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Travel nurses are unique additions to the medical facility culture. They are short- term employees who come and go quickly in the eyes of your long-term staff. They can be very helpful, but it can also be a challenge to get used to the constant coming and going of these staff members. It is extremely important to work with your current nursing staff before you bring a travel nurse on board so they understand the situation and are prepared. Here are four ways to prepare your permanent nursing staff for the incoming temporary travel nurse.

  • Be clear about the role of the travel nurse.  Assure your nurses that the travel nurse will not take anyone’s job and will be moving on as soon as the assignment is complete. Reinforce that the travel nurse’s role is to take pressure off the remaining staff so they can concentrate on their day -to- day functions. Show them that the travel nurse will be responsible for certain specific aspects of the department’s work.
  • Encourage communication from your team. Your staff should always feel comfortable coming to you with any questions or concerns that arise on the job. This is especially true when a travel nurse begins an assignment. The success of travel nurses hinges on honesty about their performance and how they are helping. Trust your team to tell you about both positive and negative experiences with the travel nurse on site.
  • Give travel nurses their own space. Many times, facilities don’t plan well for the arrival of a temporary nurse. Workspace and equipment have to be shared with a permanent employee. This can lead to very uncomfortable situations and should be avoided if at all possible. In the days leading up to the start of the assignment, talk with all the necessary departments to get the right equipment and space in place.
  • Ask a nurse to mentor the temporary staff member. Your current nurses have a lot of experience and knowledge about your facility, the patients, and the culture. Tap into this information to help the travel nurse succeed. Trust a senior nurse to help the new addition get oriented on the job. This shows that you trust your current staff and you want them to actively participate in the success of the travel nurse’s assignment.

Do you need to add a permanent or travel nurse to your organization? Fortus Healthcare Resources can help you today!

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