Temporary and temp-to-perm lab jobs offer an exciting opportunity to build your pathology/histology career and explore new regions of the country. Life on the road for pathologists’ assistants and histotechs is an adventure — but it can also bring with it some unique considerations. Many job seekers find that when they first arrive, getting into a groove in a new city can make it challenging to enjoy everything the travel lab job has to offer.
At Nicklas Medical Staffing, we prioritize helping our pathologists’ assistants and histotechs adjust to their new environments and get as comfortable as possible in an unfamiliar ZIP code. Here are some of our favorite tips to help our job seekers settle into their new city and immerse themselves in everything their travel assignment has to offer.
Make Your Housing Feel Like Home
One of the best ways to combat homesickness and get settled in when on a lab contract is to add a few personal touches on your travel housing. Yes, it can be tempting to live out of a suitcase for the next several weeks — but taking the time to unpack can yield some unexpected benefits. Making your bed, putting your belongings away, and getting organized can instantly remove the temporary vibe from your temporary housing. Bonus Perk: Knowing where everything is and not having to tear through packed boxes whenever you need something can help minimize stress levels and inconvenience while you’re in your new home away from home.
Get out and Explore
It’s critical for travel pathologists’ assistants and histotechs to make time for personal pursuits while on the road. Chances are, you’ve chosen your new lab assignment based on location, so you’ll want to see everything your temporary hometown has to offer. Spontaneous outings can be fun, but you’ll also want to consciously set aside time to take in the sights, outdoor events, attractions, and landmarks while you’re there. Use technology to your advantage. Apps like SpottedbyLocals, Musement, MeetUp, and AllTrails can give you the inside track on both indoor and outdoor activities.
Stay Connected With Loved Ones
Being away from family and friends is always challenging. Fortunately, modern technology can help make the time away from each other a little easier. Text messages, Zoom calls, and social media photos can keep you in the loop on what’s going on at home. You can also schedule virtual events with loved ones, including happy hours, dinners together, and even movie nights to stay connected during your time away.
Schedule Care Packages to Your Loved Ones
Travel pathologists’ assistants and histotechs may have friends and family members who offer to send care packages while they are away on assignment, which is great. However, many of our PAs and histotechs have made sending care packages to their loved ones a fun practice while on the road. Putting together a package for family and friends with some of your newly discovered favorite treats is a great way to let them know you’re thinking about them and help them feel like they are part of the overall experience.
Maintaining work/life balance and prioritizing self-care while on assignment can play a critical role in helping you enjoy a positive professional and personal experience. You may initially feel tempted to throw yourself into as many shifts as possible while away. However, it’s important to set healthy boundaries around how many hours you’ll work in the lab. Establishing at least a semi-consistent routine can also be a positive self-care practice while away. Carving out time for physical activity, healthy meals, daily journaling, and plenty of rest can go a long way in having a good engagement.
Are You Ready for Your Next Pathology/Histology Lab Adventure?
Nicklas Medical Staffing helps pathologists’ assistants and histotechs find temporary, temp-to-perm, and permanent lab staffing positions at leading facilities across the country. Contact us today to hear more about our current opportunities.
Be sure to download our free eBook, Pack Your Bags: The Best Lab Jobs You Never Knew You Wanted, for more tips on successfully building your lab career.