Resources for the Traveling Therapist

I’m discovering how new the idea of being a traveling therapist really is because there really isn’t much out there on the web regarding this profession. That’s what we here at Rehab and Therapy Jobs.com are trying to fix. Any and all information we can find that will help you in your careers we will post and today I found a couple things.

19190911There is a blog site written by a current traveling therapist and it is called, “The Ramblings of a Traveling Speech Therapist.” As the author describes it, “This blog will detail my travels and provide a contact point for all those who I meet along the way.” So take a minute or two to read about her travels. She has had some great experiences and some not so great, but that’s life ain’t it? You take the good, you take the bad and there you have… Hopefully I’m not dating myself with that little lyric but I probably am. Anyways, read some of her posts – she gives great insight as to what you can and cannot expect on your traveling therapy job.

The next site I discovered that can help you with your career as a traveling therapist is MedTravelerClub.com. This site is dedicated to providing prospective and current traveling therapists a place to share information regarding staffing agencies, interviewing, locations, etc… There is also a great page of links to associations, certifications and so forth. There is also a forum to share your stories and experiences with other current and past travelers. This would be a great way to find out about a location you’re thinking about or perhaps just making friends to meet out while on assignment. So check it out!

As I said, there isn’t much out there for you travelers yet, but we’re working on it so check back and we’ll keep you informed!

3 Reasons to Consider Travel Rehab and Therapy Jobs

We’ll make this plain and simple, so here are the few, but most important reasons you should consider a travel rehab or therapy job.

1. Knowledge. As a traveling therapist or rehab specialist there is no question that your skills and knowledge will progress. Where ever your next contract takes you, whether it be a large metropolotain research and teaching center or a small rural community hospital, you will acquire new skills related to your profession… And maybe some that have no relation at all.

Taking a traveling rehab or therapy job can land you in any number of cities and facilities. Each assignment will possess something the other did not and collectively you will gain far more experience than in any permanent position. You may have learned a new stretching technique in Albuquerque, New Mexico and on your next assignment in Toledo, Ohio you could be teaching this to your newfound colleagues.

307156802. Total Control. Is your current permanent position becoming stale and repetitive? Tired of the office gossip and politics? A short-term contract therapy and rehab job may just be the escape you need. When you choose to work as a “traveler” you are afforded the option of where and when you’d like to work. Pick the city, pick the type of care facility you’d like to work at and Presto!

The options are endless when you’re a traveling therapy and rehab specialist. As stated above, you may want to take on a position in low-stress enviornment, say that of a smaller community rehab facility. Or maybe you’d like the hustle and bustle of a major healthcare network? Whatever you choose, it is your choice. Whatever kind of assignment you pick, just remember, you wouldn’t be getting this kind of experience stuck at home in your permanent job. To ensure you get to exactly where you want to be, it is imperative that you form a good working relationship with the recruiter of your chosen staffing agency.

3. Money. I don’t think I need to say any more than that… But I will. Did you know the average pay for a Physical Therapist according to Payscale.com is around $56,000 per year. That’s before taxes and with 1 year of experience or less. Now as a traveler you could make upwards to 6 digits in one year after taxes!. Your housing is paid for, you receive health/dental insurance, per diems and on and on and on… All these surely add up to more than anything a permanent position could offer you. You also have the chance at earning even more by bringing along your friends and peers with referral bonuses.

Just to warm up to the idea, try and find an assignment close to home and from there, spread your wings. There’s Hawaii, California, Florida, New York, Montana, Oregon, Georgia, Michigan, Texas….

Why should you work in a skilled nursing facility?

Senior and physical therapist Clowning Around

There are a lot of PT, PTA, OT, COTA and SLP short-term jobs in skilled nursing facility (nursing home) settings and they provide a unique set of benefits that you may not see at some of the other settings for rehab and therapist careers, settings like the acute care/hospital setting, outpatient setting, home health and in-patient rehabilitation setting.

Again bringing you our quick 1,2,3 overview (plus 1), here are four of the benefits of working in a nursing home:

  1. See your patients improve – In settings like a acute care/hospital setting you may only see your patients for a few days and thus never see their progression
  2. Great work schedule – Compared to outpatient settings where the pace can be frantic with multiple patients receiving different parts of a treatment and early and late hour appointments
  3. Less documentation – Working in a SNF requires an evaluation for a patient with just a weekly note
  4. Less boredom – In a nursing home setting you will, in most situations get to work not only with other therapists in your discipline, but you will also get to work with other types of therapists. Plus you are going to get the chance to expand the types of patients and injuries and conditions you treat.

