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4 Ways to Know Whether a Travel Psych Nurse Job is For You

Career News October 24, 2013

One of the advantages of nursing is the ability to vie for such opportunities as travel psych nurse jobs. As a general rule, RNs can go into dozens of different fields, especially after obtaining several years of experience in a clinical setting.

Among those promising fields are travel psych nurse jobs. Psychiatric nurses may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and mental health facilities; they cater to such patients as the elderly (often suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.), victims of trauma (e.g., rape, child abuse, assault, etc.), and other patients suffering from mentally debilitating conditions/ injuries.

Beyond civilian practice, psych nurses may also consider military service. Devoting as little as one weekend a month, nurses in the army reserve, for example, can reap many benefits, including bonuses for joining, opportunities for travel outside the country, and student loan repayment assistance.

Then again, military service is not for everyone. The good news, though, is that many of the benefits offered by the military offer to private companies that help nurses who want to:

a) Travel
b) Vie for interesting, new assignments on an on-going basis, and
c) Concentrate on mental health/psychiatric nursing.

If considering travel psych nurse jobs, meditate on these:

Are Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing The Right “Fit?”

Naturally, not everyone is cut out to work in mental health. Whereas the burn-out rate in nursing is high, it is even higher for specialty nursing such as critical rare and psychiatric nursing. This might be because progress may not be as easily seen (as in other areas), the fact that healing/a cure is often not available, and the fact that, if one is not careful, one can be drawn into painful empathic modes.

Going for travel psych nurse jobs require the ability to remain objective, clinically detached (and this does not necessarily mean one does not care), professionally focused (solely on welfare or what is best for the patient), and committed to providing the services needed. These traits allow nurses to help people overcome their illness or, at the very least, make the most of their situation.

A travel psych nurse job is not for people that become too easily attached to people or to patients, who are too easily drawn into their patient’s realms of discomfort or pain, or who have not had sufficient and appropriate training and experience in this specialized field.

In that regard, travel psych nurse jobs are best suited for people who are prepared for the difficult demands. Unfortunately, the best way to know if there is a fit here is by trying it out for size—at least for a while.

Is One Able to Deal with Constantly Changing, Unique Assignments?

Each assignment will bring its own challenges and demands. This means constantly reviewing and getting newly acquainted with ever-changing patient histories.

In a hospital setting, one may see a patient often enough and for long enough to learn their history by heart; a travel psych nurse, on the other hand, may not have that luxury, depending on the length of the assignments.

Does One Have or Is One Willing to Get the Additional Qualifications Needed?

There may be additional certifications or licenses to get in becoming a psych nurse; also, since one may be traveling to different states, one may have to meet the requirements of each state in question.

In other words, there may be lots of additional paperwork to fill out, tests and course to take, and certifications to earn. One should find out what these are and whether one is willing to meet the criteria when deciding to become a travel psych nurse.

Has One Thoroughly Considered Safety Issues?

Unfortunately, patients with psychiatric issues can sometimes pose a threat to healthcare providers. Every mental healthcare worker needs to keep this in mind. This is where training and preparation come to play.

Traveling from place to place can also be dangerous. This threat, though, can also be managed by following safety protocols and by abiding by rules/regulations given by supervisors and nursing-assignment-finding organizations.

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