Prepare for the Unexpected

How to Prepare for the Unexpected on a Travel Assignment

Jan 27, 2020

In the medical field, it’s important to expect the unexpected. Heart attack, stroke, diabetic emergency, infections, fevers, and the list goes on. The unexpected may happen in traffic, at the store, or in your own life. Your medical education and experience help you handle medical matters, but what happens when the unexpected happens in your own life?  

Just like in medical emergencies, knowing what to do before it happens, reduces stress, and improves the outcome. Consider the experience of Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III who had 208 seconds to land United Airways flight 1549 into the Hudson River in what has become known as “The Miracle on the Hudson.” He had hundreds of hours of flight training, not one of which prepared him for this.  

In that same way, you may also prepare for circumstances and generalize the knowledge to successfully navigate nearly every unexpected situation that arises when you’re traveling. 

What Happens When Your Contract is Canceled? 

Canceled contracts may be the result of a change in the hospital’s need. They may have hired permanent staff for the position you were contracted for, and any new openings are in areas where you don’t have clinical expertise, such as their need for a Cardiac ICU nurse when you are a pediatric nurse. 

The first step your recruiter will take is to go on a fact-finding mission to find out why the contract was canceled, as this is a big factor in any next steps that are taken. Your recruiter will work hand-in-hand with you to find another assignment quickly to fill this hole in your schedule. Having savings to fall back on in these unexpected situations keeps them from developing into a big problem. Consider keeping back a portion of each paycheck for such a situation. If you never have to use it, then you’ll have a well-padded savings account for remodeling your home, going on a great vacation, or putting a down payment down on a new car when you stop traveling

Floating Can Be Fun When You’re Traveling 

You have your day planned out, who you’re working with, and you have a good idea of the patients you’ll be caring for. Suddenly the supervisor tells you there’s a need in the ICU, and you’re expected in five minutes.  

Floating to another area of the hospital is unexpected. It may be fun, or it may be stress-filled - and either way, it’s important to assess the situation first. If you have experience in the unit, you’re moving to this may be a good way to meet new people and network with new staff. As a traveler, you are an expert at this! 

However, if you are being asked to float to a unit where you don’t have the requisite skills for safe patient care, you must communicate this with your immediate supervisor and the supervisor on the new unit. Those who are making assignments must be made aware, so you and your patients are safe. If you believe you are unable to provide safe care to the patients assigned, it’s important you communicate this until you find a supervisor who listens.  

Schedule Changes May Put a Wrench in Your Plans 

If your assignment is for the afternoon shift and suddenly you’re being asked to work days, or you’re expecting to work eight hours but now are being asked to work 12-hour shifts, then it’s time to do a little fact-finding. Talk with your supervisor to find out if this is a one-off or if the hospital expects you do change your assignment continually. Sometimes a hospital has reassessed their needs and find your skills will be better suited in another area. Try to work things out with your supervisor for the best result for yourself and the hospital. This likely means there will be some compromise from both sides. 

Call Your GetMed Recruiter - They Lead Your Support Team 

Once you have information about the expected changes, call your recruiter and be sure they are kept up-to-date. If you and your supervisor come to an agreement, you may want to drop your recruiter an email to keep them in the loop. But, if you need an advocate to help resolve any situation, give your recruiter a call. Our professional recruiters at GetMed Staffing help you find an assignment that meets your needs. Call us today! We are excited about working with you!