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Tips For Navigating Your First Travel Healthcare Job

Whether you just graduated college or recently decided to change career paths, preparing for your first travel therapy assignment is a thrilling yet nerve-wracking experience. As with any first day on the job, it's important to keep an open mind while also paying close attention to all the small details of a facility during your training. You're going to learn a lot during your first week, but don't let it overwhelm you. Your first travel therapy job will set the foundation of what to expect down your professional journey in the future. Here are a few tips for navigating your first travel therapy assignment: 

Keep An Open Mind

It’s likely your first day on the job will feel overwhelming and anxiety inducing. It's common to think about the negatives that come with your first travel healthcare job. Thoughts like "What if my approach is different" or "What if I'm not cut out to work in different locations?" will keep you bogged down and unable to perform proficiently. With the right mindset, you'll set the positive tone you need to succeed in your first day and beyond. Being flexible and prepared to encounter the unknown will help your first contract go as smoothly as possible!  

Set Your Own Personal Goals

Don't overwhelm yourself at your first assignment, especially during the initial weeks. Set small personal goals before reaching for higher objectives. Your first one might be to connect well with your patients with a goal of building a strong relationship. This could lead to referrals, which can help build your book of clients. Or maybe your first goal is to not get lost in the facility by the end of your first week. Set and achieve a few small goals at your first assignment and they will seem like second nature to obtain at your next working destination. 

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Stay Connected With Your Healthcare Recruiter

You were likely in contact with your recruiter for a few weeks before your first assignment opportunity came up, so don't leave behind this professional connection. Staying in contact with your recruiter makes it easier to find other assignments in the future. Connect with him or her on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to discuss how you feel about your current working destination, what to expect out of your next, and any other requests or details you feel like sharing along the way. You should feel fully supported by your travel healthcare recruiter and agency while on assignment with them, don’t be afraid to reach out during your contract if you haven’t heard from them.  

Make Friends Along The Way

There's nothing more intimidating than working alongside other professionals who you can't have a conversation with. Get to know your coworkers and other staff members at your facility so you can build friendships and professional connections. Networking is just as important as keeping in contact with your recruiter, as it will provide greater opportunity for professional growth down the road. Not only is it a good move professionally, but trying to make friends while on assignment can help when you’re feeling homesick or missing your friends. Having a support system that’s near you can make a big difference during your first travel healthcare contract. 

Travel therapy offers an opportunity to grow in your career, meet new people and step outside of your comfort zone. Keeping a positive attitude during your first assignment will remind you why you chose this path in the first place. Remember: One bad day on the job doesn't have to result in reevaluating this career choice. Keep an open mind and let your skills, knowledge, and positive attitude help you navigate your first assignment with ease. 

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