What’s the deal?

19095553In my last post I listed some questions you should ask your staffing agencies before you take a short-term contract rehab or therapy job to avoid a disastrous assignment. In this second post of the Ultimate Traveling Rehab & Therapy Questions we are looking at questions you should ask about the specifics of when you are on assignment.

Traveling Rehab & Therapy Questions List 2: On Assignment

  • How many hours of my short-term contract are guaranteed?
  • Are my hours guaranteed?
  • Have other therapists worked at the facility before?
  • Who do I talk to when I have problems with my short-term contract assignment?
  • What type of faciltiy will I be working in during my short-term contract?
  • What shifts will I work?
  • Will I be required to be on-call? If so, what is the on-call pay?
  • What about extensions?
  • Is there a maximum amount of extensions allowed?
  • What happens when I’m sick?
  • Can I make up shifts?
  • Can I extend my contract if I get sick?

Again, I am sure I didn’t get them all so help us build the ultimate list of Traveling Rehab & Therapy Questions by listing any questions you have found useful during your travel therapy and rehab careers.

You got questions, hopefully they have the answers.

16474952The idea of a traveling for therapy and rehab jobs is a fairly new concept. Though it has been around for some time, not many know how to get involved and worse yet, may not know what to do to prepare yourself for the short-term contract assignment. Perhaps you’ve heard of others who have ventured out and loved every second and found their living quarters to be top-notch. Or maybe you’ve heard some who returned with unfavorable results, like the provided housing was “nestled along the shores of a beautiful lake,” when in reality it was a cabin next to a pond full of who knows what! My hope is that all your adventures lead you to the former. This can certainly happen but it will take some legwork from you.

It’s rare that you would make a major purchase, sight unseen, so why would you take a job in a city you’ve never been to and have no idea where you’re living or where you’ll be working. That’s just disaster waiting to happen. So what should you do? Ask questions and plenty of them. Here’s a series of The Ultimate List of Traveling Rehab & Therapy Questions that should help you learn more about the agency you are working with up front. Finding out as many answers to these questions will definitely help you in molding your perfect assignment. Try them out yourself. Have you thought of any other questions you need an answer to?

Short-Term Contract Questions List 1: Housing

  • Is housing furnished? (bed, night stand, couches, tables, etc.)
  • Are utilities paid? Up to how much do they pay? Which Utilities are not paid for?
  • What kind of housing do you offer? Is it private or shared?
  • Is it an apartment or house?
  • Can I have Pets?
  • How close is your housing to the hospital?
  • Does the travel nursing assignment allow me to bring my spouse or significant other, children, pets) Are there charges if I do?
  • When doing housing through your company can I have a part in choosing our own apartment so we can maybe negotiate with the apartment complex for even better deals?
  • Is there a housing package for things such as the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom? (ie: pots/pans, utensils, towels, sheets?)
  • Does the housing you offer come with washer and dryers? If so where is it located? (eg: my room or within the complex?) If in the complex, do I have to pay to use it?
  • What about phone service, Internet (wireless), cable?  Are they included or do I pay for those?
  • How much sooner than my assignment start and end date am I allowed to move in and out?
  • Am I able to see where my room would be located in an apartment layout? Such as close to streets, parks and which floors?
  • Does the housing I am offered come with A/C and/or heat or would I have to find a way to take care of those needs myself?
  • Am I able to know the actual square feet of my apartment before and also see an exact layout of where the rooms are located to make sure the sq. ft. is right for me?
  • Do you offer an extended stay option instead?

Hopefully the answers to these questions will get you the housing you deserve and pictured. All it takes is being a little proactive and you will make your traveling career better than you could have ever imagined.

What to pack on your next assignment.

What to pack
What should you pack?

Leaving your home for any extended period of time can be maddening. There’s so much you have to prepare in order to hit the road and if you plan on making the traveling aspect part of your career there are things you should know. Like what to pack and what can be left behind. Sure you want to make your new temporary homes feel like home, but you can only take so much with you. So what do you take? Medical Solutions has a couple articles, Packing Your Belongings & Packing Your Belongings – Part II pertaining to just that, thought it’s geared towards travel nurses the same can be applied to your situation.