Why it’s Important to Take Vacations as Travel Nurses

First things first– are travel nurses eligible for vacation benefits?

Absolutely! In most cases, Aureus Medical travel employees are eligible for 40 hours of paid vacation after having worked 2,080 hours. Your contract will house more specifics.

Those who wouldn’t know any better would say that a travel nurse is always on vacation. And while you do get to experience new places and try new things, they don’t understand all of the (quite literal) blood, sweat, and tears that go into it. That’s why it’s important to intentionally schedule self-care for yourself so you don’t burn out early in your career. Kind of like dealing with chronic illnesses, it’s best to tackle things from the get-go before the first signs or symptoms show. 

Taking vacations as a travel nurse is vital to your mental, physical, and emotional state, and here’s why. 

Mentally

Burnout can seriously affect cognitive function, impacting your attention and focus on important tasks, your problem-solving and responses to challenges, and your daily attitude towards work and those around you. Short periods of recuperation are so critical for maintaining personal well-being, mental clarity and focus, and empathy towards patients and families. The rest and replenishment of taking a small vacation or doing something you love on a day off produce natural, positive emotions that do wonders for the mind and body.

Vacation tip: Take the stress out of vacation planning altogether with vacation packages or all-inclusive tips. Your time away is meant to be fun and relaxing, something you can’t accomplish worrying about itineraries and logistics.

Physically

Heavy workloads don’t just foster stress and feelings of burnout but can take a toll on your body as well. Long shifts on your feet, frequent adjustments to sleep patterns, and physical demands that come with caring for a full load of patients are a lot for your body to handle. When it comes down to it, making time for vacations allows you to physically recover from the demands of nursing, and leads to longer, healthier lives.

Vacation tip: Focus on your physical health at a relaxing spa getaway. You can unload, unwind, and unplug in-between contracts as you travel across the U.S.

Emotionally

Although incredibly rewarding, those outside the healthcare profession can never really understand how emotionally taxing it can be as a nurse to handle the emotions that come with emergent situations, death, grief, and the pressure to be at the top of your game each day. And whatever your shift rotations, your days off don’t usually end up being actual days off. Catching up on sleep, errands, meals, children, family, and daily life make it so much more difficult (and guilt-inducing) to fit in a much-deserved vacation or regular self-care. 

Vacation tip: If responsibilities, financial restrictions, or self-guilt prevent you from time away, redefine what a vacation is to you! There are so many types of staycations you can create for yourself right where you’re at.  

So Schedule That Time Off!

It isn’t easy but taking time off work really does help you recuperate mentally to help prevent burnout, physically reset your body, and emotionally process stress. When you put yourself first, you are able to be the best nurse, friend, parent, or partner possible. And the better you care for yourself, the better you’ll be able to care for others.

Take advantage of your new surroundings on each new travel assignment or visit Aureus Medical to see what travel opportunities are out there waiting for you!

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