12-hour shifts are often the ideal schedule for health care professionals but working those long hours can take a toll on our health and well-being. With COVID Crisis assignments being upwards of 48-72 hours, here are some pro-tips for staying healthy at work and in everyday life.
Meal prepping is a great way to make healthy choices for your work week. My hospital has a cafeteria and on night shift they are open until 1am but they don’t have the healthiest options. A lot of night shift workers like to snack and gorge out on the fried foods from the cafeteria. I buy groceries and meal prep the day before my stretch so that everything is ready to go! Preparing and dividing up your food into three days so that it is easy to grab and go relieves you of the stress of preparing meals daily. If you don’t already have a healthy grocery list, don’t be afraid to look up recipes. Pinterest, Instagram, food magazines and a general internet search will give you several healthy recipe options. Don’t forget to shop around the perimeter of a grocery store (fruits, veggies, meat etc.) and stay away from the inner snack aisles (food with a lot of preservatives and sugar). Also, to stay satiated at..........
With another COVID surge happening, the crisis contracts for traveling healthcare workers are popping up in all of the hot-spots again. However, crisis contracts do not necessarily pertain specifically to COVID, although they have become much more prominent since the beginning of the pandemic. Crisis contracts can come up anytime when a certain area has a sudden pertinent and large need for more help from healthcare workers. This can occur from natural disasters, hospital systems going on strike, and just a sudden mass exodus from healthcare workers at a given hospital or healthcare system causing a sudden demand of travelers to come fill the staffing needs. Either way, if you are thinking of picking up a crisis contracts, here are some things to look for and consider:
One of the biggest things that sets travel therapists apart from travel nurses is that, while nurses require at least 1-2 years of experience prior to traveling, therapists can start right out of school as new grads! As travel therapists, you can have freedom and flexibility right out of school to explore the country, try out different settings (inpatient, acute, outpatient, pediatrics, SNF, home health), earn more money, have the option to pay off student loans quicker, etc. But there’s also varying opinions about starting out this way, with many professors and other practicing therapists cautioning against it - things said like: “You won’t have enough experience yet,” or “You won’t get any mentorship”. So, which path should you take?
To extend, or not to extend?! You've found your dream assignment and have decided that you want to extend, but don't know where to start. When should you ask for an extension? Should you ask for more money? Is there an opportunity for you to extend? Extending your contract can feel like a daunting process, but it doesn't have to be. Here are five key steps in preparing for an extension on your current or future assignments: