Staying Safe While Working Travel and Locum Tenens Jobs
Traveling and moving to a new place is a stressful and exciting event for anyone. As a travel healthcare professional, you will experience this much more than the average person. While you may love your new surroundings, even the smallest towns can have its hazards. Here are a few common sense tips to help keep you and your belongings safe so you can enjoy your travel assignment to the fullest.
- Be aware of who is around you at all times. Pay close mind to anyone lurking if you are at an ATM or giving out personal information, especially your name and address.
- Research the area before you leave. Browse the local newspapers, most of which are posted online. Read the crime log, if there is one, and notice where most of the crimes happen.
- Get to know your new neighborhood. During the day, go for a walk and take note of any landmarks, main roads, street names and where the local police station is located. A pocket map can also be helpful.
- Always secure doors and windows in your new residence, especially at night or if you are out. Keeping your doors locked, even while home, is never a bad idea. When someone knocks on your door, always check to see who’s there.
- Travel on well-lit streets and park in well-lit areas near your destination.
- Know when the sun rises and sets in the area. This is especially true for professionals doing early morning and night shifts.
- You may be carrying around lots of personal information with you, especially in the beginning of your assignment. Make sure important documents like your licenses and housing information as well as any money and personal identification are secure, safe and, not visible.
- Become friendly with your new co-workers, including the permanent staff and even some of your neighbors. They are a valuable resource when it comes to knowing what areas or people to avoid. Plus, they make great “buddies” while walking to your car or jogging through the neighborhood.
- Always make sure your cell phone is charged and buy a car charger.
- Hospital security will always walk you to your car, but if you are walking alone, especially in a dark, disserted area like a parking lot, carry your cell and have 911 already dialed so all you will have to do is hit the send button if you are attacked.
- Invest in a good portable GPS system for your car or sign up for GPS service offered by most cell phone companies. This will keep you from getting lost in a place you do not know.
- Keep your car doors and windows locked, even while driving. Furthermore, never leave items such as your cell phone, GPS, Ipod or anything of any value including backpacks and purses exposed in your car. Take them with you or hide them under your seats or in the trunk even if it’s a quick trip into a convenience store. Never leave valuables in your car overnight, take everything in the house with you.
- While driving, never stop for anyone who needs help by the road. If you want to help someone, call the local police and let them take care of it. Never, ever pick up a hitchhiker.
- Renter’s insurance in affordable and very easy to obtain. This will protect your belongings in case of robbery, flood and fire.
- Take a self-defense class. Knowing what to do if you ever get into a sticky situation will save your life. It will also give you more confidence and in turn help you stand tall. If you look like a victim, you will become one.
- Trust your instincts. When you have a “gut feeling” something isn’t right, get out of there!
If you use common sense and intuition, traveling to new destinations can be one of the most rewarding, fun and educational experiences you will ever have.