As a travel nurse, being on assignment away from home is a great way to vacation and work at the same time, but unlike a normal vacation, free time is hard to come by. With the excitement of a new city, the unfamiliarity of a new work environment, interesting people to meet, and famous attractions to see, keeping in touch with loved ones can be a recurring entry on your laundry list of chores – right above 'do laundry'.
In lieu of sending cryptic emails ("Hi mom, Taking good care of myself. Enjoying my new job. Will call soon." "Hi dad, Doing fine. Talk to mom for details."), photo prints by snail mail, or DVDs of trip highlights for every member of the family, travel nurses have alternatives. Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and LiveJournal allow their users to correspond with friends and family through text, photos, videos, and voice recordings from their own homes or mobile devices while on the go.
In recent years, the popularity of such sites has skyrocketed, forcing them to add new applications and features in order to stay popular. According to Rubicon Consulting, sixty-five percent of web users agreed that they are very satisfied with the social media site(s) that they belong to, yet the same percentage strongly agreed with the statement 'I ignore invitations to a new site.' Some of these "ignored" sites actually have beneficial features for a busy travel nurse; keep these advantages in mind before rejecting the next invitation to one of the following sites:
With over 250 million users and a 700 % increase in total minutes spent on the site from April 2008 to April, Facebook is the world's fastest growing social media site. Use it to communicate with Onward Healthcare, as well as:
According to Nielsen Online's recent study, Twitter has grown 1,928 % from June 2008 to June 2009, now with 21 million unique monthly visitors.
Flickr sets the standard for photo sharing, storing, and editing online. Sixty-nine million viewers visit the site per month for its free and unique features.
Despite the site's 10 minute run-time limitation, its easy-to-use “upload” feature allows YouTube top choice for video sharing web-users.
Today's modern version of allowing your family and friends to read your diary has become a popular social media option for travelers, students, and professionals who wish to stay in touch with people at home. LiveJournal is community oriented, requiring new users to be invited by current members.
Keep in mind that regardless of the advertised security of any given site, it is always advisable to personalize your privacy settings to maximum protection.
Travel nurses can conveniently find healthcare staffing companies on Facebook and Twitter, communicate with representatives, post photos of their assignments, and receive information about the healthcare field and available positions. Be sure to visit Onward Healthcare on these sites, as well as explore Flickr, YouTube, and LiveJournal as means for self expression and personal communication.
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