Top 6 Skills & Traits for Traveling Clinicians and Questions to Ask to See if You’ve Got Them

Published June 22, 2018





While there are many traits and skills the make up a great traveling cath lab clinician, here are some of the top ones that our team of relationship managers have observed not only make someone excellent at their travel work assignments, but also happy being in new locations and work environments.


1. Adaptability – Being able to quickly adapt to new settings is probably the most important skill a traveling healthcare clinician can possess. Every hospital that you will work in operates a bit differently with different policies, procedures and processes; technologies to learn such as a different electronic medical record systems; and, of course, new people to interact with successfully. Questions to ask to assess your adaptability:

  • Do I like or at least handle change well?
  • Do I see the chance to learn new things as an opportunity for career growth? 


2. Flexibility – Employees, especially in fast-paced hospital environments, who can bend and shift with changing demands and requirements are considered high value employees. When you are a traveling clinician, you’ll need to adjust your working style with each new assignment to fit your employer’s needs. Questions to ask to assess your flexibility:

  • Am I able to adjust my work style easily?
  • Can I take direction even if I would prefer to do something differently?


3. Tolerate Conflict – Some of our traveling clinicians have shared stories with us about walking into new assignments where the environment was tense and at times even hostile, with hospital workers stressed and overworked. One of our travelers said she sees it as part of her job to make their lives easier and let them know from day one that she’s there to help and relieve their workload – what a great strategy to not only tolerate, but diffuse a challenging situation. Questions to ask to assess your tolerance for conflict:

  • Can you stay calm when criticized?
  • Can you maintain an eye on the bigger picture during a heated situation at work? 


4. Curiosity – One thing nearly all our traveling clinicians have in common is that they are learners and curious people. They like to explore and learn about the new places where they are on assignment. They enjoy learning new things at work and the challenge and lessons new work environments offer. Questions to ask to assess your curiosity level:

  • Are you curious about new people that you meet and genuinely interested in getting to know them?
  • Do you enjoy learning new things on a regular basis? 


5. Empathy – Empathy is not about feeling sorry for others, but rather about genuinely seeking to understand someone else’s perspective, especially during a disagreement. Empathy is needed in the cath lab not only to resolve conflicts with colleagues, but also while interacting with patients and their families during high stress moments. Questions to ask to assess your curiosity level:

  • In a challenging situation, do I seek to understand someone else’s perspective?
  • Before criticizing somebody, I try to imagine how I would feel if I were in his/her place.


6. Wanderlust – This one, of course, is a bit obvious. Most people don’t become traveling healthcare clinicians if they don’t like to travel. But moving every 3-6 months to a new location is not for everyone, even travel bugs. However, if you have a thirst for travel and new experiences, travel work can often an ideal way to work and see new places for a few years or even as a more long-term career option like some of our travelers do. Questions to ask to assess your level of wanderlust:

  • Are you always searching for last minute deals on airfare and hotels to plan your next adventure?
  • Do you have a lot of travel apps on your phone?