Are you the healthcare traveler what walks into orientation with uneasiness because you are in a new world, new hospital, with new co-workers?  Although tranquility is a characteristic of an introverted disposition, most introverts benefit from some socializing.

Introvert travelers love to spend time alone; they do their best thinking alone, and they can even feel lonely in a crowd.  They tend to have an inner voice that is difficult to turn the volume down on.  They feel like they are dissimulating companionship when they have to meet new people, and they have no desire to be the focus of the orientation group.

The introvert is drawn to reflection and sensitivity.  One of their favorite things to do is go to a quiet place in nature like a secluded beach, top of a mountain, or on a lakeshore and just get lost on the train of thought. The idea of being an introvert was the result of works by Carl Jung who stated, “There is no such thing as a pure extrovert or pure introvert. Such a man would be in a lunatic asylum.”

Here are FIVE of our top tips for introverted healthcare travelers:

  • Be personable when first arriving.
    1. Go around and introduce yourself to staff.
    1. Let them know that you are more than willing to help.
    1. Reiterate to ask you for help.
    1. Remember, you only have one chance to make a great first impression.
  • Be prepared to answer questions.
    1. Where are you from?
    1. How long have you been traveling?
    1. Do you travel with family or pets?
    1. How do you like it so far?
  • Participate in some of their local activities.
    1. Bring something to the pot luck.
    1. Chip in a few dollars if they have a fundraiser.
    1. Bring something little, like a teething ring or diapers, for a baby shower.
    1. Go out to breakfast in the morning if you work the night shift.
  • Look for other single travelers.  Get out and explore your surroundings!
    1. Take a hike in the hills.
    1. Bike around the city.
    1. Go shopping.
    1. Find a great new local eat.
  • Practice serenity to keep yourself from going nuts in the crazy times.
    1. Meditate
    1. Slow breathing techniques
    1. Yoga
    1. Utilize essential oils

New research suggests introverts are also highly-sensitized, processing their thoughts differently to extroverts.  They process information about their environment unusually deep.  They tend to notice intricacies other people miss, are extremely sensitive and have remarkably passionate ethics.

The great thing about introverts as a traveler is that they assess their circumstances very profoundly.  They notice little things that other people miss.  For example, an introverted nurse may see a skin issue long before it has a chance to progress into a stageable decub.

Embrace your introversion, but do not be afraid to come out of your shell.  The first couple of weeks on a new assignment you are trying to find out who you are working with, with everything is, and who your resources are.  Go into work every shift with the attitude that, “I’m just here to help.”  Let others know that you are there to help, and soon you will be settled right into your assignment.

Until you get floated, and that’s another article.

Written by Kay Slane, RN, BSed, CGM (Certified Grad-level Nursing Management) Matriarch of Travel Nursing. The CEO of Highway Hypodermics®, LLC, the longest-running travel nursing website by a traveling nurse. Author of “Highway Hypodermics: Travel Nursing 2019.”


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