A career in travel healthcare means utilizing your skills and expertise across the country, discovering new places, and stepping outside your comfort zone. While this is an exciting time in your life, it's also nerve-wracking, and you may be considering bring a pet along for the journey to make it a bit easier. Whether you're thinking of adopting a new animal or bringing along a furry friend you've had for years, there are a lot of benefits to having a pet with you on your next travel therapy or allied job. Here are a few of the many ways a pet can benefit you, and how it can directly impact your career as a traveler:
Moving to new locations, learning new facilities, and working with new people frequently can get stressful and overwhelming. Having a pet with you while on your travel healthcare assignment is just the natural medicine you need. According to HelpGuide, playing with your furry friend can elevate your levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax you. Not only that, but having a pet can help you fend off feelings of isolation and loneliness that can be common while living away from friends and family. Nothing washes away loneliness or a tough shift like coming home to a wagging tail or purring cat.
Owning a pet is a serious responsibility, especially if you adopt them while they're still very young. Furry friends take time to train – between housetraining, learning commands and understanding obedience, teaching your pet how to be well behaved can put a lot on your plate. Pets require discipline and having a structured schedule helps to keep them balanced and calm. Even though it can feel impossible to get off the couch after a long shift, having a pet will force you to feed, exercise, and care for them, which in turn benefits you and your health. Caring for a pet will teach you patience, a helpful skill you can use as a travel therapist or allied professional as well. No matter what travel healthcare field you're in, maintaining your composure in challenging situations will help your clients overcome anxiety, build trust, and encourage them to be able to confide in you.
Taking on a new assignment as a traveler often means moving away from family and friends. But, having a dog (or a cat who doesn't mind a harness!) forces you to get out and go on walks, which may, in turn, introduce you to other people who are out and about walking their pets. There's also an opportunity to go to dog parks, where you'll meet other like-minded individuals who love animals just as much as you do. Getting out to walk your pets also helps you explore your new location in a way you can't in a car. Not only that, but you'll feel both the mental and physical benefits of exercising regularly.
While travel healthcare can be a new and exciting way to spice things up in your life, it can also take some time to get used to. A pet can help mitigate the discomfort and teach you valuable life lessons along the way. If you're having a hard time finding housing as a traveler with a pet, check out our blog on registering them as an Emotional Support Animal!