First Time Traveler Anxiety

  1. Hi all...

    I know this is the kind of thing that probably gets posted all the time... but I'm essentially just looking for some reassurance.

    I'm about to start my first travel assignment in a few weeks, and I'm sick with anxiety every day.

    I have 3 years experience in a high volume, high risk L&D unit which was an absolute madhouse most of the time, but where I had endless support and love from my wonderful coworkers. That was my first nursing job out of school, and it's the only hospital I've ever worked in (even did all my clinical rotations there!)

    In short, I had gotten comfortable. I had excellent experience and exposure to everything under the sun when it came to L&D. I knew it was time to branch out and spread my wings, and in my heart I know it was the right decision to break out of my comfort zone.

    But you guys, I'm not exaggerating when I say that I feel sick to my stomach every day now that I've actually taken the leap and signed a contract at another hospital. My wonderful supportive fiance is going with me as he is also an RN, so I know I'm lucky to have his support and presence. No, this is not the first time I've moved away from home, but this time I'm going across the country.

    I'm worried no one will help me if I have an OB emergency; I'm especially terrified of having a baby code on me and not having my usual resources I'm familiar with. I'm scared of the new charting system, I'm worried no one will like me or be nice to me. Okay... I have some anxiety issues in case you couldn't tell. :/ I also struggle with depression, which I know affects all this. I just want to know that it's all going to be okay, but I feel like I'm not good enough or that I'm somehow going to mess this up.

    Has anyone else experienced this and lived to tell the tale? (haha) Any other L&D travelers out there- are people nice to you? Advice? Thanks in advance.
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   Jasel
    Well I'm not L&D but I know it's a pretty in-demand specialty, especially for travelers. I imagine wherever you go people will be used to dealing with travel and agency nurses anyway. I've been treated fine at any hospital I've done agency, contract, or per diem with with (I'm ER). Once you start working and getting used to a new environment it will be like any other place with small differences. And if you don't like it a particular place, it's only for a few months.
  4. by   NedRN
    It makes hospitals look really bad to have a needless death of a baby. Rest assured that there will be a response to a baby code. Ask during orientation exactly how that happens and who responds. The size of the hospital may make a difference, as will the way it is organized and what practitioners are on site 24. Will it be high risk? If not, you will have a nice vacation!

    I'd lean on your built in support away from the job rather than people you don't know well. Be careful about sharing personal issues at the job. As a staff member you are family and it might help in team building. Signs of weakness from a rent-a-nurse will not be helpful and will make you appear less confident. Stay calm and no one will know about anxiety/depression issues - professionalism is required of travelers. Helping others when you have time will help team building and will get a nice return for your effort. But it may take you a while to become efficient at a new assignment. Unless you are the first traveler ever at this assignment, the staff will know this already.

    Learning a different charting system and different patient flows, and area and hospital cultures can suck, but also be kind of an exciting challenge at the same time and you will learn new stuff. Some tasks you may have done routinely at your staff job may not be allowed and that may feel limiting and frustrating. If you go with it, you will come to like the experience.

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