We’ve heard a lot about the people on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic—medical professionals, grocery store clerks, and many others who are keeping our essential services going while we fight the virus. We owe a lot to the people who are risking their lives to deliver medical care, groceries, and other necessities.
What many people don’t realize, however, is that some nurses are helping multiple communities in need during this time. Travel nurses are doing incredibly important work for patients all over the country. But what is it like being a travel nurse during COVID-19?
Travel Nurses Are Pausing Their Lives to Help
Some nurses make a career out of travel nursing, while others are stepping in to help communities in need during the pandemic. Wherever they go, travel nurses are pausing their lives to help hospitals struggling with staffing shortages. In hospitals where travel nurses work, the nursing staff is typically overworked and stressed out. Travel nurses can take some of the workload off the permanent staff and help care for patients.
Most travel nursing assignments last only a few months. Travel nurses have to be adaptable and willing to put aside their stability to help out where they’re most needed. It can be a great career path for nurses who want to travel around the country, but it can also be a very challenging lifestyle.
During COVID-19, Nurse Burnout is Increasing
Nursing is an emotionally difficult job. While most nurses get into their careers because they are compassionate and caring people, taking care of patients who do not recover takes its toll. Nurses work long hours, are sometimes put in dangerous situations, and often receive very little gratitude for the difficult work they do.
Burnout is common among nurses for all of these reasons. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing even higher rates of nurse burnout, due to the fact that nurses are facing the reality of the virus on a daily basis. They are forced to deal with sadness, stress, and ethical dilemmas in caring for patients.
During the pandemic, nurses are working with patients who may not survive or may face lifelong disabilities due to the virus, yet see many people in the country not taking COVID-19 seriously. Not only that, but they are constantly being exposed to the virus, all while knowing just how dangerous it really is.
Fighting the virus has turned into a marathon, and traveling nurses are traveling to communities experiencing virus spikes. It’s not easy to work in these kinds of conditions, especially without access to proper PPE, for months on end. Many nurses are fighting off burnout as they battle the virus with no end in sight.
Importance of Nurse Self-Care During COVID: Tools and Resources
Because burnout is a real danger for all nurses, it’s important for medical professionals to anticipate mental fatigue and stress, and to develop coping methods for managing their mental health. This is especially true during COVID-19, which has exponentially increased stress for nurses.
The good news is that there are lots of resources available for activities that can reduce burnout. There are also places where nurses can connect virtually and support each other during this difficult time. Nurses should also feel empowered to seek mental health services if they are becoming anxious and stressed out due to their job. It’s perfectly normal to experience burnout as a nurse, but it doesn’t have to take over!
Interested in Helping Others During Global Pandemics? Consider Medical Mission Trips
In our global world, pandemics are a real threat. Traveling nurses play a huge role in helping people who have been affected by these diseases, and can really make a difference in the communities they serve. If you’re interested in helping others through public health crises, then you might want to consider becoming a nurse and joining medical mission trips.
Medical mission trips help people worldwide on a constant basis. If COVID-19 has spiked your interest in becoming a nurse, then think about embarking on a career as a traveling nurse, whether in your own country or abroad. We need more compassionate people who are ready and willing to help when we’re facing a crisis!
Guest Author Bio
With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.