Strangers are friends you have yet to meet.

So you’re the new kid in class, or in your case, the new travel therapist in town and you know not a single soul. If you think back to when you were in school you’ll soon realize how simple it was to make friends. You’re all there for the same reason and relatively all around the same age, so finding commonalities and striking up conversations and the like was fairly easy.

So you’re the new kid in class, or in your case, the new travel therapist in town and you know not a single soul. If you think back to when you were in school you’ll soon realize how simple it was to make friends. You’re all there for the same reason and relatively all around the same age, so finding commonalities and striking up conversations and the like was fairly easy. But now you’re out on your own and about to embark on a new career in travel therapy, meeting all kinds of different people, young and old, with all types of different interests besides your occupation. So what can you do to find yourself new friends you can relate to?

Making friends on your next travel therapy assignmentAt work you may find it hard to approach others. The various schedules and taking care of patients can make it difficult to interact with your coworkers. Being the newest staff member it is important to make yourself accessible, and make an effort to show that you are a friendly and approachable person. Try and get yourself in some water-cooler talk and ask others about their weekends or plans they may have for the week. Any reason you can find to engage with your peers will prove to them that you’re willing to make the effort to be their friend.

When you’re outside of work and don’t have a network of friends, think of the entire city full of people as an opportunity at friendship. The easiest thing you can do to help meet others is be open and cordial. Smile as you come upon people passing by. Start a conversation in line at coffee shop or grocery store. The more you seem approachable the more apt others will be to want to connect with you.

You’re going to have to make an effort to make friends, you can’t just keep yourself bottled up. It’s highly unlikely that others will approach you if you put off a closed demeanor. Sure, things may seem awkward at first, but that’s natural. In the beginning, take every opportunity to engage with others. If there’s a group going out to lunch, go. Even if you brought your own lunch. If the gang is going out for some post-work drinks, go. You need to show you’re a team player if you want to be included in their reindeer games.

Outside of the workplace, the same rules apply. If you go to the same places all the time, you’ll eventually just run into the same people. Wherever your travel therapy job is located, you know is full of people so you should branch out. Take a joga class. Try going to different supermarkets. Try going to dinner, catch a flick or grab a drink by yourself. Bartenders are always a good place to start for conversation. If meeting new people makes you a little nervous, start out small and try and just start talking to the one person you see most often, like the coffee shop barista or perhaps a neighbor.

Next week, we’ll expand on the topic of making friends in new places, but until then try these few methods I’ve given you and see for yourself what being an approachable person can do for your social life. If you have any tips for others, please share them in our comments sections.

Top running road race destinations for travel physical therapists

travel physical therapist running in road raceIf you like running road races then you already know how much fun they can be, whether it is one of the small town community races or the big nationally known ones.

If you haven’t ran one yet you should so you can see what you are missing out on. You don’t have to be an Olympian for it to be fun.

Running in them is a great way to meet new people and experience a new city and as a travel physical therapist you can use your assignments to add to the list of races you have run.

Here are some resources to help you find a road race near your next assignment:

Athlete 360: New Television Show on Sports Medicine

Here in America sport is our passion. We idolize different men and women from all sports and tend to know more about them than our friends and family. Now you can learn a little bit more about them than ever before, thanks to a new television show that is all about sports medicine and showcases different athletes from NASCAR to the PGA.

Television show on sports medicine for physical therapistsHere in America sport is our passion. We idolize different men and women from all sports and tend to know more about them than our friends and family. Now you can learn a little bit more about them than ever before, thanks to a new television show that is all about sports medicine and showcases different athletes from NASCAR to the PGA. Here’s what the production company, Serious Fun Productions says about their new TV show…

We’re American sports fans. We’re two-parts passion and one-part religion. We live and breathe sports. And now that our athletic heroes have become part of our everyday life, we want to know them, inside and out.

Now, we can. Literally. Dr. Mark Adickes, a Super Bowl-winning NFL offensive lineman turned Harvard-educated orthopedic surgeon is our host. And with his expert help (and state-of-the-art scanning and MRI technology), Athlete 360 gives us a window into our heroes’ past – letting us see the physical effect of their awe-inspiring careers… and the physical toll those acts of heroism exacted.

