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Taking Care on the Road

Taking Care on the Road

Megan Malugani, Monster Contributing Writer

You’re a healthcare traveler because you enjoy new places, faces and experiences. But at times it’s still tough to maintain a positive attitude and keep your energy level high. After all, you’re always the new kid on the block who has to prove yourself, and you’re far from your support network of family and friends. Lynn Blissard, an ICU nurse and veteran healthcare traveler, and John-Henry Pfifferling, an expert on the well-being of healthcare professionals, offer tips on how you can take care of yourself emotionally and physically despite the rigors of your profession.

Make Yourself Comfortable

You can’t create a permanent “nest” when you’re on a temporary assignment, but you can carry items or symbols with you that make you feel at home anywhere. A concrete item, like your favorite bathrobe, could address your nest-building needs while you’re away from home. So could colors, tastes or smells, says Pfifferling, director of the Center for Professional Well-Being, a nonprofit educational organization devoted to promoting well-being among healthcare professionals.

How Healthy Are Your Networking Skills?

1. How important are first impressions?

They can make or break an interview
I can always make myself look better if I screw up at first
I donít worry about that. I look better on paper anyway

Make Connections

Don’t be a hermit outside of work. On one of Blissard’s assignments, she made friends immediately by visiting the same coffee shop every day her first week. “Because you’re in an isolating situation, you have to reach out more,” Pfifferling says. Visiting a church, hooking up with your college’s alumni association or meeting fellow fans of your favorite sports team will bind you with an “extended family,” according to Pfifferling.

Take Advantage of Your Free Time

Don’t lose sight of the reason you chose to travel. During her years as a traveler, Blissard has explored South Carolina, Arizona, California and Illinois. Your days off can also be used to cultivate your hobbies. Blissard scuba dives and takes piloting lessons.

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