Allied travel is one of the most rewarding and diverse jobs out there – so is parenting – but is it possible to do both?
New cities, facilities, and climates can keep you guessing as to what adventure might be on the horizon, yet for allied healthcare professionals with children, the pitfalls of raising little ones on the road aren’t always ideal. Though for those who can pull off such an act of magic, the synergy between work and family can be a dream come true.
A recent survey conducted by Cross Country Healthcare analyzed the responses of over 4,800 nursing and allied healthcare professionals. When the results came in, it was revealed that 64% of the respondents were mothers, 34% of who currently travel for work at temporary or local contract assignments.
President of Cross Country’s Healthcare’s Nurse and Allied Staffing Division, Vickie Anenberg, added that, “All professionals, both men and women, are striving for that perfect work-life balance.”
Parenting and the Work-Life Balance
This is something reverberating in the echo chamber of professionals everywhere in the U.S. – securing family time and a personal life is paramount. So how in the world can an allied travel professional possibly balance all the amazing feats of therapy with the perennial challenge of parenthood?
Perhaps surprisingly, many of the people surveyed shared positive experiences of bringing their children along with them on travel assignments. In addition to helping everyone stay close, new adventures arise with each location, prompting children (and adults) to adapt to life’s challenges.
Ms. Anenberg said “We are focused on having our clinicians get the most out of their career, and a big part of that is always going to be making sure they have opportunities that allow for a great life outside of work, as well.”
While traveling assignments inherently present stressors, raising young children can amplify or attenuate those factors. As with any plans to travel, preparation is absolutely vital. Throw kids into the mix and you may be teetering on a total meltdown – but before you fret, consider the following:
Tips for Traveling with Kiddos
Long car rides and living in new locations every few months can either take a toll or strengthen the bonds you have with your kids, it’s all about how well you plan for the whole experience.
Keep in mind that traveling with little ones may take longer than on your own or with a partner. Frequent bathroom breaks and time to get out of the car and stretch are key components of a proper journey to your next assignment. Make comfort a top priority and always pack extra blankets or comfort items in times of unfamiliarity and new locations. A comfortable car seat means it’ll be easier for kids to take naps intermittently, providing some much needed quiet time when there’s still a long road ahead.
Find activities that can be enjoyed by all in your caravan – try audiobooks or games to help engage young minds on an otherwise tedious journey. Downloading a movie or apps on a tablet never fail to entice, but they are by no means the only available pastime.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with the whole family, there are still plenty of highlights to be had along the way. Most professions don’t allow such a blending of work and personal life (let alone parenting), so reap the opportunities as they come. When your children can enjoy traveling as much as you do, there’s little else an allied healthcare parent can ask for!