Entering into a new social environment as a travel nurse means meeting a wide range of personality types and engaging in new procedural requirements. While it’d be great if we could get along with all of our coworkers all the time, conflicts are bound to arise. Unfortunately, butting heads with fellow nurses or with supervisors can not only make an assignment miserable but, in certain circumstances, can lead to a termination of the assignment. While the benefits of becoming a travel nurse are many and multifaceted, it does come with a few tradeoffs. One of those sacrifices is entering into an established social environment. Some conflicts may be inevitable. However conflict, if handled properly, can make for an easier (or healthier) work environment.
On your next assignment, try some of these tips and make the most of your time at a new facility while also maintaining your relationships:
Avoid criticizing other nurses at the hospital
Stepping into a new hospital environment means walking into already established relationships that may have been built over years (and multiple overnight shifts). Many things may bother you about another nurse (including their attitude toward a patient) and it’s tempting to complain to your fellow nurses who you’d expect to understand. But, if you want to avoid a potential minefield noted Bustle, stop yourself from badmouthing another nurse. Instead, call a colleague back home who understands the stressors of working in a hospital environment and who can empathize with your situation.
Stay away from heated discussions about politics
The 2016 election season was turbulent, at best. Discussing politics in the workplace can quickly lead to the same inflamed passions – except now you have to work together. While it feels like these topics are impossible to avoid, the Muse noted that you should avoid standing on your soapbox and delivering a speech for the ages on hot-button topics while at your job. It’s not the appropriate time or place and frankly, you won’t be able to change anyone’s political beliefs by creating an adversarial environment.
Use social media wisely
We all know the feeling, you’ve hit it off with a fellow nurse and they suggest “Find me on Facebook!” While building your social circle is important, refrain from controversial or sarcastic comments when interacting on new co-workers’ statuses or photos on social media: Without tone and facial expressions, lighthearted conversations can quickly escalate and innocent comments can be misunderstood.
Engage in conflict resolution strategies
Take a breath
Before reacting, take a step back and ask: Will this make your working life easier by addressing this issue right now? Is this an example of different communication styles?
If it’s related to resourcing, you’ll want to make a call to your recruiter to discuss it. He or she may have previous experience with your concern – or with the hospital – and will either guide you or refer your concerns on to the appropriate people.
Come to the table with solutions
It sometimes feels cathartic to vent at a colleague who you disagree with – but that rarely leads to positive results. Instead of using “you” language – which focuses on blaming the other person – try to articulate how they can help you moving forward, suggested The Washington Post.
Becoming a travel nurse is full of opportunities to challenge yourself and grow. Make the most of your time with these tips on conflict management.