As a travel nurse, what would be better than finding the perfect assignment in a city you have always wanted to visit? How about, taking on that same assignment with your best friend or spouse! Today, many travelers are looking for assignments in pairs. While traveling with your friend or spouse has its benefits, there are also some things that you should be aware of before you start the search. Let’s look at five tips for taking travel assignments with a friend.
- Be flexible: When you and your travel partner decide to take an assignment in a set location, you immediately think about the possibilities. Both working in the same hospital, with the same shift and schedule, imagine how much fun can be had on days off! This is wonderful in theory, but being rigid in demanding identical shifts and schedules will only delay and sometimes disqualify your opportunities. Being flexible in your expectations will ultimately increase the odds of landing your preferred assignment.
- Specialties Matter: Traveling with a partner that has the same specialty can be beneficial because you are both dealing with the same manager. It ultimately makes it easier for them to schedule you, put together call rotations, etc. Depending on the specialty, you may find that your schedules are similar, but being open to flexible shifts is still preferable. Having a different specialty from your travel partner can also work well. It opens up the possibilities for the facility and allows them to fill openings in two areas.
- Communication with Your Recruiter: The travel staffing industry is so competitive that openings crop up and often close within minutes. Once your recruiter knows what type of opportunities you are after, afford them the flexibility to submit for openings in and around your desired location. By insisting that they run every opening by you before submitting, you may find that you are missing out on prime assignments. It is also crucial that while your recruiter is actively searching for your perfect opportunity, do your part by staying on top of your emails and other messages from them, so you are ready to act if something becomes available.
- Do’s and Don’ts: When traveling with a partner, unless you are on a transit line or within walking distance to the job, it helps if you both have transportation or there is ride-sharing in the area. Also, avoid demanding blocked shifts. You aren’t going to be an attractive candidate if you go in with the expectation that you will be working 3 straight twelves with four days off every week. It is also advisable to be open to floating. Depending on the facility and their staffing circumstances, you will typically stay in the unit you were hired for, but being open to it can put you ahead of other candidates.
- Interview Tips: Each facility views travel pairs differently. In the interview, concentrate on securing the opportunity for yourself first. Unless your recruiter has told you up front that they know you are part of a pair, treat it as if you are traveling solo. Your best advice is to keep your plans low key until the very end of the interview. Be sure to ask questions about how the unit works together, the hospital culture, ask about the city, the best places to live, and fun things to do. This demonstrates your interest and desire to be a team player. When you have established a rapport with the interviewer, then it is a good time to mention that you have a travel partner who is equally as awesome as you!