Every year healthcare workers navigate carefully around flu season, caring for sick patients and looking out for themselves. While flu season 2020 is no different in that, it has been overshadowed by the onset of COVID-19 in the United States. This virus is vicious, and it is bringing a whole new level of concern for populations. It is especially concerning for the healthcare workers who must treat them.
First and foremost, we want to say thank you and take a moment to recognize all of the risk and effort you nurses are putting forth during this time.
For travel nurses, you’re experiencing a unique challenge right now as you watch the news, see various states handling protocols differently, and take new precautions at your work. We know you have a lot of questions and concerns. We also recognize that many of you are swallowing your panic to focus on the betterment of everyone else. Here we’ll try to answer the five most-asked questions about travel nursing and COVID-19.
Five Most-Asked Questions by Travel Nurses During the COVID-19 Pandemic
1. Will hospitals start cancelling contracts?
Right now, hospitals really need all hands-on deck, so it is unlikely that your contract would get cancelled. However, many medical facilities are cancelling unnecessary medical procedures. This means, depending on your specialty, there is a chance that you won’t be needed in that specific unit for the time being.
2. What do I do if I get COVID-19 while on assignment?
If you get COVID-19 while on assignment, you should absolutely follow proper protocol per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We understand that this can be challenging depending on timing and your temporary housing situation. Immediately contact the travel agency or recruiter you are working with and see what they instruct you to do. Most agencies are actively developing game plans to help their travel nurses through this high-risk time.
3. How do I protect myself during travel nursing and COVID-19?
You should follow all instructions per the CDC on how to protect yourself while on assignment, especially if you are working in a crisis area. We know that resources for nurses to take proper precautions are scarce, so do you what you can to get access to proper gear. Again, it may be a good idea to reach out to your agency or recruiter to see if they have any resources available for you.
4. Will I need additional paperwork to travel?
If you are traveling to or from a crisis area (which is now a pretty large part of the country) you may need to get tested for COVID-19 before you are able to start working. It is very important that you do not travel if you have any type of cold-like symptoms. As it’s allergy season, this can be tricky to navigate, but pay attention to your body and if you are unsure, stay home.
5. Will this affect my travel rates?
We are seeing travel rates spike right now in places that are considered crisis response areas. Rates in these areas are nearly double because of the risk nurses are taking in going there. However, if you have the heart to help, this is the time to go while the money is good.
If you want to travel and help with the COVID-19 response, apply today and connect with an agency to get started!
Is there a question we haven’t answered or that you can’t find the answer to? Ask us in the comments below and we’ll reach out to our network of agencies to see if we can get an answer for you!
Stay safe and be sure to use this government-provided resource available to you!