How to Make the Best of Being on Assignment Over Thanksgiving

While the holidays are well on their way here, you might be thinking What’s a travel medical professional to do when on assignment through the holidays? Of course, being home would be nice but you have an important job to do. So as Thanksgiving sweeps in with the cold winter air, here’s how to make the best of being on assignment during the holidays:

Give Your Time to Others

There is absolutely nothing more rewarding than donating your time to the less fortunate, especially on the holidays. If you’re only working a half-day, use the other half to go out to a shelter to help out with serving the holiday meal. You could even look ahead of time at events that will be going on to get involved with food donation drives and other good causes. Don’t have the day off but still want to give back? Get your whole team or floor involved in a donation drive to benefit the local shelters. You could make a competition out of bringing cheer to those less fortunate on the holidays. Win!


Call Your Mom (or Dad, or Sister, or Bestie) Back

Even if you can’t be there with your family, be sure to Skype or FaceTime that day and say hello. Seeing those familiar face will do wonders for a case of homesickness. You may think it’ll just be another day on assignment without the fam but you WILL miss whoever is waiting for you back home. So Skype into the annual hang-out at Grandma’s house and tell everyone hi and give them some insight on how your assignment is going. They’ll appreciate the update and you’ll definitely feel better after checking in. Ask for a specific time when they will be all together so you can get the most family bang for your call! Missing your sweetie pie? Check out these tips on how to keep a relationship while traveling.

Co-workers = Family

Although it’s unfortunate you’ll be working on Thanksgiving, chances are you aren’t the only one that has to do so. There will surely be other members of your team that have to be there as well, so why not make the best out of it and pig out on good food? Food can make almost any situation more enjoyable. Do a potluck with all of the other people that have to work on Thanksgiving. Add a little touch of home to your day by making your mom’s famous apple pie or using your great grandma’s secret gravy recipe. Don’t have any traditional recipes? We love Food Network’s Classic Thanksgiving Menu. Your co-workers will appreciate it and it’ll make things feel a little bit more like home. Ask each person to incorporate a family tradition or two to make everyone feel a little more at home.

Get Your Patients In On the Fun

If you have patients that are not so lucky to be stuck with you on the holidays, have them join in on the fun too! You and your co-workers could get them involved with the potluck or the team could make treat bags or baskets just for the patients. Especially if they’re children or happen to have children visiting them, they’ll surely appreciate the effort to make the holiday just a little bit more enjoyable away from home. Find a classic holiday movie or put on an album so everyone one can join in the fun.

Get to Googling and Give Thanks

If you happen to be on assignment but not working on Thanksgiving, Google about your location and the different traditions they might have for the holiday. There could be an awesome parade going on, turkey feeds, donation drives, or even a showing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. If there are any other travelers with the day off on your team, ask if they want to tag along. Just because you’re away from your family doesn’t mean you have to be alone! Also, be sure to give thanks that day for all of the amazing opportunities you have as a traveling medical professional. You have the opportunity to impact your patients’ lives, their families, and facilities all across the country. That’s definitely something to be thankful for.

Even though being on assignment through the holidays is not the most ideal of situations, you can still have a good time. Be sure to remember you’re doing the work you love in places all over the country when you start to get a little homesick that day. And don’t be afraid to get your co-workers involved in some holiday cheer to make the day better for you all! Do you have any on-the-job holiday stories from traveling? Let us know!