A Travel Nurse’s Guide to Dallas
This year, medical needs continue to skyrocket. Since so many medical professionals are in such high demand, traveling nurses are venturing across America to provide help where they can. Though a COVID-19 vaccine is in the early stages of deployment, many hospitals and medical facilities face higher staff shortages across the country. Texas is no exception. In major cities like Houston, Austin, and Dallas, traveling nurses are needed for their skills and care.
Of course, the life of a traveling nurse isn’t an easy one. Between the long hours, the on-call scheduling, and the need to adjust to a new city every now and again, it can be hard to get your bearings. Plus, if you’re not working with a corporate housing provider or you don’t have real estate connections, you may struggle to adapt. If you’re a traveling nurse that is taking up work in the Dallas, Texas, area, here’s what you need to know.
Start by finding housing
With any traveling job, housing is the most complicated component. Of course, for other professions or temporary stays, it’s often a matter of finding a hotel vacancy and setting up a booking. For a traveling nurse, you’re likely to be in place for a much longer time. This is often for months and occasionally years on end, depending on your needs. Finding the right housing in Dallas doesn’t have to be wildly difficult, as long as you know where to look. At Landing, we specialize in placing business travelers, corporate renters, and temporary tenants in their ideal apartment or condo.
When you’re looking for housing, you should start by listing your specific needs. To start, decide whether you want an unfurnished or furnished apartment in Dallas. There are pros and cons to each choice. Furnished apartments mean that you can travel with relative ease. You don’t need to pack up a moving truck, load all of your belongings, and try to find a crew in Dallas to help you. While that sounds relatively stress-free, you also have to consider that you may not have much input on the furnishings a housing company might offer. Plus, even if you’re deciding between a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment, you may have a limited selection of furnishings or styles. On top of that, should you choose to decorate, you likely won’t be able to hang any portraits or art. This can cause the space to feel a bit impersonal.
On the other hand, an unfurnished apartment in Dallas offers a bit more potential. You can bring your items and decorate as you see fit. Depending on the apartment complex or neighborhood, you can even paint to keep the space feeling more like your own. This has some hangups of its own, though. You’ll need to coordinate the moving day logistics and make sure that you have everything set up before you hit the road.
You’ll also want to browse a few neighborhoods to find the right area. If you want to be closer to the nightlife to unwind after a busy shift, you can consider areas around downtown Dallas. However, if you’d prefer to have an easier commute each day and you’re working at the Baylor Medical Center or another nearby practice, you’ll look for housing near Gaston Lane.
Take a look at the activities and extracurriculars
With the safety required of a traveling nurse, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to do much dining out or bar-hopping. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t explore all the city has to offer while social distancing and staying responsible. If you enjoy trails, arboretums, or hiking, Dallas has you covered. The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect urban escape from a busy shift, as is the Dallas Arboretum. The arboretum in particular offers 66-acres of seasonal flowers and foliage that make for a great environment for a quiet walk or a relaxing afternoon.
If you prefer something more active, Dallas offers running tours that will help you become acquainted with the city while also getting your steps in every day. Running tours are incredibly affordable and certain brands have strict coronavirus safety options to keep attendees feeling secure with their purchase. For those who don’t enjoy running as much, there are also walking tours. Of course, you could always go for a long walk on your own. Make sure to bring your smartphone or a GPS so you don’t get lost while you’re out and about.
To get more in touch with nature, you should consider a day trip to White Rock Lake Park. It’s only five miles east of downtown so it’s incredibly accessible for city-dwellers. It’s also one of the largest parks and is twice the size of New York City’s Central Park. White Rock Lake Park is a designated bird-watching spot and there is a massive lake for a handful of aquatic activities. It’s a great way to get out and explore.
Find your food options
While Dallas might not have the food scene of, say, Los Angeles, it’s still a paradise for the discerning diner. While you probably won’t dine in between your nursing shifts, you should still have a few takeout standbys on hand so you’re never going hungry if you don’t have time to cook. As the name might suggest, Easy Slider is a great dive for delicious, fun takes on your standard slider. You may want to order a few if you have a big appetite but it’s worth the added expense. Easy Slider offers unfussy takeout and simplified delivery options so you don’t have to worry about picking up your meal.
If you want to enjoy a Texas staple, you should take a look at Cattleack Barbeque on Gamma Road. With a socially distanced outdoor line and a robust menu of smoked meats and traditional sides, this spot is a must for visitors and residents alike. However, it’s important to note that Cattleack doesn’t handle reservations or call-in orders at this time.
Living as a traveling nurse can be complicated. It requires a great deal of time, energy, and commitment. If your next job assignment takes you to Dallas, it’s good to have a gameplan.