No matter your profession, safety is always a concern.
Travel nursing, though a very safe profession, does present various safety concerns simply because of the amount of travel involved and the unfamiliar surroundings that come with changing assignments.
In this guide, we’ll unveil 13 safety tips travel nurses can use to enhance their safety before leaving for an assignment, during travel, and while on the job.
Table of Contents
- 13 Tips for Travel Nurse Safety
- 6 Travel Nurse Safety Tips To Consider for Before You Head Out
- 4 Travel Nurse Safety Tips To Consider While You’re on the Road
- 3 Travel Nurse Safety Tips To Consider Once You Arrive
- Trusted Nurse Staffing: Where Travel Nurse Safety Is a Top Priority
13 Tips for Travel Nurse Safety
Whether you’re …
- Going out for a night on the town with your friends
- Coming home from a long shift; or
- Walking to your car after dark
… safety is undoubtedly a concern.
Though none of those scenarios is particularly dangerous, it’s prudent to be aware of your surroundings and take steps to do your best to keep safe.
The same is true for travel nursing.
Even in a safe career, it’s always a good idea to be proactive and take steps to help guarantee your safety.
At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we care about you and your well-being. That’s why we’ve created the following travel nurse safety tips. We want each of your assignments to be as profitable and enjoyable as possible — and staying safe is one way to make that happen.
Find travel nurse assignments today on Pronto.
6 Travel Nurse Safety Tips To Consider Before You Head Out
Preparation is key!
Thinking ahead and preparing for the unknown are two of the most important ways to be proactive. When you’ve planned ahead and have systems or certain safeguards in place, you can protect yourself from unforeseen harm or loss.
#1: Have Emergency Assistance in Place
Even if you’re a travel nurse with a brand-new car or who can change a flat tire by yourself, it’s still a good idea to have access to emergency roadside assistance.
When roadside emergencies happen like …
- Getting locked out of your car
- Having a flat tire; or
- Your car breaking down on the side of the road
… it can not only be frustrating and inconvenient, but it can also be scary.
Roadside assistance, like AAA or a similar service offered through your auto insurer, is an invaluable resource. Simply call the roadside service and wait in your locked car for them to arrive.
If you’re ever in a situation where you don’t feel safe, don’t hesitate to call the police.
#2: Have at Least Two Sources of Money Available
Being stuck without a source of money can put a travel nurse in a quandary.
Always travel with at least two forms of money in case you’re stuck without your most used form of payment.
For example, many banks monitor when debit or credit cards are used to track suspicious activity. So, if your card suddenly is being used in San Diego when you live in Chicago, your bank may flag those purchases and freeze your card without warning.
You can often quickly rectify the situation by calling your bank and letting them know you made the purchases. However, if you can’t get in touch with your bank for some reason, not having extra cash on hand might leave you in a precarious situation.
It’s also a good idea to store those two sources of money in different locations.
#3: Research and Familiarize Yourself With the Area
Going to a new city for a travel nurse assignment can bring lots of excitement and anticipation. You’re looking forward to new experiences and visiting new sites.
While you’re researching all the cool things to do in your new location, take some time to research some other things about your area, like:
- Crime rates
- Types of crimes most prevalent; and
- Public transportation safety and reliability
Based on what you find, you may decide to live in a different neighborhood or drive your own car rather than relying on public transportation.
Some of the most helpful sites for finding relevant information in these areas are:
Before you arrive in your new city, take time to familiarize yourself with your future surroundings by using Google Maps to locate:
- Main roads
- Drug stores
- Grocery stores
- Police stations
- And more
#4: Give Your Itinerary to Your Loved Ones or Agency
Whether you’re driving yourself to your new location or arriving by plane or bus, share your itinerary with someone, so they know your whereabouts in the event of an emergency.
Share important information, like:
- Flight numbers and itinerary
- Bus or train routes and arrival times
- Your own planned travel route
At stopping points on the way and once you arrive at your final destination, check in with your friend or family member to let them know you’re safe and sound.
Better yet, try travel nursing with a friend. Not only can you keep each other company on the trip, but you’ll have a familiar face along for the whole new experience — both at work and during your time off.
When letting your friends or family members know about your travel plans, it’s also a good idea to share your itinerary with your travel nurse agency.
With Trusted Nurse Staffing, you are more than a number — you’re a valuable team member. We strive to personalize your experience and deliver the best customer service possible. And we are here to support you every step of the way.
#5: Make Copies of All Important Documents
Make two copies of key documents like …
- Driver’s license
- Social security card
- Birth certificate; and
- Nursing licensure documents
… in case you lose your wallet during your travels.
Keep one set of copies with you and leave the other set of copies at a secure location at home or with a friend or family member.
Having these copies accessible will make verifying your identity easier when you need to replace the missing documents.
