By Kora Behrens, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions
What is the key to success in Travel Nursing? This question is frequently asked when nurses or other healthcare professionals decide to embark on a contingency staffing career. Although there are many different qualities that make a Traveler successful, there is one trait that will directly impact your progress throughout your journey. The quality central to success is adaptability. Embracing change can be a challenge, however, if you become accustomed to this process you will possess a skill that is highly sought after by many potential employers.
To become someone who is adaptable you must learn to seek out opportunities for growth and development. Adaptable nurses and Travelers will challenge what they know to be right or correct and then mold that thinking into a new process or idea. By doing this they can investigate their habits to determine what leads to success and what does not. Examining their behaviors and processes will help them to make changes to what may or may not become the new normal and this directly reflects adaptability.
Another key characteristic of adaptability is being inventive and knowing what or who is available to you as a resource and asset. These resources can include other nurses, managers, physicians, ancillary staff, etc. Recognizing the individuals of your department that can assist you in adapting to a change in environment, policy, or process will help you to achieve the flexibility that is needed to be deemed an adaptable nurse. And never forget, your Career Consultant is always here for you as a very valuable resource as well!
Living in the moment is a mentality that’s prevalent in individuals who possess adaptability. What this translates to is the ability to take things one day at a time and to not focus on the what-ifs or what might happen. Being present in the moment allows nurses to stay centered on their job and avoid any complaints and bad attitudes. Nonetheless, adaptable nurses maintain the competency and capacity to look ahead. This pertains to discovering and uncovering opportunities for improvement.
The last few characteristics that define adaptability are acceptance and positivity. When it comes to positivity it is not just having a good attitude. It’s much more than that! Positivity is the ability to think positive about yourself and the situation. Taking a moment to breathe in a stressful situation will help to refocus your attention and energy and to shift your thoughts from anger, aggression, and frustration to patience, harmony, and confidence in your ability to handle the situation. This influence on your mind will advance to comprehensive control and long-term acceptance. Acceptance means that you do not place blame on others or seek out revenge when something goes awry. By accepting your part in the situation, you are taking responsibility and homing in on your ability to be adaptable.
Adaptability is important for Travel Nurses because it leads to success and it makes you more marketable to potential employers. The characteristics that I mentioned today will all help you as a nurse to achieve flexibility and to adapt to your surroundings. Travel Nurses that blend in will go unnoticed by other hospital staff because, to them, they are one of their own. This is the ultimate outcome to achieve when striving to become adaptable.