Andrew Wettengel / Friday, August 19, 2022 / Categories: Work World


Starting a new job in a new location every few months can make it hard to establish relationships and build trust, especially at work. Building trust is an important part of your work in travel nursing. You want to earn the trust of other hospital staff members, and most importantly, your patients. Traveling often makes trust-building more difficult but not impossible.

Once you get started, your work ethic will help you build trust with others around you. There are some things you can do to help yourself as well. Read on to learn ways to build trust on assignments as a travel nurse.

Be an Equal

Just being a good nurse will go a long way in building trust as a travel nurse. You know the basics of nursing and how to do your job well. Using those skills allows others to see you as someone they can count on at work. Doing your best work and being a part of the hospital team will earn you a lot of trust quickly.

Most permanent nurses and hospital staff will be happy to have you on board. They will see you as an equal and appreciate that someone is there to help out. Take advantage of that early on by introducing yourself and making a point to get to know people. Set yourself up for success early by building trust with your new team right away.

Be Credible and Honest

Lacking credibility or honesty is a quick way for someone to lose their trust in you and derail your nursing career. Just one lie or mistruth can cause your coworkers to doubt you. It doesn’t always matter how big or small the lie was; if you are caught, it can cost you in big ways. Don’t make this mistake. Being 100% honest all the time is the only way to guarantee your coworkers’ trust.

The same goes for credibility. If you are going to share the knowledge you’ve learned from other hospitals or jobs with your coworkers, make sure the information you are sharing is accurate and considered best practice for your profession. Be careful what you are sharing on social media and consider if it might negatively impact your credibility or reputation. Protecting your credibility is one way to ensure you continue to have job options to choose from in the future.

Showing up for work on time for each and every shift is also a great way to build credibility. The other nurses in the hospital want to know that they can rely on you and that you are true to your word. This will help you quickly build trust as a travel nurse, especially with the nurses you work with frequently.

Ask Questions

Asking questions can be an important part of building trust with your new coworkers. It shows that you are willing to be a team player and learn new policies and procedures you may not be used to. Showing that you are open to feedback and willing to learn will help your new coworkers trust you more quickly and see you as someone they can count on.

Understanding the policies and procedures of each new hospital you work at is crucial to your success as a travel nurse. Depending on your assignment location, these policies can change, so it’s important to ask questions if anything is unclear or if you need more explanation. Avoid trying to change or correct hospital methods you are not used to; instead, it’s best to learn and adapt quickly.

Attend Workplace Events

Hospitals often have events happening from day to day. From walking clubs to happy hours, organized groups offer you the opportunity to meet new people. You also get the chance to step away from your nursing role and have some fun with your coworkers, which you may not have an opportunity for during work hours. Having some “me time” and mental health care are also very important for you while you are a traveling nurse, so don’t skip out on those either.

Choosing to be social a few times, especially in the beginning, will help you get to know people and give them the opportunity to get to know you outside of a work setting. This will help you for the duration of your travel nursing contract. If things become challenging, you have a group of people at work you can talk to because you have already begun building relationships. This will also help your coworkers trust you more. Attending workplace events shows that you are invested in the job for the time that you are there. 

Look for Genuine Connections

It can be scary to be new and put yourself out there.  However, reaching out can pay off a lot in helping you foster new friendships and build trust. Building relationships with other travel nurses is the most obvious place to start. They are in the same position as you and can relate to the experiences you have had as a travel nurse.

Reach out to permanent staff members of the hospital, as well. Grab a cup of coffee or go for a walk on break together. This can be a great opportunity for you to get to know a little more about the hospital you’re working at, as well as the health care team you are working with. Just remember to avoid gossip and stick to the things you need to know to do your job to the best of your ability.

Having genuine connections with people early on can make your experience as a travel nurse much more positive. Work on building relationships and making connections at each new location you go to. You will appreciate having someone to connect with when you are away from home and in a new city where you may not know anyone at all. It’s a positive step toward your mental health and overall well-being if you take the time to forge those connections early on in a new contract.

Be Respectful

Even if you have the best intentions, respect the processes and policies of the place where you are working. Travel nurses have a lot of different experiences and usually work under numerous different sets of policies and processes at the hospitals they visit. You may have a suggestion for how to do things better or an idea for more efficiency, but most hospitals have their policies and procedures in place for a reason and won’t be pleased with a newcomer coming in and trying to shake things up.

Suggestions may be welcome in some instances, but respect your position and the permanent hospital staff. Pushing too hard for something to change when you are in a temporary role will not earn you trust or credibility—it will likely only hurt both of those things instead.

If you feel you must offer a suggestion, wait until you are leaving your contract to do so. It is your job to help where needed and be the best nurse you can be while on contract. If you leave the permanent staff with something to think about changing, consider that to be as far as you can go in this situation. Anything that is going on at the hospital is ultimately up to the permanent staff to recognize and find solutions for.

Be Helpful

This one might seem obvious, but helping out when and where you are needed is a great way to build trust. The hospital you’re working at hired you because they likely need the extra hands, so help whenever you can.

Some travel nurses have reported feeling overlooked or passed over by permanent staff members when on contract. Remember that permanent staff members are busy trying to fulfill their own responsibilities and may not be aware of your ability to contribute. If you see a place where you can help, speak up and offer your assistance. This will go a long way in earning the trust of permanent staff members.

Starting a new position is hard for everyone, and travel nurses do it much more frequently than most. Remember with each new assignment that building trust is important for your success at that location.

If you are looking for your next travel nursing assignment, OneStaff Medical is here to help Contact us today at 877-783-1483 to learn more.

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