Working long shifts, keeping doctors in the loop, and building relationships with chronically ill patients.
Your work as a dialysis nurse is both rewarding and overwhelming — at the same time.
If you are a dialysis travel nurse who loves your job but struggles to maintain a balanced life and work schedule, we’ve got you covered.
We share nine tips to help you be the best you can be when you’re at work or when you’re enjoying your time off.
Table of Contents
- Dialysis Nursing Is Equally Demanding and Rewarding — 9 Tips To Maintain the Balance
- 5 On-the-Job Tips for Dialysis Travel Nurses
- 4 Self-Care Tips for Dialysis Travel Nurses
- Enhance Your Career as a Dialysis Travel Nurse With Trusted Nurse Staffing
Dialysis Nursing Is Equally Demanding and Rewarding — 9 Tips To Maintain the Balance
Without a doubt, dialysis nursing is a challenging job that can become stressful and lead to burnout.
According to a study of almost 100 nurses, nearly 50% said they deal with a moderate level of burnout. Many nurses reported experiencing stress because of the complex techniques and skills necessary to do their jobs.
On top of that, dialysis nurses find that …
- Caring for several patients at one time
- Feeling undervalued
- Being overworked; and
- Being paid less than other nurse specialties
… further adds to their stress and burnout levels.
And with 33% of newly licensed nurses leaving the field after two years, it’s easy to see why the turnover rate is high — which further adds to burnout when facilities become understaffed.
If you are a dialysis travel nurse who is beginning to feel rundown, we’ve outlined some tips below to help you manage burnout and take care of yourself.
5 On-the-Job Tips for Dialysis Travel Nurses
Whether you just stepped into a new dialysis nursing position or you’ve been practicing this specialty for years, the work of a travel dialysis nurse can be a tough assignment. Taking care of chronically ill patients day after day can certainly take a toll.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of five tips for dialysis travel nurses to help you stay the course without compromising your own health and well-being.
#1: Have Excellent Communication Skills
Good communication skills are important in any profession. For the dialysis nurse, who is consistently communicating with supervisors, staff members, and patients, clear and skillful communication is a must for success.
As a travel dialysis nurse, you’ll be the “new person,” so asking questions is key to knowing:
- The particular duties for your assignment
- Who you will report to
- Where your work assignment is
- Who your patients are from day to day
In addition to communication with supervisors and other co-workers, communicating well with patients and their family members is essential.
Communication is a two-way street, so work on being an active listener. Set the tone by being approachable. Patients should feel comfortable with their nurse and be able to ask questions or share concerns about their care.
Regular dialysis treatments can be an unpleasant ordeal for patients. Communicating well and showing concern for each patient can make a trying experience easier to endure.
#2: Prioritize Time-Management
A dialysis travel nurse’s job can become overwhelming, given the number of patients to care for and the variety of duties to perform. Managing your time well and creating a list of tasks to perform on each shift are simple tips to guarantee success.
Of course, you don’t want to be late for your shift, but even being on time can put you behind the eight ball.
Arriving early will keep you from being rushed and allow you to:
- Assess your day before you begin
- Complete any necessary prep work before patients arrive
- Make a list of tasks that need to be done
- Make a list of patient names and note anything else that will help in their care
#3: Prepare for the Unexpected
One thing is for sure in the life of a dialysis nurse — things will happen that you didn’t plan for.
Being proactive can be the best offense when unforeseen events put you on the defensive.
Even though you mapped out a plan for the day, being flexible will help you be equipped when things get off course. Knowing ahead of time how you’ll handle things like …
- Patients that need more attention than expected
- Co-workers that call in sick
- Doctors that arrive for rounds; or
- Co-workers who need help with other patients
… will help you stay calm and efficient when things seem to start unraveling.
#4: Be Compassionate But Stay the Course
Though there are lots of reasons to become a nurse, many — if not all — nurses would say that caring for and helping people is one of the top reasons they chose the nursing profession.
It’s not unusual for dialysis nurses to become close to their patients while they are delivering regular treatments. And their feelings of compassion may kick into high gear when treating patients who are on kidney transplant lists — some of whom are so far down on the list they may be waiting a long time.
And sadly, they may become close to patients who pass away while waiting for a transplant.
Of course, it’s natural and appropriate to build connections and have compassion for your patients. But at the same time, dialysis nurses need to find a way to harness their emotions when necessary to stay focused on their jobs.
Patients will appreciate both — a heartfelt relationship with a caregiver and a nurse who faithfully and skillfully performs their dialysis treatments.
