What’s in the Bag? 5 Things Need to Take on a Travel Healthcare Assignment


As a travel professional heading out on a hospital assignment, it’s important to pack wisely. Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, it’s easy to forget to pack something you wish you had once you open your suitcase.

The key to the successful packer is to keep it simple and make sure you have the essentials covered. You’ll have limited space whether you’re flying or driving to your assigned hospital, clinic, or healthcare facility, so you don’t want to overpack. But it’s important for travelers to start with everything necessary for the next few weeks. Because chances are once you begin working, you’re going to be too busy treating patients attending to medical issues to go shopping right away for that missing hairdryer or cellphone charger.

So, to help you avoid packing snafus that can get you off on the wrong foot at your next assignment, here are five essentials you’ll want to remember to include as a travel nurse:

1. Important Documents

The most common document people think of is their drivers licensed. This is clearly something to remember to bring, but remember to have copies of your license (if applicable), and all professional certifications printed or accessible in digital form. You may or may not need all of them, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Electronics and Charging Devices

Laptop has 14% of its charge left. No problem. Left your charger on the kitchen table? That’s a problem.

It’s actually pretty easy to forget to bring chargers for your laptop, tablet, or phone. Whether for entertainment or work, these items have become a necessity on any travel assignment. And the last thing you want is to be driving to your next hospital contract, and your phone dies because you don’t have your charger. As a traveling healthcare professional, a good rule of thumb is to have two chargers for your devices and keep the extras in your suitcase. That way, you don’t have to think about packing them.

3. Comfortable Shoes

It seems like a no-brainer, but as a healthcare worker, chances are you’re always on your feet, which makes having comfortable shoes a must. So, take a quick spot and feel the test of your shoes before you pack them to make sure they’re not getting worn out. Developing foot pain is fairly common for nurses and other workers – and can be quite debilitating – if shoes are not providing the right level of support.

4. Your Prescription Meds

Not only do you want to make sure you bring any prescribed medicine, but you want to make sure they’re filled to get you through your assignment. Be sure to also bring any non-prescription items such as aspirin, first aid crème, sleep aids, etc.

5. Bedding

Every housing assignment is different and having bedding with you can alleviate any unforeseen issues. For example, you could go from corporate housing to your own apartment, to staying with a friend or family member. That’s why it’s good to pack some bedding such as linens, a blanket, and pillow to make sure you can comfortably wind down after your long day.

At Focus Staff, we understand what it takes to have a successful travel healthcare career.  With access to a wide variety of top-notch nursing and clinical opportunities, we can help find a great fit for you. For more information, contact us today.

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