First and foremost, I wanted to say hello and thank you to the thousands of healthcare providers out there doing the absolute most. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed, even before the pandemic. We have always been “heroes” and continue to do the job that most cannot. So in that, I hope each and every one of you are protecting your souls and taking care of yourselves. We’re in this for the long haul, stay up
I think we can all agree that dealing with COVID has been an ongoing adjustment. In a couple short months (which have seemed like forever) we’ve gone from policy changes to PPE shortages to the dreaded canceled contracts. To be quite honest, nobody knows what the next couple of months hold. It’s been rough tides out there, and even the strongest swimmers feel like they’re drowning. Permanent staff are being fired or furloughed, travel nurses are being canceled left and right; even recruiters are being let go. It’s a tough time for everyone to say the least. However, it’s important we remind ourselves that there’s always a rainbow ? after the storm. So I’m here to share some tips in hopes of preparing ya’ll for the months to come.
1. Be realistic about contracts and money
The hospitals over hired at extremely high rates and blew through their budgets. SURPRISE ? Expect to see lower rates across the board. Negotiating is key in travel nursing, but understand that no one is seeing high rates right now. This isn’t to say take low pay or be lowballed, it’s just being aware that money might not actually be there to negotiate. However, it’s vital you’re still compensated to LIVE. Compare pay packages with different companies to get an average.
2. Have a plan
Well duh, this is obvious! However, I’m serious! Formulate a plan, write that ish down, go over it and address the challenges that WILL come. Don’t get overwhelmed or too invested; just have a solid game plan. It helps decrease the anxiety of the unknown because guess what, you prepared for it. Go you!
3. Getting canceled during COVID has nothing to do with you. I promise!
Getting canceled SUCKS, period. It’s an unfortunate part of travel nursing, but we all know it’s a real possibility. To act surprised is semi unrealistic. Although being canceled isn’t too common, we are seeing it at an alarming rate right now. For the record, this has nothing to do with your performance, your skills, or you. We are just in the crossfire in this situation and we have to remember how amazing and hardworking we are. You are important and you are NOT disposable. Okay ✊?
4. Nothing lasts forever
When I mean nothing, I literally mean nothing! There’s one thing that’s constant in this world. Thankfully, this is the kicker. This wild lifestyle is a constant reminder of that, but we always persevere. Travel nursing has taken a hit but we won’t’ be down and out for long. Nursing will always be in a demand, you best believe. We just have to be patient. So buckle up for the ride, but don’t buckle under the pressure. We are a strong and resilient bunch. You best believe the market will look good once again.
5. Remember what’s in your control
If you really think about it: the pandemic, the hospital policies, the budget, the way all of this is being handled is so far out of our control. I’m not saying be passive to your life, however, take a step back, take a deep breath, and see the big picture. When we allow fear to be at the forefront of our mind, even the smallest even can feel catastrophic. Control your mind and don’t allow your emotions to rule your life, or they’ll win every single time. We only have control over how we respond. For not, that may be looking like“temporarily” going back home, taking some time off, going permanent (ew), investing in your side hustle, or taking that lower rate for the time being. It’s going to look a little different for everyone but, again, it’s “temporary” and it won’t be like this forever.
6. Save where you can
Whether it was your New Years’ resolution or a lesson from the pandemic, saving money is vital to living a comfortable life. This will remain an important life skill, There’s no better time than now to hunker down, build that budget, and start saving. For some that may mean cutting down on daily expenses that aren’t “essential” or completely cutting down on your lifestyle spending. This can be temporary for the crisis we’re all experiencing, however, you’ll soon find out how little you need to survive and how great you feel when that bank account is looking kush.
7. Do the best you can
Every day we should be asking ourselves “How can I be a better person?”, “What can I learn today”, “Where can I grow?” Although it’s been rough for some, doing the best we can is always accessible to us. Some days this may be getting out of bed and drinking coffee, and other times it may be helping a hurting soul. Showing up for yourself first is the best way to change your life and the relationships around you. You are awesome and we WILL continue to push forward, in the rain and in the sunshine.
8. Take some time for yourself away from social media and the news
I struggle with this. I’m still trying to find a balance of being informed and not feeling so triggered all the time. Fear is so strong in our society right now and it shows. The news, social media, YouTube videos, and everywhere we turn has fear-provoking information. As medical professionals, there’s a fine line between educating people and talking to brick wall. It’s not our responsibility to force what we know onto people, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You’re going to drive yourself insane and turn into a mean and snappy Karen. Nobody wants to be a Karen. Don’t go there! Do what you can, advocate, educate, and be at ease.
9. Take care of yourself
Don’t let anyone dictate how you live your life. IT’S YOUR LIFE! Live it. Nobody has it all figured out. Going back to tip #7, do your best, and put yourself first. Take that day off, put your phone down, have some solitude, read a book, go to the beach. I often find when my life is feeling out of balance and chaotic, it’s
because I’m not putting myself first. As healthcare professionals, this isn’t uncommon, however that culture needs to change. We can’t take care of others if we can’t take care of ourselves first. I know you’ve heard it before, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” In closing, I’m proud of you, keeping showing up for yourself and others, and stay up my friends! There are better days to come.