#5: Be Confident in Your Care
As a dialysis travel nurse, you may be working in different facilities every three months or so. That means getting used to a new location, working environment, co-workers, procedures, and supervisors at each facility.
Maybe you’ve had many travel nurse assignments, or you are looking for your first one. Either way, you can be confident in your training, experience, and expertise as a dialysis nurse no matter what facility you work in.
In each assignment, approach the new location with assurance, knowing that you are skilled, knowledgeable, and trained to provide excellent care to each patient.
Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to help find the dialysis travel nurse job that you’re looking for in your preferred location. Click below to create your free profile!
4 Self-Care Tips for Dialysis Travel Nurses
Any travel nurse job can be demanding and taxing, but dialysis travel nurses may feel the physical and emotional stresses more than others.
Knowing how to take care of yourself is vital to combat burnout, exhaustion, and depression.
Making sure you eat healthily, get proper rest, and do things you enjoy outside of work are important ways to take care of YOU.
#1: Recognize When You Need a Break
It’s okay to admit you’re not Wonder Woman and you can’t do everything. We all need a break from time to time, and it’s totally appropriate to let others know when you need one.
Of course, you’ll want to work your regular shifts, but it’s important to recognize when you need a break. That might mean not taking on extra shifts or not switching shifts with a co-worker when it doesn’t jibe with your schedule.
You may also need to learn how to say no to colleagues who ask for help when you are in the middle of caring for a patient’s special needs. Unless the co-worker’s request is urgent, it’s okay to prioritize your duties and work so as not to overload yourself.
It’s crucial to recognize that time for yourself is important to being able to provide quality care to your patients.
#2: Find a Hobby You Enjoy
Just because you travel to a different location with your dialysis nurse job doesn’t mean you stop being you and enjoying the hobbies and things you love at home.
One of the best ways to care for yourself is to continue a hobby you enjoy — or better yet — find a new one to try in your new locale.
Do you like biking, hiking, running, or reading? Find new trails to explore, or find a shady spot at a local park to read that book you’ve been waiting to dive into.
Maybe you like crafting, painting, or dancing. Or what about treating yourself to a manicure or massage as a way to relax?
Taking a break to do the things you enjoy helps reduce stress and energizes you in both body and spirit.
#3: Get Adequate Sleep
Adequate sleep is essential — but unfortunately, many nurses don’t get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night, and even a small sleep deficit adds up.
According to a clinical trial performed by Hans P. A. Van Dongen and colleagues, they concluded that “… it appears that even relatively moderate sleep restriction can seriously impair waking neurobehavioral functions in healthy adults.”
The American Psychological Association also reports that adults who get less than eight hours of sleep a night experience more stress and higher stress levels than those who sleep at least eight hours.
Even if nurses know how important adequate sleep is, they may find it difficult to get into a good sleep routine after working regular 12-hour shifts.
To get adequate and restful sleep when it’s hard to come by, try some of these tips:
- Sleep in a dark room (use room-darkening curtains if you need to sleep during the day).
- Limit electronics use (phones, computers, tablets) close to bedtime.
- Read before bed to help doze off.
- Try natural supplements like melatonin or chamomile tea.
#4: Prioritize Your Health
With a hectic work schedule, it can be difficult to make your health a priority. But doing whatever it takes to exercising and guarantee you’re eating well will pay off with all kinds of dividends.
Not only does exercise and eating a healthy diet help you control your weight and keep you strong, but they are also key to:
- Reducing stress
- Combating disease
- Boosting energy
- Improving sleep
- Helping your mood; and
- A host of other benefits
If you enjoy going to the gym, by all means, find a local gym and make workouts a regular occurrence. But you don’t have to have a gym membership to get exercise. You can work out at home or go for a run, a walk, or a bike ride in your neighborhood.
Enhance Your Career as a Dialysis Travel Nurse With Trusted Nurse Staffing
Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to assist you in finding your next dialysis travel nurse assignment. We walk you through the process, and your recruiter will be there to support you every step of the way.
Why should you choose Trusted Nurse Staffing? Here’s what makes us different:
- We value relationships and work to help you achieve your goals.
- We believe in working hard and playing hard.
- We celebrate the success and reward our team.
- We embrace differences.
- We are committed to helping you find your dream job that gives you the freedom to pursue your other interests.
On top of that, Trusted Nurse Staffing provides the following benefits:
- Sign-on bonuses
- Referral and completion bonuses
- High pay rates
- Housing, travel, and meal stipends
- Flexible contracts
- Full or part-time work
- Health benefits; and
- 27/7 recruiter access
If you’re ready to start your new dialysis nurse job and see the world, contact us today.