#6: Pack an Emergency Car Kit
Whether you’re traveling on vacation or traveling across the country to start a new travel nurse assignment, having a well-stocked emergency car kit can help ensure your travel nurse safety.
Consider including the following items in your emergency kit:
- First aid kit
- Reflective warning signs
- Drinking water
- Non-perishable food items
- Battery charger
- Air compressor
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
4 Travel Nurse Safety Tips To Consider While You’re on the Road
Once you get on the road, follow these tips to keep yourself safe and secure.
#1: Choose Stops in Well-lit and Crowded Areas
Whether it’s a short journey or a road trip across the country, stopping to rest, eat, or use the restroom is inevitable.
To stay safe when you make those necessary stops follow these suggestions:
- Avoid isolated places and choose stops with people and vehicles nearby.
- Try to park close to the door.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- If possible, stop in a town rather than a rest area.
- Consider using a truck stop — they’re well-lit, busy, and open 24/7.
- Map out your route and planned stops before you head out.
#2: Stay Connected While Traveling
When traveling alone, keep loved ones in the loop of where you are and how your drive is going.
Most smartphones have an app you can use to share your location with family and friends. This is a great resource to use when traveling, especially if you’re using a taxi or other rideshare apps like Lyft or Uber.
And while we’re talking about it, when using rideshare services, ensure your safety by:
- Utilizing the app’s built-in safety features.
- Verifying the license plate and driver before entering the car.
- Not using the service if it looks sketchy or unreliable.
#3: Have a Back-up Navigation Option
In 1989, commercially hand-held GPS systems went on the market, and we’ve relied on them ever since. Probably not a week goes by that we don’t use the GPS mapping system on our smartphones.
Chances are, if you were born after 1980, you’ve only ever used a GPS to find your way around. But, in case of internet or phone issues, it might be a good idea to keep an old-school map or printed directions in the glove box.
#4: Continue To Follow Safety Measures at Hotels
If you’re making a long trip or taking a vacation while on assignment, follow these tips when using a hotel:
- Choose hotels with rooms on the inside rather than those with a door that opens to the parking lot.
- Choose rooms on the second floor or higher.
- Park your car in a well-lit area.
- Secure valuables in your car or take them into the hotel with you.
- Read reviews of hotels before booking.
- Leave a light on in the room, or use the “Do Not Disturb” hanger on the door to make it look like you’re there and awake.
- When coming and going from your room, check to make sure the door closes securely behind you.
- Always use the deadbolt or safety lock when in the room.
- Consider using a portable door alarm that detects movement of the door knob.
- If a hotel employee comes to your door (one you weren’t expecting), call the front desk to verify before you open the door.
3 Travel Nurse Safety Tips To Consider Once You Arrive
One of the greatest perks of travel nursing is the housing accommodations that can be secured for you by your travel nurse agency.
Whether you opt for agency accommodations or secure your own living arrangements, follow these three suggestions for further safety once you get where you’re going.
#1: Orient Yourself With the Driving Routes to Work
You’ll be driving to and from work several times a week, so take some time to do some research to identify the safest route.
Before you start your first shift, use Google Maps or drive around during the daytime to get oriented.
Find a safe and direct route to work to increase your safety, whether you’re working the day shift or night shift.
#2: Map Out the Area
While working on your new assignment, you’re sure to visit lots of locations and businesses regularly.
While you’re searching for the best route to and from work, take some time to drive around and get acquainted with your new city.
Find the safest routes to …
- Grocery stores
- Coffee shops
- Exercise gyms
… and other places you’ll frequently visit.
#3: Follow Safety Precautions in the Parking Lot
Whether you’re in the hospital parking lot or the grocery store parking lot (or any other parking lot, for that matter), practice the following safety precautions:
- Always park in well-lit areas and avoid parking next to vans and other large vehicles.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid looking at your phone or being otherwise occupied when walking to and from your car.
- Have your keys ready in your hand to avoid fumbling for them at your car.
- Keep pepper spray on hand — in your purse or on your keychain — and know how to use it. Check with laws in your area to make sure it’s lawful to carry it.
- Exude confidence. If something just doesn’t seem right, be prepared to use other actions like using your voice in a confident and forthcoming way.
- Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and react.
Trusted Nurse Staffing: Where Travel Nurse Safety Is a Top Priority
At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we care about you and your safety.
After listening to your goals, interests, and availability, your recruiter will help you find your preferred assignment and safe and reliable housing.
And when you have questions, your recruiter will be on hand to respond throughout your assignment.
Whether you need to connect concerning …
- Your assignment
- The facility
- Extending or negotiating your assignment; or
- Other support and encouragement
… you can rest assured that your recruiter has your back.
Trusted Nurse Staffing is ready to send you off on your next nursing and travel adventure. Contact Trusted Nurse Staffing today or find available travel nursing jobs on Pronto.