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Travel Nursing August 26, 2021

By Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom, contributor

Making it Safer to Travel Again

The COVID-19 pandemic is still disrupting the world as we know it, and travel nurses are needed at hospitals and medical centers throughout the country. Are you ready to put your skills to use to help patients and grow your career? If so, there is no better time than now to start or resume your travel nursing career.

Nurse Recruiters Speak 

AMN Healthcare and American Mobile are making it safer to travel again by providing a variety of resources for their travel nurses such as clinical support, health advocates, an employee assistance program and more. Our teams have been working with clinicians to make sure they receive whatever they need during the pandemic, and we continue supporting their needs as they take new travel nursing assignments.

Some AMN experts recently partnered with our friends at The Gypsy Nurse for a Facebook Live webinar entitled Making It Safer to Travel, with a look at how the company’s recruiters and others are supporting travel nurses during this time. This expert panel included:

  • Saundra Vild, senior director of training and development for AMN’s travel nurse division;
  • Mary Abramson, senior recruitment manager for American Mobile;
  • Leonard (Leo) Brunat, senior recruitment manager;
  • Sarah Gold, senior recruiting consultant in AMN’s allied health division; and
  • Kelley King, manager of recruitment for AMN Healthcare.

Establishing Trust and Preparing to Travel

Preparation is one of the keys to feeling secure, and travel nurses who partner with their recruiters and begin with open lines of communication will be set up for success. “For me, that first 30 seconds on a call is really important,” explained Abramson. My first thing is, ‘Hi, this is Mary at American Mobile. How can I help?’” She understands that nurses feel safe and supported when they know that their recruiter is there to help and is “not just listening, but understanding.”

Building that relationship and rapport with your recruiter is fundamental in creating a safe space to travel. Abramson and the other recruiters understand that travel nursing can be overwhelming right now, and want their travelers to know that they are always just an email, text or phone call away.

Staying Safe at Your Home on the Road

The company-paid housing or housing subsidy is just one of the key benefits offered by American Mobile. We believe that every traveler deserves to have a safe, comfortable place to come home to after each and every shift. When you accept the housing stipend benefit, you can select your housing and find a place that meets your needs. Your recruiter can help you throughout the process.

“My job as a recruiter is to make sure if you do want to take housing subsidy in a certain community is to make sure we aren’t putting you in jeopardy for the IRS to wonder, ‘Hey, why are you getting that much money?” Abramson explained. She noted that travel nurses have two choices: to take the housing subsidy and make their own arrangements or work with the housing department to secure their accommodations. “We have an after-hours line, as well, in case anything should happen.”

“Our priority for our housing team is safety — that’s our No. 1,” King added. “And then second is proximity to the facility.”

Staying Healthy and Protected

American Mobile understands the importance of high-quality health insurance, and that’s why we offer all travelers a comprehensive benefits package. Continuity of care is critical, explained Brunat. “A lot of times people like to take a week or two in between assignments…you will still be covered with us throughout that time.”

“We also have professional liability insurance, which protects you while you are on assignment—especially important now that we are in a pandemic,” he continued.

The company has also implemented a variety of COVID-19 protocols to protect nurse travelers. “If you are exposed to COVID while on assignment we take care of you 100 percent,” King said. “We have a number that you call and you will also probably reach out to your recruiter to let them know if you are having symptoms or if you are going to get tested. It’s important to communicate with your facility and staffing team. We take care of you and connect you with our clinical support representative. Typically the quarantine period is 10 days and we will cover your pay for that time.”

Access to Counseling and Other Employee Assistance

If necessary, travelers can be assured that they will have someone to reach out to in a crisis. All American Mobile travel nurses are eligible for coverage with AMN’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), starting on the first day of their travel assignment. EAP provides confidential counseling, financial resources, legal support and work/life solutions to healthcare professionals and their family members. This benefit is fully funded by the company.

Additional resources for health and wellness are also available during the COVID pandemic, including telehealth appointments through most health plans and access to meditation and fitness apps.

Around-the-Clock Clinical Support

What if you have a workplace issue while on assignment, and you’re not sure what to do? Clinical support is one of AMN’s hallmark offerings. “It’s a big one,” Brunat said. “We have 24/7 coverage, even after hours—anytime. I know a lot of nurses work nights and can get off pretty late or early. They can always speak to someone and go over any issues and have someone readily available with any questions they may have.”

Instant Access to Traveler Resources and Jobs

“The AMN Passport app is something that we’ve developed recently, it’s still pretty new. It’s awesome because it's right on your phone, you don’t have to log on to your computer to look for open jobs, it’s all at your fingertips,” Gold said.

This mobile app offers 24-hour access to book and manage your travel nursing assignments, including a direct link to your American Mobile team for benefits, recruitment, clinical support, the employee assistance program and more.

Watch the full webinar: Making It Safer to Travel

American Mobile, an AMN Healthcare company, is making it safer for travel nurses, and we can’t wait to help you find your ideal assignment. 

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