Rule #1: Say hello and introduce yourself. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many nurses skip this obvious step.
Remember that the travel nurse is there to help. The sooner he or she feels welcome, the better. So tell them a little about yourself and ask about their areas of expertise. Most travel nurses have an impressive skill set; learning about their background will help put them at ease and enable you to make the best use of their talents.
Provide a thorough orientation. Travel nurses are pretty good at hitting the floor full stride, but they still need to know where the linen closet is and how to operate the phone system. Take the time to explain any especially important policies and procedures, and introduce them to the docs. Clue them in, too: If certain doctors like the charts to be pulled before they come to make rounds, let them know.
Be sure they know their job responsibilities as well. Are RNs responsible for their own linen changes on your unit, or do CNAs do all linen changes and personal care? Who’s responsible for counting narcotics?
Check in with the travel nurse frequently, at least during their first few shifts. A simple “How’s it going?” can make a big difference. Also make it a point to include the travel nurse in any unit activities. They might not officially be a part of the gang, but they are for the time being and deserve to be treated as such.
Consider inviting the travel nurse to experience the town with you. Most travelers love to partake of local culture, so give them an insider’s glimpse of the area. Who knows? They just might invite you to visit them when they travel to their next assignment!
This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.