How to Handle Floating as a Travel Nurse

By Ty Ottoson, Social Media Recruiter, Aureus Medical

Starting your travel nursing career is an exciting time. But while you may imagine that you’re only going to work on the floor you’re assigned to, you should be prepared for the possibility that you may be asked to float while you’re on a travel nursing assignment.

Not to fear, though! Aureus is your partner on this journey, so we’ve assembled some tips for how to handle floating as a travel nurse while on assignment at a new facility.

Ask about floating in your interview
  • Ask detailed questions in your interview about the float situation at the facility before accepting an assignment there. For example, inquire about which floor(s) you may be asked to float to and/or the frequency at which you may be asked to float as a traveler there.
  • Make sure to include any pertinent details or info about floating in your contract so there’s no confusion later when you’re on your assignment.
  • If you’re not familiar with a floor you may be asked to float to, speak up.
What to do if you’re floated to a new unit
  • Ask for an orientation of the floor before you’re assigned there, so you can get the lay of the land and get to know where everything’s located.
  • In case you have any questions while you’re floating, find out ahead of time who your go-to person is on each floor you’re asked to float to.
  • When getting report, listen closely and make sure you fully understand what’s going on with each patient. Do not be afraid to speak to the charge nurse to ask if you can switch a patient to a colleague who may be more familiar with the patient’s need and the floor in general, if you think it’s necessary.
What to do if you’re concerned about patient safety while floating
  • If you ever have a safety concern while floating, be sure to speak up ASAP. This can be crucial to maintaining proper patient care, as well as protecting your license.
  • Have a professional conversation with the charge nurse or supervisor. Discuss your concerns and explain specifically why you feel uncomfortable.
  • Call your Aureus Medical recruiter or account manager. We’re always here to help advise and support you! Plus, our team of experts includes an in-house Clinical Team.

Bottom line: Before you accept an assignment, make sure you cover all your bases during the interview, so you know what to expect during the assignment. Once you’re on assignment, please feel free to reach out to me, your recruiter/account manager, or another member of the Aureus Medical team if you have any questions or concerns about how to handle floating as a travel nurse!

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