So, it’s the holidays, and you’re miles from home on a travel assignment. You scan the TV listings and swear you won’t be watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or “Home Alone” for the 13th time. Pondering your fate, you text a friend. But she’s at a holiday party and will get back to you.
Part of the job as a travel healthcare professional?
Well, sort of. But it doesn’t have to be that way this time of year.
There are many options for travelers during the holidays – if you plan for them. Sure, you can decide to not work at all until January arrives, but the holidays are actually a great time to take a travel assignment. Because there’s often an increased need for travel healthcare professionals during the holiday season and pay rates can be higher. Nothing wrong with that, right?
So here are some suggestions to help bring joy to your holiday season:
Ask for Days Off in Your Contract
Before you sign a contract that takes you through December, think about any days off you’ll need, and get them written into your contract. You can also include the requested time off in your resume package when you’ve applied to a job. A health facility can then decide if they want to interview/hire you, considering your time off requests. There is no way to know for sure if it will impact your ability to get a contract or not, so be realistic when requesting days off.
Remember: Holiday Work Means Holiday Pay
While this is not a universal truth in the healthcare industry, working during the holidays in most cases means extra money in your pocket. Hospitals, clinics and other health providers can’t just shut down over the holidays – especially during a pandemic. Therefore a lot of assignments are willing to compensate you additionally for your time, including crisis pay for those willing to go where COVID-19 is hitting hard and where healthcare professionals are scarce. So be prepared to negotiate your rate upward if you’re looking for a holiday assignment.
Consider a Holiday Travel Assignment Near Home
Taking time off around the holidays isn’t always feasible. So if that turns out to be the case, but you don’t want to be alone, try to find an assignment near family or friends. This can enable you to spend time with people you know on your days off from work. It’s one of the ways being a traveler close to home can benefit you and keep everyone happy.
Sometimes it’s impossible to take more than one day off during the holidays – which doesn’t leave time to be with family or friends. In this case, celebrate the holidays at a different time of the year. Perhaps in early December or mid-January, when it should be easier to get the time off you want.
Let Technology be your Friend
The social distancing orders due to COVID-19 have led to a remarkable burst in video communications. Today there are many ways to keep in touch with family and friends. With Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, or other online tools, you can schedule weekly check-ins, a weekend cocktail party, or just a quick nightly hello. It’s never been easier to stay in close contact with your closest loved ones – even if you can’t physically be together.
At Focus Staff, we understand the ins and outs of traveling healthcare professionals and have access to a wide variety of excellent professional opportunities. To learn more, contact us today.