Travel nurses have a challenging role. They’re the pinch hitters of the healthcare world, stepping into a temporary nursing position to help hospitals when they are short-staffed. One of the challenges is that these nurses are talented enough to hit the ground running, but it’s important for the hospital to make them feel a part of the team. Here are some tips for welcoming the traveling nurse into the fold quickly and for as long as they are on the team.
Provide Some Orientation for the Travel Nurse
We’ve seen that most hospitals put traveling nurses through some sort of orientation process. But it’s important that the orientation is geared for the traveling nurse. Many hospitals put every nurse through the same orientation, but why cover things like benefits with these temporary teams? Instead, focus on giving these talented nurses the tools they need to get productive quickly. You can also make sure the orientation process includes some equipment orientation. While most hospital equipment is commonplace and standardized, some different manufacturers and models can subtly change how these tools operate.
Speed Up Access To Important Tools
Many times we see travel nurses hitting the floor without having the access to dispensing cabinets or other tools they need to do the job. Make sure the traveling nurse has a home just like any other nurse, including a computer or other tools they need to do the job from day one.
Welcome Traveling Nurses with a Facility Map Before They Arrive
It’s more challenging for traveling nurses because they are not local. Typically, they arrive a few days before the assignment start date and don’t have a lot of time to scout out the new facility in advance. Most traveling nurses would welcome a nice email welcoming them to the team along with a map that included things like:
- Where orientation will be held.
- The location of accessible bathrooms.
- Cafeteria location and hours.
- Drinking fountain and vending machines or staff lounge.
- Where to park.
- Contact numbers for important personnel, labs, pharmacies, or other resources that they will commonly use.
- How to contact security.
You could even provide the traveling nurse with steps for admissions, discharges, or even floor policies and procedures.
Provide the Travel Nurse with a Mentor or “Welcome Wagon”
It’s a good idea to team up the traveling nurse with a colleague or mentor who could introduce them to all staff and doctors. The mentor could ensure that the traveling nurse is included at after hour’s events or team-building exercises. Failing to take this step is exactly what isolates the traveling nurse from other staff members.
Making sure the traveling nurse is part of the team will improve the overall efficiency of the healthcare team and the care they provide. Ultimately, it’s the job of everyone on the team to welcome new talent into the fold, whether the nurse is permanent or a traveler.
Talk to the team at MAS Medical about more ways you can staff up effectively with traveling nurses. Our team knows how to help you onboard and welcome these hard-working professionals into the fold and maximize their productivity from day one. Call us to find out more.