Stand Out

5 Ways to Stand Out as a Traveler

It may sound cliché but I’ll say it anyway—it’s a small world.  This especially rings true in the world of travel healthcare. Everyone is connected in some way.  That’s why your reputation—with both agencies and facilities—matters so much.

Travelers who do a job well have enhanced job security because of assignment extension offers, requests to come back to facilities to help fill future traveler needs, and offers to come on board as a full time staff member can even happen. Essentially you’re setting yourself up to stay consistently busy with work!

So, what are you doing to go above and beyond during your assignment to stand out? Here are a few simple ways to stay on top of your game as a traveler.

  1. Don’t be late for your shifts.

This concept may seem obvious, but it’s crucial enough that I didn’t want to leave it out.  Managers and coworkers don’t take punctuality for granted.  They’ll take notice when you’re on time and show up prepared to work. A big aspect of standing out isn’t always about big grand accomplishments, but simply about doing the little things—like showing up on time.

  1. Be extra friendly towards your new coworkers and adapt to the ways of the facility.

Your experience as a traveler will be much more pleasant if you make friends with your new coworkers. You can do this is by being personable and nice towards everybody, coming in with an open mind, and accepting a new way to do things. If you walk into a new facility and try to immediately show them your way, there’s a good chance you won’t be well received.  I love the quote by Dalai Lama that says, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” This might be good to keep in mind for those times on assignment when you’re feeling frustrated.   Remember the reason you are there is to help out a facility that’s short staffed.  Don’t get wrapped up in the politics of the facility. That should be an added bonus of working as a traveler!

  1. Offer to pick up extra shifts.

This goes well with the point that I made above.  Remember why you’ve been placed at a facility. If you can see they are extremely short staffed and you’re able to offer to pick up shifts, please do so!  I can assure you that it goes a long way!  I’m not suggesting you work so many extra hours that you begin to feel abused as a traveler.  But, it’s a very thoughtful gesture to pick up an extra shift here or there if you don’t have anything else going on.

  1. Ask questions.

Asking questions helps to show you’re interested, engaged, and want to learn. It’s never a good idea to assume something.   So, when in doubt, ask your coworkers and/or mangers about how things operate to get feedback about their preferences.

  1. Be flexible.

This is a character trait I’ve noticed in the most successful travelers I’ve had the pleasure of working with during my time as a recruiter. There are so many shifting variables when working as a traveler that, without some level of flexibility, you won’t be able to have the best experience.

I want to hear from you about your experiences! What are some ways you’ve gone above and beyond as a traveler to stand out?

Katie Lutmer is a Recruiter for the Aureus Medical Social Media Recruitment Team.


  1. I have found as a traveler it is a great place to let them know you are willing to help other staff out while on shift. For example make a pot of coffee for the oncoming shift. It will show them that you value your coworkers and also help to clean up extra on their unit. I always started every shift sanitizing each work area to help protect others from germs that are so common place in the hospital setting. And always greet staff with a warm welcome and be kind to your patients.

  2. I would love to pick up extra shifts but facilities like the one I am at presently say it is too costly to allow! Any comments? They are critically short on weekends and will not even let me do that for extra shift diff

  3. I frequently notice the written policies and procedures are outdated and/or are not the way they currently do things. I offer to help update them and have been much appreciated. It also gives me something to work on during quiet times. Think about what you can offer that goes above and beyond what is expected of you.

  4. I try to participate in pot lucks and holiday events. Staff loves when you get involved. Get dressed up for Halloween! We had a gingerbread house decorating get together and it was a blast. I ask the locals where they go to see sunsets, where to shop, get car fixed,etc. They generally like to help out.

  5. At one location I worked I was the “Gum Nurse”. At the beginning and ending of my shift, I went to all staff in my ICU and offered a piece of refreshment and a smile, high five! that one shift was almost over and the next was about to begin! Seldom was the chewing gum declined! In the beginning, the staff couldn’t remember my name, but quickly they associated me with gum!! At another, mini candy bars were what I tossed around and on my last shift I left my crew a Candy Bar Bouquet so they would remember me!
    Where I am now, I always approach the travelers and inquire about their accommodations…I have a couple of extra bedrooms that I can share…I am on my 5th and 6th individual “guests” and the regular staff even knows to refer people to me if they meet a nurse that is traveling!
    I offer to come in early, stay late, take an admission if someone else has a busy assignment…and I rarely don’t get help back in return!

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