Four Ways to Help Traveling Clinicians Feel More Welcome at Your Facility


Whether your facility is new to utilizing traveling clinicians or they are a predictable part of your strategic staffing plans, making them feel welcome and included can lead to better patient care and outcomes. It can also lead to better extension rates, but more on that later. Let’s start at the very beginning.


Provide a thorough Orientation and Inclusion Efforts

Travel, by itself, is disorienting. Ever arrive some place and ask yourself, “where am I?” That’s what all traveling clinicians initially feel, no matter how seasoned they may be professionally. The sooner they can feel safe, secure, and equipped, the sooner they can provide help to your patients.

Get specific and use a checklist. Most hospitals and facilities have a thorough orientation, but, while doing so, using a checklist provides additional reassurance and rigor for everyone involved. Managers and leaders get documentation that a traveler has an understanding or mastery of a task or protocol, and the traveler gets a reference and aid to use as needed when they start work.

Go beyond orientation to inclusion. When including a traveling clinician, all the little things matter. Each manager personally introducing themselves can send a signal that they are a part of the team and unit. Letting a traveler know where they can find good coffee or what day the cafeteria has tacos can help them feel comfortable more quickly. Consider asking them to join the team for an after-work activity. The more they feel included, the better they can provide care.


Understand the Right Mindset and Conduct Early Check-ins

Things tend to end about as well as they start. For the most successful use of traveling clinicians, facility leaders, managers, and staff need to first recognize that the travelers are there to help. Small disagreements or disapprovals among staff about pay or schedules can cause some to lose sight of a bigger, more important, picture. Traveling clinicians are there because they are needed. They are committed to patient care and can reduce the fatigue and burnout among staff.  But they need care as well.

Typically, some evaluation of a traveling clinician is built in, but check-ins are a good idea earlier in their time, if possible. Few professionals succeed in managerial silence. Checking for clarity and understanding with a clinician during their first week in the unit is a good idea. Even if it’s just a manager saying “I’m here to answer questions if you have them” can provide reassurance.

And if you need to deliver some difficult feedback or need coaching advice, Medical Solutions can help with our Clinical Team of nurse managers who have extensive experience they can share.


Get Them Paid Correctly

During orientation, pay special attention to your timekeeping and pay systems for traveling clinicians. Make certain they know how everything works, and that expectations are clear. The last thing any clinician wants is to feel insecure about getting paid, and the last thing a manager wants is discrepancy about the time worked.

Medical Solutions has systems that make the payment process smooth and efficient for travelers and our clients. Our online timesheet system is easy to use and update, and integrates with the Medical Solutions App.


Start Extension and Retention Efforts Early

Medical Solutions has an industry leading 97% retention rate. We know the best traveling clinicians fit and stick. Traveling clinicians remain in great demand and will for the foreseeable future. They have options on where they can go. By being deliberate and thoughtful with inclusion efforts, hospitals can give themselves a better chance to extend that traveler.

A 13-week assignment will pass more quickly than you might realize. If you know a traveler fits, then mentioning or starting the conversation about an extending their time with a unit earlier is a wise idea.

These are some of the ways you can make a traveling clinician feel more welcome at your facility, ensuring a successful partnership for everyone. If you are ready to learn more about how we help you with an entire ecosystem of healthcare workforce solutions, please reach out to start a conversation with our experts.

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