Your Guide to Healthcare Agency Work in the Winter
"I'm a people person. I love to talk to people. I love to interact with people; that's why I like GHR," Michelle said. "I meet different people all the time, and if I choose to work in a different place every day, I can do that."
Michelle's "why" for healthcare agency work is a testament to the reason so many others choose to do the same; it offers the opportunity to experience new places and meet new people all the time. Another aspect of agency nursing that draws people in is the flexibility, which indeed comes in handy during those pesky winter months. You know, those days in early March when you could have sworn the snowy season was over, yet there you are, using some trusty ole' elbow grease to scrape the snow and ice off your windshield before work.
If you're a nurse working through an agency and a winter wonderland type of day isn't your cup of tea, Taylor, a nursing recruiter with GHR, has some advice for you: skip it! Or at the very least, spend it close to home.
"A lot of our nurses will plan ahead and choose an assignment closer to home during the winter months, so they don't have to drive in the snow or get snowed in and miss shifts," Taylor told us. "There are even some nurses who work extra shifts before the holidays so they can take the winter, or some of it, off to have some much-needed (and well-deserved) rest and relaxation!"
What if choosing an assignment, or taking a couple of months off, isn't on your agenda during the winter months? Not to worry, because Michelle was kind enough to share her time and give us these 3 tips for healthcare agency work in the winter:
1. Plan your schedule on a weekly or biweekly basis
Michelle told us that she typically builds her schedule out for the entire month, "but, when it's starting to get cold and starts to snow, myself and the other agency nurses I know, we'll only schedule for the one week."
Not all healthcare agency workers are able to choose their schedules on a per diem basis but you can plan ahead when choosing assignments, or keep reading for the next two tips!
2. Set your alarms a little earlier
The truest advice you've heard over and over again from parents, teachers, and grandparents - it pays to wake up early, clean the snow off your car, and get those defrosters going. If you know there will be snow, ice, or what-have-you to remove from your car in the morning, do yourself a favor and set your alarms 10, 20, or 30 minutes earlier than usual. Plus, without rushing, you'll make it to your shift on time, safely, and with peace of mind, setting yourself up for success.
3. Draw motivation from the patients you're showing up for
The reality is that the deep respect society has for nurses ties directly to how many sacrifices they make to show up for their patients. Patients still need care, people still need medicine, and the world doesn't stop turning when a blizzard rolls through. When you know you have to head to work or stay in a nearby hotel or even a vacant hospital room during a snowstorm, Michelle's advice is to focus on the patients. It's a hard reality for them as well – they would much rather be in their homes and with their loved ones than being stuck in the hospital, unwell, with hospital bills to look forward to when they can return home. Your care and kindness are absolutely irreplaceable. So focus on those moments of impact only you can bring to those patients!
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