Do you need a certain personality for travel?

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    I am considering trying some travel nursing in surgery, but I am concerned about being outgoing enough. We had some travel nurses and techs at one facility I worked at and many people were not very nice to them. I never understood this because they were helping to lighten our workload. Afraid of traveling and feeling isolated, but also think it may help bring me out of my shell.
    I have heard that agencies help find places to stay. Do you ever worry about staying in an area that is unsafe? Are you given options in which shifts you work?
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

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    The major issue with any job in any field is getting along, not your skills. Outgoing people often have better social skills that introverts, but it is certainly not a requirement to be outgoing. Even introverts need friends, so introverts may not enjoy traveling and knowing no one, unless they are extreme introverts.

    Agencies provide housing, or a housing stipend in lieu of housing. Agencies certainly know that safe housing is critical to the usual single female traveler but you certainly can have a say and turn down housing before you get there. You should turn it down once you get there if you see a major problem with the neighborhood or the actual housing.

    You are a free agent as a traveler. You can turn down an assignment for any reason, including shift. Many big hospitals are in shady parts of town, and you are free to turn down assignments for that reason too. For example, Johns Hopkins. They actually have a security guard every half block around the hospital to make staff feel safer, and you need ID to get inside the hospital.
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    Quote from hseaner
    I am considering trying some travel nursing in surgery, but I am concerned about being outgoing enough. We had some travel nurses and techs at one facility I worked at and many people were not very nice to them. I never understood this because they were helping to lighten our workload. Afraid of traveling and feeling isolated, but also think it may help bring me out of my shell.
    I have heard that agencies help find places to stay. Do you ever worry about staying in an area that is unsafe? Are you given options in which shifts you work?
    Travelers who are outgoing do better. You're always going to be the new person, so you're always going to have to take the initiative in meeting others, suggesting getting together after work, starting chats at the nurses station, etc. In order to be successful at it, you will HAVE to come out of your shell. If you cannot do that, you may well feel isolated.

    Traveling wasn't for me, but it can be a great opportunity for someone who is outgoing!
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    I don't think it matters much whether you're an introvert (I am) or an extrovert to be happy as a traveler. It's more important to fit in with the work environment, if you are comfortable doing that, friends will come. I've found things are a lot easier if I show what I can do, rather than talk about it. Being quick to pick up the routine will get you farther than being overly 'friendly' as it were. The facilities are looking for help, not BFF's. Show them you're a team player and the BFF's will come. I promise you! The hostility from the staff is mostly misguided. While there is money to be made as a traveler, it's not the BIG bucks people think and that is part of the problem. They may have had problems with previous travelers and unfortunately, until otherwise proven, you're no better or different than the last bad one. Actions always speak louder than words, be cordial and show them what you can do. I also specialize in surgery (CVOR) and as you know, we can be a tough bunch.

    I'm not an extreme introvert and I enjoy traveling immensely. I like exploring new areas, meeting new people, and having a good time. I'm a photographer also and it's just easier to do that alone. I don't have to worry about another person's schedule, level of boredom or whatever. Clearly it's better if there's someone along who also enjoys or wants to learn photography, but that doesn't happen often. I drive to each assignment and have no problems making detours along the way if I see something interesting.

    The same requirements you would use to select a permanent position apply for travel assignments. What you have to ask yourself is "can I deal with ABC for 3 months so I can experience XYZ". You can either find your own housing and take the stipend or you can take the agency housing. I've had no issues with the provided housing and have stayed with friends / family and taken the stipend. I've not been housed in an area that's not safe. Some of the hospitals have been in areas that were less than ideal but that's where the business is if it's a trauma / teaching hospital.

    The shifts will vary from 8-, 10-, 12-hr shifts, days, evenings and nights. Some places only have one shift or you may be given the choice. Some require call and there are a few gems that don't.

    The most difficult question to answer is WHY do you want to travel. If you're looking for paradise, that's the wrong reason. There's always going to be people and places better and worse than where you are. Try to take an assignment close to home first, close enough that you can go home on weekends if you want but far enough that you can't commute to and from work every day. See how you like it. You just might surprise yourself! I've been traveling for almost three years and have been to five different hospitals, one of them TWICE! I have friends at FOUR of them.

    Good luck and maybe I'll see you on the road soon! Happy trails!
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    I am definitely an introvert and will be starting my first assignment in 2 weeks (yikes!). I'm a little worried about being the new girl with my naturally shy personality but hopefully the whole experience helps me break out a bit. I found another traveler who is taking the same assignment and we are rooming together... Hopefully that makes things a little easier!
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    You basically described me! I'm nervous because I am a bit of an introvert. Good luck! I will be trying out my first assignment somewhere in the next few months
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    I am lucky enough to have worked with outgoing nurses and also found some travelers in my hospitals to hang wth. I found that its better to show you are a team player and prove your worth than to confide in a cubicle, not talking to anyone ( i despise that). You guys will be fine. Traveling will bring you out of your shell, it will challenge the heck out of you. I have learned so much in the time that i have traveled. I would never forget my first day i walked in. I have made friends all over the country and been to so many places thats the reason i travel. it was never about the money. Try it, you will love it and if its not for you go back to staff.
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    I'm extremely shy and an introvert and traveling has worked out for me. I have never had a problem with the work environment, as long as you're a team player and a hard worker, they will not care. Trust me, I have extended at every assignment, except for one which was my choice. My first assignment ever in traveling I made friends quickly and had people to hang out with on off days. I will be honest though, my next assignment it took me a good 2 months before some of the other staff opened up to me, or maybe it was me opening up to them..not sure. I felt like I had no friends and was so isolated I'd go to the movies by myself, go out to eat by myself and it was just a sad and lonely time. Eventually I made it through. So if you happen to get to an assignment where maybe you're the only traveler or you're having a hard time, remember it's not always like that.

    I've made a lot of friends and if you travel long enough, you'll find that traveling is a small world into itself. It's funny how you'll meet someone who worked with so and so in a different city. If you meet other travelers ask for their number right away. It doesn't always work out, but I've found that you at least have someone to grab lunch or a drink with. You have to make an effort. Some people do things like meet up and that seems to help.

    I've learned to come out of my shell a bit and be more open to meeting new people and I've learned to be happy with just being by myself. Overall I've had good and bad days but I do not regret traveling. The only thing I regret is not traveling to more places, which I am going to do this year. Best of luck to you.
    ICUman likes this.


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