Travel Nursing Tips: How To Care For Different Patients During Your Travel Assignment

Travel nursing jobs can be challenging but play an essential role in patient care. Healthcare facilities can be frightening places for those who aren’t used to them, and patients could face many fears and anxieties while receiving care. It’s up to the nurses to reassure patients every step of the way and focus on helping them with their physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs.

The patient is the nurse’s top priority, and we know it can take a lot to handle various individuals with all types of conditions. All nurses can implement a few simple yet effective techniques to their routine to keep their patients comfortable and content, no matter their unique circumstances.

Delivery Individualized Patient Care
It is important to maintain the human aspect of patient caring opportunities. Patients should feel that caregivers are devoting every second of their attention directly to them. Individualizing your treatment allows you to provide care tailored to their needs while meeting them where they are on the journey to better health. Refer to patients by their names instead of the “CHF patient in Room 12” or any terms that prevent you from connecting to them on a more personal level. Connecting with your patients through their names and life story allows you to better understand their self-care goals, their barriers to reaching these goals, and their support systems.

Empower Self-Care
On par with individualized care, empowering your patients to make more conscious health choices will benefit them greatly in the future. Many nurses view their job as providing total care, but once patients are discharged from the unit, you will no longer be there to remind them about their food choices, daily weights, or insulin doses. By utilizing open-ended questions, motivational interviewing, and individualized care planning to create goals specific to the patient, you will be able to bond with them and empower them to be active participants in their own self-care choices.

Show Respect
Patients need to feel that they and their point of view are respected at all times by nursing staff. This even extends to race, gender identity, LGBTQ+ populations, religious beliefs, and socioeconomic status. Also, as a nurse, it is imperative to avoid outside distractions while with a patient. Instead, stop and listen as they speak rather than multitask—which has been shown to increase errors.

Offer Empathy and Compassion
In the nursing field, working with patients from a place of empathy and compassion allows them to retain their independence and dignity while having someone to offer a listening, caring ear, which is part of the patient care role of the nurse. When your patients feel heard, cared about, and understood, they will trust you as their nurse and buy into the care plan you collaboratively create with them. Above all else, patients always deserve kindness.

With the constant stress medical staff face, empathy can decrease over time, which is unfortunate since empathy is associated with improved patient outcomes, greater patient safety, and fewer malpractice claims. That’s why it’s important for nurses to occasionally ground themselves and remember why they got into nursing in the first place—to care for others.

Continue Your Education
You’re never too old or too advanced in your career to keep learning—you can never know too much! Whether you decide to obtain an advanced nursing degree, take continuing education courses or go on to a new travel nurse assignment, being a life-long learner will help you improve patient care. Nurses must remain on top of the latest research to deliver care that allows evidence-based practices to become common practices. Advancing your education may also provide new opportunities in highly sought-after facilities or destinations as well.

Pillars of Holistic Nursing
When in doubt, always remember the five C’s of caring: Commitment, Conscience, Competence, Compassion, and Confidence.

The five C’s are considered beneficial to improving coworker and patient relationships and increasing a nurse’s chances for career advancement. Conscience and compassion directly relate to providing the best possible care to patients in a morally responsible and considerate way. Nurses should always stay aware of how they would want to be treated if they switched places with their patients.

Nurses’ greatest power in improving the patient experience lies in their ability to effectively and empathically communicate with patients. Ready to take the next step in your career or looking for a travel nurse agency to represnt you? Contact us today, and we’ll get you started!

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