You already know that medical travel is a great way to explore destinations across the country and meet new people from all walks of life. But it can also get lonely, especially if you’re traveling solo. Keeping in touch with friends from home and making friends at the facility you’re temporarily working in can be difficult. However, it’s important for travel nurses and allied health travelers to have a community that they can lean on. Here’s how you can build your own community as a professional medical traveler.
How To Build a Community as a Travel Nurse or Allied Health Traveler
The importance of building connections
Before you can build a community on your travel assignment, it’s important to understand the importance of making connections. When you build relationships with other people, you form a bond that can benefit you in both your professional life and your personal life. These are just some of the perks of building connections:
👬 New job recommendations
👭 Mentorship opportunities
👬 Personal and professional development
👭 Quality relationships
As a travel nurse or allied health traveler, you’re used to taking care of others. But constantly putting others before yourself can quickly lead to burnout and compassion fatigue. Having a community that you can turn to helps alleviate some of your stress and promote a healthy work-life balance.
Ways to make friends as a travel nurse or allied health traveler
A support system is important for medical travelers who are away from home often. Having friends around you who can provide emotional and practical help, encouragement, and guidance can make all the difference when working a medical travel contract. These are ways you can create your own community and make friends no matter where you are on a travel assignment.
Put yourself out there
As we get older, it can be hard to put ourselves out there to make friends. So, start with the people you spend most of your week with — your colleagues.
“There are so many travel nurses,” said professional travel nurse Jamey. “Whenever you go to a new hospital, you meet other travelers, so you can make tons of friends along the way. You learn how to make each other feel welcome, and you have common ground. That really helps you to connect.”
You don’t have to wait for anyone to reach out to you to take the first step in building a connection. Instead, make the first move and initiate a conversation with someone you work with whom you don’t know very well. Start by sharing something about yourself, then ask a question and let the other person share something about themselves. This is what the kids call, “breaking the ice.”
Join online medical travel communities
Another way to build a community as a travel nurse or allied health traveler is to join online medical travel communities. Social media has its perks and one of them is the ability to connect with others who have similar interests or experiences but live thousands of miles away.
Not sure what groups to join? These are our favorite online communities for travel nurses and allied health travelers:
📲 Fusion Medical Staffing Travelers (must be a current Fusion traveler to join)
In addition to joining travel groups, you can also build online connections through Fusion Medical Staffing’s social media influencer program. By sharing your travel experiences with others on social media, you’re able to bond with other professional medical travelers or those aspiring to become travel nurses or allied health travelers. To build that online connection, like, share, and comment on others’ social posts and respond to those engaging with yours. Learn more about the extra perks you get as a social media influencer for Fusion Medical Staffing!
Stay connected to loved ones at home
It’s true what they say: there’s no place like home. And when you’re constantly on the road, it’s easy to feel homesick. One way to combat feelings of homesickness is by staying connected to friends, family, and other loved ones who are back at home.
Lucky for us, we live in an age where technology makes connecting with others possible with just the simple push of a button. So even though you may be in temporary housing away from home, you can still maintain important relationships from a distance. For example, maybe you schedule a weekly phone call with your BFF or video chat with your parents once a month.
From phone calls to video conferences to emails to social media to old-fashioned snail mail, there are tons of ways to connect to those at home. And don’t forget, you can also take time off in-between assignments to venture back to your home sweet home.
Volunteer in the local community
Volunteering is another great way to make new friends and build relationships with those around you. Not only can it help produce warm and fuzzy feelings but volunteering also provides an opportunity to meet people in the community who share similar interests as you. While doing something positive and making a difference, you can build meaningful connections with like-minded individuals from all different walks of life.
Not sure about where to volunteer? No sweat — there are many nationwide volunteer organizations that always need help from altruistic folk like yourself. These are just a few:
💪 A local humane society or animal shelter
💪 A local food pantry
Check out this full list of volunteering opportunities across the U.S. for more options!
Being part of a community is one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have. Making new friends and having community support allows you to connect with others who share your interests, beliefs, and values. Plus, it gives you access to network with other professionals in your field, mentorship opportunities, and even travel jobs. As a medical traveler, you have the unique perk of being part of multiple communities and building new ones wherever your travel journey takes you.