, it can also pose some challenges particularly with its flexible and spontaneous nature. Before embarking on the caregiving travel trail, one must first determine if they’re a good match for what it requires. Lastly, the opportunity to alleviate staffing problems and help improve the quality of care must be viewed as more important motivators than the pay and its other perks. Caregiving travel is a trip that one must consider having. Make a committed decision to go, a lifetime gift of exploration and learning is waiting.

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