But this is not just a voyeuristic look at blown ACL’s and Tommy John surgeries. It’s a chance to see how the sports we love have changed, a chance to better understand what today’s athletes go through, and importantly, how to protect our kids from future injuries as they compete.

Dr. Adickes will explain how surgery techniques have improved, interview past and current elite athletes about their bodies, and give weekend warriors and parents alike a true inside look at sports.

So if there happens to be a time on your travel therapy assignment in which you find yourself with nothing to do… You now have an alternative.

Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 11 – Traits of a great recruiter

travel physical therapy recruiterNow that you have applied for a travel physical therapy job, you can be assured that you will soon be contacted by a recruiter. Physical therapists that are willing to work short-term contract jobs are in high demand, which will put you in a good negotiating position to make sure you get what you want out of an assignment.

But before you do that you need to make sure you have a good recruiter.

In the travel physical therapy industry it is often your relationship with your recruiter that determines whether you enjoy your assignment, like your company and even to a certain degree how well you do on the job.

As you start down a travel physical therapy career path you will find that the relationship you have with your recruiter is one that will grow over time. They will be your source of information and a resource for you throughout your assignment so it is important that you trust them. The relationship should be one that feels like a partnership where the two of you work together to achieve your goals, not an employer/employee one.

[pullquote]There are bound to be challenges that come up during your assignment and you will want to feel like you can be completely upfront and honest with your recruiter about it so that you can resolve the issue as quickly as possible.[/pullquote]

There are bound to be challenges that come up during your assignment and you will want to feel like you can be completely upfront and honest with your recruiter about it so that you can resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Open communication is the best way to make sure you get the most of out of your assignment and meet your goals whether they are learning new skills, treating different kinds of patients or just seeing new places the more your recruiter knows about you and your aspirations the better.

In the end, due to the fact that your recruiter will play such a large part in your life while you are traveling or working a contract close to home you want someone that feels more like a friend than a business associate.

They should be someone who calls just to see how you are doing and someone you can call when you need advice. You want a recruiter who will stand up for you should the need ever arise.

Do you have the greatest travel physical therapy recruiter?

traveling physical therapy assistantHave you ever wanted to tell the world about your travel physical therapy recruiter, but didn’t know how? Well here is your opportunity.

You can vote for them in Healthcare Traveler’s 2010 Recruiter of the Year Contest. This yearly contest gives travelers the chance to nominate and vote for their recruiter. It is a great chance to let your recruiter know how much you appreciate them.

It only takes a minute. Here is the link: 2010 Recruiter of the Year Nomination Form

Find local services during your travel PT job with Thumbtack.com

Thumbtack.comWhen you are on the road during a travel physical therapy job your company is going to handle a lot of life’s little headaches for you, like plumbing problems (yuck!) or setting you up with furniture in your housing.

But there are still bound to be issues that you encounter that you will need to help with. For instance do you know where you would go in a new city to have your computer fixed or watch your dog?

Or what if you just want a massage or need guitar lessons? 

With Thumbtack.com you can easily find people providing these services in the cities your travel physical therapy assignment is in.

Using the site is easy. Here are the basics:

  1. Sign up with your email address and Zipcode – make sure to add new or change your locations if your next assignment takes you to another city
  2. You can search for a service you need (and they have great customized search tools) or post a request using their Personal Concierge Service and they will find someone who provides it for you within 24 hours
  3. And if you want, you can set up your own service to provide and market yourself, although that may be tough for a traveler. However, if you can make money from properly fitting running shoes on the road or sharing that hidden drawing skill while you are on the road why not set one up.

Also, like all good sites like this they have good privacy options that let you set the visibility levels of your profile.

At the very least if you don’t set up your own profile you can browse the services provided in your state (these are listed at the bottom of the site) to find the contact info and web addresses of the businesses on Thumbtack.com, which could make your next assignment easier if you need to find a trusted service quickly.

So check it out.