Accountable Healthcare - Top Items Every Nurse Should Bring on a Travel Assignment
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October 26, 2023

Top Items Every Nurse Should Bring on a Travel Assignment

Travel nursing offers healthcare professionals the unique opportunity to explore new locations, experience diverse medical settings, and meet incredible people. However, packing for an extended assignment away from home can be daunting. While each nurse might have personal preferences, here are the top essential items every travel nurse should consider:

  1. License and Certifications: Ensure you carry original and photocopies. Each state and facility might have different requirements, so always stay updated.
  2. Medical Scrubs and Comfortable Footwear: While some facilities may provide scrubs, it's a good idea to have a few sets of your own. Similarly, investing in comfortable, non-slip shoes is crucial.
  3. Stethoscope and Medical Tools: A personal stethoscope can be more comfortable and familiar. Also, consider packing medical scissors, penlights, and other basic tools.
  4. Personal Medical Kit: This should include basic over-the-counter medications, band-aids, antiseptics, and other first-aid essentials.
  5. Professional Backpack or Tote: Having a dedicated bag for your nursing essentials will help you stay organized on the go.
  6. Portable Phone Charger: Long shifts can drain your battery. Stay connected with a portable charger.
  7. Laptop and Necessary Electronics: Useful for charting, research, and relaxation during downtime.
  8. Personal Identification and Important Documents: Passport, driver’s license, social security card, and other identification materials. Also, keep digital copies stored securely.
  9. Compact Snack Kit: Stock up on healthy snacks like nuts, protein bars, and dried fruits. These can be lifesavers during long shifts.
  10. Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial. A bottle with a built-in filter can also be handy.
  11. Accommodation Essentials: If your housing doesn’t provide certain amenities, you might need bed linens, towels, and basic kitchenware.
  12. Comfort Items: These can include favorite books, photos, a cozy blanket, or anything that makes you feel at home.
  13. Local Map and Guidebook: Get familiar with your new surroundings. Exploring can be a great way to unwind.
  14. Personal Toiletries and Hygiene Products: While these can be bought locally, it might be comforting to have your preferred brands on arrival.
  15. A Planner or Digital Calendar: Keep track of your shifts, training sessions, and days off.
  16. Emergency Contact List: Always have a list of important numbers – personal, professional, and local emergency contacts.
  17. Feedback Journal: Reflecting on your experiences can be therapeutic. Document challenges, successes, and everything in between.
  18. Weather-appropriate Clothing: Research the climate of your destination and pack accordingly.
  19. Fitness Gear: Consider resistance bands or a yoga mat if you’re tight on space but want to maintain a fitness routine.
  20. Entertainment: eBooks, podcasts, movies, or a streaming service subscription can be great for relaxation.

While this list covers the essentials, personalizing your travel kit is vital. Over time, as you embark on more assignments, you'll fine-tune your packing list to perfectly match your needs. Safe travels and happy nursing!