Many people struggle unsuccessfully to get to the doctor’s office. Consequently, many nurses fill this service gap by making house, office, and group-home calls. In fact, as more people now have health insurance, this increasingly popular medical practice is a perfect opportunity for anyone wanting to serve the community as a travel nurse or land one of the many lucrative travel nurse jobs.
That said, being a travel nurse and really being successful at the job are two different things. To be the best nurse and to make the most money, you need to remember three things: connectivity, licensing, and flexibility.
Being socially connected to a variety of health forums and care-related communities with people in your area of expertise allows you to build a network of friends and potential patients to whom you can offer advice about how to better care for themselves.
As a nurse, you can advise people on a variety of topics.
– when to see a doctor
– provide information on treatment or recovery plans
– advise people regarding how to take care of infections, wounds, or ailments
– offer online assessments via teleconferencing
– confer with primary physicians about patient treatments
As you build up a network of trusted friends, many will then take the opportunity to schedule a visit from you.
2. State Licensing
As a travel nurse, you can only earn income within states you are licensed in. As such, it is in your best interest to obtain licensing in the states you can feasibly travel to. Once you balance the distance you can drive with the number of patients you can handle, you will be able to reach the best income level for your travel abilities. If you are restricted to one state, reaching your desired income level might not be possible.
3. Prepare To Travel
Of course, travel is at the essence of having a travel nurse job. However, travel, itself, can be a chore. If you are efficient and always have clothes packed and a care bag ready for your car, you can reduce the hassle of preparing to leave. Doing so will keep up your morale when it is time to set out on the trail as you help more patients.
It might or might not be obvious, but your schedule will not be a regular work schedule. In fact, it will not even be a regular work-plus-overtime schedule. For you to help the most people and earn the highest income levels, you need to be able to attend to new and existing patients according to their schedules. Of course, you can plan your schedule around existing patients, but new patients and patients with emergencies will necessarily require you to disrupt your day or night and provide the care your patients need. Such flexibility is difficult, and only the most flexible travel nurses will be able to reach the upper income levels that are possible with this particular job.
Of course, being flexible also means availing your services to people on the holidays. During the winter, this might be tough, but you can keep a holiday travel book that includes all the patients who might need care and when. By maintaining awareness of when you will likely need to travel, you can schedule your days accordingly, maintaining a balance between income and your personal life.
5. Job Basics
Entry-level jobs focus on the basics of being prompt, competent, and professional. These basics are also incredibly important when it comes to being a professional travel nurse because only if you are prompt or courteous can you continue to provide help in a way that generates more soft leads or hard referrals.
In terms of job basics, you should ensure to always adhere to the following levels of care.
– arrive 10 minutes early
– always have a full tank of gas
– prepare paperwork in advance
– always have backup supplies or equipment in your vehicle
– always know the schedules for attending physicians at nearby hospitals
– see things from the patient’s point of view
These types of basics might seem second nature to some people or so basic as to make mentioning them pointless. However, if you ensure to always build basic job performance into your routine, your level of care will outclass other travel nurses, a difference that will be apparent to patients.
6. Ask For Reviews
When a business has provided a service, many business owners offer their customers or clients a survey along with a request to fill it out and send it in. Other businesses ask satisfied customers to refer a friend. Others ask customers to post a favorable review online if the services have been excellent.
This practice of requesting feedback, referrals, or reviews can help build your reputation and spread the word about how well you do your job. Moreover, it reminds customers to take time out of their busy or hectic days and provide feedback, which increases your chance at building a higher base of patients.
When asking for reviews, you can send review forms in the following ways.
– via text, with the patient’s opt-in approval
– via e-mail, with a link to Google reviews
Finally, letting patients know that their positive reviews can really help you allows your patients to feel good about doing something for you. Empowering them and making them understand their importance helps solidify your career as a travel nurse.
7. Rural Locations
If you think of your job as a business, you will understand that many potential patients cannot receive adequate care if they live in distant locations. Services, for instance, might not be available. Additionally, just travelling to a doctor’s office might be impossible. Knowing that many struggles come with living in a rural location, you can build a loyal base of patients by letting them know you can reach then on time and according to their schedule.
Because health care is such an essential need, if you couple your ability to serve people in rural locations with being professional and competent, people who experience the newfound and welcome peace of mind that comes with receiving competent health care will share their positive experiences with other people.
Additionally, if you also ask people in rural locations for referrals, you can then build a base of patients within a specific geographic radius, allowing you to maximize your earning potential. Finally, by developing specific rural locations, you can then establish a weekly or monthly schedule within that community. When people learn you will be in their town on a specific day, word will gradually spread, allowing new customers to come to you.
Being able to earn top revenue levels only happens if you can serve people in a way that meets their financial or administrative requirements. With this in mind, you should seek to become credentialed with different insurance companies. Doing so will allow you to help a wide variety of people. If you only accept cash or a couple of insurance plans, many people requiring healthcare might not be able to benefit from your services even if you implement all the best practices that come with being a travel nurse.
9. Target Demand
Targeting demand involves being able to provide the services that offer the most lucrative payments. These services involve specialized care that other travel nurses cannot provide. For instance, if you can provide care to cardiac patients, you can build a specialized patient base and charge insurance companies appropriately. Other specialized areas include maternity care or emergency services. If you can oversee basic emergency services, you can offer the broadest level of service for the most people without having to acquire an extra level of certification. All you have to do is be available to help people when things become urgent.