Your mobile device might just be the key to getting the most out of your new assignment.

We live in a world where our cars drive themselves and our refrigerators tell us the weather and commute times. Well… they do if you can afford it. Think about it – what are the chances a travel nurse would forget their phone when leaving on a 13 week assignment? There’s a better chance they’d forget their toiletries.

Technology is a vital part of healthcare as well. Whether it’s something as cool as a 3D printed cast or using Medely to book a last minute per diem with the touch of a button, technology is creating better patient outcomes and simplifying our work lives. Yes, even those frustrating EHR/EMR systems.  But with so many options, where do you start? Well, you could start with this list of our top tech tips for travel nurses.

Six tech tips to improve your travel nursing experience:

Tech Tip 1: Live like a local.

Most of us have at least heard the names Yelp and Travelocity. Knowing how to maximize travel tools will have you living like a local in no time. 

Pro-tip: If you fly regularly many travel sites will use a cookie to track you. They may actually show you inflated rates based on your need. Use incognito mode in your browser or a privacy-focused browser like Brave to avoid this.

Once you’re there, make the most of your time. Make sure you don’t spend 12 weeks in a city only to find out the best Thai restaurant is just around the corner. To do that, you need to have the same info the locals have. Using tools like Spotted By Locals, Showaround, and Eat With will have you up to speed in no time. From having a resident show you around to planning meals around non-touristy restaurants, there’s an app to fit your needs.

Tech Tip 2: Focus on productivity.

Productivity apps are nothing new. From complex workflow apps like Jira to simple note keeping apps like Evernote, everyone has their favorite productivity app. Nurses are no different. Here are a few useful productivity tools for nurses:

  • Evernote (Android, Apple): Any list of productivity apps without Evernote on it is suspect at best. With the ability to quickly take and organize notes, set voice reminders, and file photos, it’s a must-have app. 
  • Epocrates (Android, Apple): This app that has been alive and kicking since the days of Blackberrys. Use it to quickly find drug safety information, drug interactions, and dosage calculators. The built-in Pill ID function let’s you identify medication by shape, color, scoring, imprint codes, and more.
  • UpToDate (Android, Apple): This app puts reliable, peer-reviewed info within easy reach and is an invaluable resource. Use it to find information for primary care, pediatrics, OB/GYN, internal specialities, and general surgery. It also has well as over a hundred medical calculators and thousands of patient education articles.
  • Medscape (Android, Apple): The latest medical news, sorted by specialty, FDA announcements and continuing education courses are all found in this app. Not to mention medical calculators and drug information.
  • MedPage Today (Website): This site specializes in covering breaking medical news and offers several continuing education options and articles.

Tech Tip 3: Choose a tech-forward agency, or better yet – a digital platform, like Medely.

From the moment you submit your application to a travel assignment until you collect your last paycheck 13+ weeks later, you will be regularly relying on your agency for all kinds of administrative tasks. An agency’s level of tech adoption impacts how you apply, prove your credentials, accept your offer, clock in and out, and get paid.

For many traditional staffing agencies these are manual tasks. Or worse, they’re off-loaded to a third-party provider.

Medely’s approach is different. We built technology to put you in control. Our app handles the “busy work” of finding a nursing position and getting paid. Our digital tools allow you to focus on patient care, not clocking in and out.

Checking your upcoming and completed jobs on the My Jobs tab.

Tech Tip 4: Create a digital credential package.

Life’s uncertain. You could show up on your first day and find out the facility misplaced your credentials. Or maybe you’re in a pandemic and would rather pick up per diem shifts than explore a new city. Making sure you’ve got all of your credentials in one digital location just makes sense. Good news, if you work with Medely uploading your credentials to your profile is part of your onboarding. If you’re not working with Medely you can scan or take a photo of each of your credentials. Give them a clear name, and upload them to a folder on a cloud service like DropBox or Google Drive. 

Pro-tip: Don’t own a scanner? (because who owns a scanner in 2020?) Take pictures of documents in a well-lit location, preferably with natural light. Get as close to the document as possible, and make sure it’s in focus. A fuzzy, poorly-lit document pic won’t be very useful!

Tech Tip 5: Maximize your work experience (and pay).

While you’re in a new city you’ve got access to facilities and doctors you don’t have at home. Each of them may do things a little differently or use technology you don’t have experience with. You’ve got a great opportunity to expand your network and your knowledge. Use your days off to pick up per diem shifts at different facilities. Clock some hours on a different EHR, work with professionals that use different methods, or just figure out what kind of staff you like working with. This is one place where your choice in agency and having your credentials ready matters. Not all agencies offer per diem jobs or allow you to pick them up while on assignment. Medely not only offers both, but booking per diem jobs are literally a click away.

Tech Tip 6: Build your network and stay connected.

Oh sure, you love Facebook for staying in touch with friends from college or high school. But social networks, when on a travel assignment, can be vital to your mental health. They’re not just for staying in touch with people back home. LinkedIn and Facebook groups for travel nurses or local professionals are a great way to find local networking events. Meetup is also a great way to find events for people who share your interests in a new city.

Do what works for you.

Technology can impact all aspects of travel nursing. It helps you maximize your work experience (and pay!), explore new surroundings, stay connected, and keep everything running smoothly. Finding what works best for you may take some trial and error, but being ready to try a new app or service will enable you to tailor your travel experience to best fit your lifestyle and needs. What do you think? Do you agree with our tech tips? Some other hot tip travel nurses should know? Hit us up on social media and let us know what your top tips are!