As a travel nurse, your job is to provide top-notch patient care. However even the most seasoned healthcare professionals can come down sick. Travel nurses face bigger challenges when they come down ill on assignment, and being away from home surely doesn’t ease the pain. While you may be able to work through it, sometimes you just need to take a few days and rest. But, there are a few boxes you need to check when you are sick on assignment. Here’s what you need to do when you’re getting sick as a travel nurse.
Getting Sick as a Travel Nurse | Talk to Your Manager & Recruiter
First things first, if you can’t make it to your next shift you will need to notify your nurse manager. Let them know you are sick and won’t be able to make it for your next shift(s). Your manager will reschedule you and find coverage for the days you are out. Keep open communication with your manager, and offer to make up shifts or work an extra day to make up for the time you miss. Next, touch base with your recruiter. Let them know you are sick and will miss your next shift. Your recruiter will take care of everything on their end by notifying HR and payroll. If you have a great recruiter on your side, they will call or text you to check in. Keep them in the loop on how you’re feeling and when you plan to return to work.
Getting Sick as a Travel Nurse | Get Some Rest
The last thing you want as a travel nurse is to be down longer than you anticipate. While we know that healthcare professionals can be the worst patients, if you’re sick you should be seen by a doctor. Find the nearest primary care provider, urgent care, or pharmacy to you and make an appointment. Don’t let yourself be miserable! Get some rest and take it easy. Make sure you stay on top of medication, cozy up in bed, and watch your favorite netflix series. The more you rest, the quicker you can get back to work. In case of emergency, let a family member, friend, or your significant other know you’re under the weather.
Your Agency is Here to Help
Now, there are some important things to keep in mind when you miss shifts as a travel nurse. In your contract, there is always some verbiage about guaranteed hours. If you end up sick and cannot work your full 36 hours, you may have your stipend prorated on your paycheck that week. As frustrating as it is, your agency does this to prevent issues with your taxes. Ask your recruiter if your agency provides paid time off or sick leave. If you’ve traveled with them for a while, you may have some hours already accrued! Regardless, taking care of yourself should be the number one priority. You can always work overtime to make up for the time you take off.
Getting sick as a travel nurse is never an ideal situation, especially being away from home. With SQUAD Medical Staffing, our team is here to support you 24/7 with day one health insurance. If you’re ready to get started on your next travel nursing assignment, we have thousands of jobs available across the country. Become a member of our SQUAD today!