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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Traveling Nurses May Find Themselves at Risk for Identity Theft

Not all nurses spend their days and nights in the same hospitals taking care of patients. In fact, a large number of nurses travel as part of their careers, whether that is between houses in the same ZIP Code or across time zones to provide assistance in areas where medical professionals aren't easy to find and the need is great.

These nurses who take their expertise on the road often face a greater risk of identity theft than individuals who spend their days within the confines of a hospital because they come across more situations where their personal identification information (PII) could get lost.

Their office is often on four wheels
While a hospital or doctor's office nurse likely won't have their wallets on them while they are dealing with patients, traveling professionals have to carry these belongings with them to and from each location. Not only that, but a nurse who goes on the road has to treat their car as if it were a traveling office, with patients information and documents often left unattended in driveways or parking lots while the nurse is busy helping a patient.

It's not just their identities at risk but also the patient's
If you are a traveling nurse, you should take a few precautionary steps to make sure that your identity is protected as well as that of your patients. When you aren't in your car, locking the doors is only one precaution you can take to make sure that your files are safe. Make sure that all briefcases or document holders are kept out of sight — either underneath the seats of your car or covered by other items — so that passersby don't spot them and attempt to break in.

Travel light and do so wisely
It is also wise to avoid carrying any documentation on you that isn't absolutely necessary for your day's duties. If you don't need a credit card, for example, leave it at home. Any certification that you do need to have with you during your daily visits, keep it in a wallet in your pocket or carry a fanny pack — using a backpack or purse could make you the victim of human error if you leave it at a patient's house or another more public setting.

Should you know first-hand how hard these traveling nurses work to help others, show them your appreciation on May 12, Nurse's Day, by letting them know about credit monitoring to help them keep an eye on their credit while they are busy working.