A travel job allows you to visit new locations as your job. Some choices are more obvious for a travel job, like a flight attendant, while some may surprise you.
Each month, we will highlight different travel job to give you an idea of what is possible for work when travelling. These jobs will be in a variety of fields, as the options are truly endless.
Want even more options? Check out the remote job of the month!
This Month’s Travel Job: Nurse
Nursing is one of the most important professions in the world. As trusted healthcare professionals, they are so many things in one: caregivers, advocates, counsellors, and more. But how does one combine a love of travel with what is typically an “in-person, on-location” job? Gemma shares her story about exactly that!
Featured Travel Nurse: Gemma
Being a Nurse
Nursing is a profession that focuses predominantly on helping and improving the lives of sick people. Often within the health sector such as hospitals, and in community settings.
They usually work as part of a much larger team, treating patients who are unwell but also offering support and emotional advice to patients and their families.
Gemma found her passion late in life. At 32 years old she took her first backpacking trip in 2010. After packing up and flying to Thailand she was struck down by the travel bug. She became a qualified nurse in 2006 but never did it with the intention of travelling. Today, she is grateful for a career that takes her around the world and to have a wealth of interest and experience in what she does. In 2011 she started looking at opportunities to nurse abroad in a bid to escape the rat race lifestyle she’d become accustomed to. There’s plenty of agencies out there advertising jobs all over the world. From there it snowballed.
My career funds my travels… just hard work and the courage to take risks and seek what I desire.
More about the job:
Gemma is an oncology nurse. Being an oncology nurse means working across many different roles including being knowledgeable about cancer, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and symptom management. She went to university full time for 3 years where she obtained a Diploma in Nursing. She then when back to University part-time over 4 years to study for her specialised Degree in Cancer Care.
Nursing is an ever-changing profession, so education is continuous. We are expected to keep ourselves updated and well informed about current practice by attending ongoing study days and conferences as well as reading up on current research papers.
After qualifying as a nurse with her diploma, she started working straight away in oncology. To work in her past two roles her vast experience has been vital, and she was offered the roles through the network of colleagues she had formed over the years.
Working hard and having a passion for oncology, as well as working across a broad area of oncology has been vital in getting her to where she is today.
Gemma works on short contracts from 3 weeks to 1 year (which she’s sometimes extended) depending on what is required. This allows her to work in new countries and culturally different environments and allows her the flexibility to travel in-between. Over the past 5 years she has been lucky enough to work across Saudi Arabia, Turks and Caicos and Bermuda with plenty of travelling for fun in-between.
Salaries vary from post to post but in general it is better than a nursing salary in the UK and usually, accommodation and flights will be paid for.
Nursing in Saudi Arabia brought me all the opportunities I craved. A new experience, a new culture, vast amounts of holidays and a lucrative salary to spend on my dreams of travelling the world. I know my move to Saudi Arabia was one of the best choices I made in life. Since making that move back in 2012 I’ve travelled all over the place, ticking countries off my bucket list. Places I’d always wanted to go such as Vietnam and the Philippines and even places I never imagined I’d be lucky enough to visit like the Maldives and Lebanon. Nursing in Saudi Arabia opened doors for me and as a result, I have been lucky enough to have been offered more locum oncology nursing posts. I guess it’s quite nice being an experienced oncology nurse with the flexibility to travel and work short contracts.
Gemma’s “Typical Day” as a Nurse
All my roles have varied but a typical day for me working in a chemotherapy role would involve a working day of about 7.30-5pm. Day shifts are the benefit of working with outpatients! At the start of the day, I would get my patient allocation, usually between 5-7 patients depending on the treatment they would receive. The first hour or so of work would be spent preparing patients files and checking blood results. The patients would arrive about 9 am. We would assess the patient for any concerns and discuss with the doctor. If the patient is well and tests are all OK we would proceed with chemotherapy, clinically observing and offering emotional support and patient education throughout.
Oncology nursing isn’t for everyone. It can be challenging work both physically and emotionally, as can all types of nursing. Hours can be long and sometimes work environments can be frustrating. But if you have a passion for caring, then nursing is the most wonderful and rewarding job. I wouldn’t swap it for the world and I’m so proud to call myself a nurse. The opportunities it has provided me to see the world have been a massive bonus.
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