As a traveling healthcare provider, you are going to do a lot of moving, so researching the assignment location is a must. Doing this research helps you to prepare for the new location, your travel assignment, and know what you should expect. This may also help you adjust to your new environment. Here are some useful tips when doing your research for your new assignment location.
Inform yourself about the climate
Although this sounds like common sense the climate has a huge impact on you. Climate could affect your mood, health, and daily activities and limit what activities you can do outside of work. If you are moving to a colder climate you may need to prepare yourself for shoveling snow or having to wake up a little earlier to clean and warm up your car. Knowing the climate will help you prepare to take the needed steps to prevent difficulties. This will also let you know what you need to pack, so you don’t have to buy additional clothes when you move.
Talk to your recruiter
Even if your recruiter isn’t from that area themselves, they may have helped other travelers prepare, or gained tips from past travelers. They are a great source of information for any questions you might have. Our recruiters will also help you with any issues you may have with adjusting, transportation, housing, and anything else you might need.
Get to know the culture
Getting to know the culture of the place where you will be living, and working is very important! Knowing the common habits, what is different, what is considered unacceptable behavior, and what are some of the requested terms of behavior are all great things to know. For example, there are many places around the country where honking your horn is a common occurrence that means nothing personally, but in other places, if you honk your horn without good reason some people may take offense to it. You would be surprised that you must leave the country to meet new cultures.
Get familiar with important institutions
After you get your housing info, do a quick Google search for important institutions near you. It’s good to know where the nearest hospital (even if it’s the one you will be working at) is, a police station, gym, grocery store, gas station, etc. It’s better to know those things so you can act fast in case of a possible crisis.
Do you need to drive?
This is one thing you should know before you get to your assignment location. You can check if organized transportation works for you or if you need to drive to work. Will it be easier for you to use public transportation like buses and trains, or Uber and other cheaper rideshare options? If you’d like to rent a car, check if there’s an option in that location as well. If you would like more information about if you need a car read our article “Driving or Flying to a travel nursing assignment?” to get more tips!
Get familiar with the basic prices for common items and where the best place to shop. You’ll want to know some smaller shops, family businesses, and other places that might not show up easily on Google but sell quality goods at lower prices. If you’re going to be using a car it might also be handy to know the average gas prices in your area!
How will you spend your free time?
Plan your free time so you can make the most out of each location. Research heritage places, museums, galleries, fun activities, nature parks, etc. Anything that you have an interest in makes sure to look up your new location. You can even plan what you will visit when you have free time!
Where to research?
Like we said before Google and the internet will be your friend in places where you don’t know anyone. But some small towns and cities may not have everything that you’ll need on the internet. In cases like this ask your recruiter or even the local population. The goal should be to get the most information possible so you can get a nice picture of your new area.
Safety of the neighborhood
There are a lot of tools you can find online to check the crime rates and help you get a picture of your new neighborhood. Keep in mind that it’s rare to find a place where crime doesn’t exist, but it’s important to know the risks. In places with a higher population, crime rates are normally higher, but that doesn’t always mean that you will be in danger. This will simply help you determine how to keep yourself safe, like should you walk alone at night, etc.
Although doing detailed research seems like a lot of work it will be nice when you get to your new location with no bad surprises! It’s ultimately up to you to be prepared and make the transition as smooth as possible. The good news is that it’s not that hard, and you’re not alone! You can always ask your recruiter for help or just ask questions. We hope you have found this article helpful! If you are interested in starting your travel med career, reach out to one of our recruiters or visit our jobs board today!