Strangers are friends you have yet to meet – Part II

Last week I gave suggestions on the best ways to go about making friends around the workplace as well as outside of work. Today we will expand on that idea and give you a few more ways to help you break the ice with either your new co-workers and those you will encounter outside of work. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself, be comfortable with who you are and show confidence in the way you carry yourself. If you make yourself open and approachable to others, you will have a far better chance at making new friends.

Last week I gave suggestions on the best ways to go about making friends around the workplace as well as outside of work. Today we will expand on that idea and give you a few more ways to help you break the ice with either your new co-workers and those you will encounter outside of work. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself, be comfortable with who you are and show confidence in the way you carry yourself. If you make yourself open and approachable to others, you will have a far better chance at making new friends.

Finding commonality is key in starting a relationship, whether friendly or romantic. Finding those few things you share an interest in can take you a long way. Perhaps your workplace has different groups or clubs you could belong to that appeals to you, such as a biking group or book club. You could volunteer for any of your organizations philanthropy initiatives or start your own group. Finding coworkers with similar interests guarantees that you have something to bond over that’s not just work.

Outside of work you may find it easier to find different groups and clubs to look into to. No matter what city your travel therapy job takes you to, you will certainly find others with common interests. Finding smaller pools of people also allows you to interact with people in a closer, more personal way.

If you’ve tried everything I’ve previously mentioned and nothing is happening… Try taking matters into your own hands. Spread the word around the workplace about meeting after work for some happy hour beverages, organize a pot-luck lunch or try and start your own recurring group activities like a poker night or something to that affect. Any reason to get you and your cohorts away from the job and doing something fun.

If the various social settings are doing nothing for you, there are still other alternatives. Depending on the size of the city your living in while on a short-term therapy contract you can search the internet for local sites, you can even check the tried and true, Craigslist.org. Another good way to meet folks are dating sites, sure it’s more for meeting significant others but can also be a great avenue to make connections.

Sure making friends isn’t as easy as it was when we were growing up, but all you need is just that one friend to get the ball rolling. Remember, most people are just like yourself and may be timid to approach others, but if you make an effort you’ll be surprised at just how friendly people really are.

Here’s a link to first part of the series on ‘Strangers are Friends You Have Yet to Meet.’

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.

What to do inbetween your travel physical therapy assignments

As a traveling therapist you are afforded the freedom many in the workforce will never get to experience. Typically those who work a perm position have to stick to a schedule and use paid time off to enjoy time away from the office. Traveling physical and occupational therapists on the other hand have many choices.

As a traveling therapist you are afforded the freedom many in the workforce will never get to experience. Typically those who work a perm position have to stick to a schedule and use paid time off to enjoy time away from the office. Traveling physical and occupational therapists on the other hand have many choices. As a travel physical therapist you have the option to work year-round and have options to plan on taking some much needed time off between assignments. There are of course times where you may want to keep working if  the location or assignment is what you desire. But if the situation arises, what are some things you can do until you start your next travel therapy job, that is if you choose to continue working as one?

Say you’ve been doing the travel physical therapy thing for a while, and maybe it’s time to settle down for a bit. Lucky you, there is the omnipresent  shortage of therapists all across the country and finding a permanent job shouldn’t be that difficult. Of course, it all matters where you’re living and what the demand may be in your area. Otherwise, you can pick up some temp jobs until you find the position you can tie yourself to.

If you can’t find the next travel therapy job you so desire right away, there are other things you can do to keep yourself busy. Most staffing agencies or at least the major players offer to pay for your continuing education classes to help you keep up to date with your profession. Do your research and see which companies offer these extra benefits.

Maybe you’re a little burnout and a little holiday is the prescription . Hopefully you have built up a little savings to allow you to take the much needed break. You’ve been all over, from big cities to small communities, but maybe you want to the rest of this great planet. Take a cruise, tour Asia, “Im going to Disneyland”, anything else but work! Take the time off and when you’re ready to rejoin the workforce, you’ll hopefully be refreshed and ready to do what you love, all over again.

Some of you though may not be comfortable with the idea of just sitting around doing not much of anything. As a therapist, it’s obvious you have a passion for caring, so why not choose to offer your services toward a worthy cause. As you know the earthquake in Haiti this past January stirred quite a response from the healthcare field and many nurses and other professionals traveled down to assist in any way possible, some were sent to help through organizations and others went on their own accord. Obviously, there is a need for this type of help all around the world and even in your own hometowns. Volunteering is a wonderful way to utilize your skills, expertise and compassion while away from your usual occupations. I’ve listed a few organizations in which you can sign up to volunteer for, either here in the United States or abroad.

Projects Abroad – Projects Abroad is the leading abroad volunteer organization. We offer a diverse range of international service projects, plus the opportunity to become part of one of our volunteer communities abroad.

Hands of Light In Action – a non-profit organization that is very simply focused on assisting people in need. 

Traveling therapists have so many choices when it comes to their vocation. You can work, or you can take advantage of the freedom and do what you want. Either way, being a travel therapsit will never limit you, the only limits those you put on oneself.

Guest Article: How Travel Physical Therapy Jobs Help Prepare PTs for Private Practice

Any job that encompasses travel is perceived to be glamorous, but unless you’ve really been on the move for the better part of your life, you will probably never understand the rigors and hardships that are hidden underneath every breathtaking location you’ve been to. The principle applies to a travelling physical therapist’s job as well – while it may seem desirable and exciting from the periphery, it involves a lot of hard work and a fair amount of instability in your life. But that’s notPhysical Therapist With Patient In Rehabilitation to say that travel physical therapy is all bad; in fact, there is so much that this line of work could teach you. It provides knowledge and information that is not readily available at steady therapy jobs, and because of this, travel physical therapists gain more experience in a relatively short span of time.

If you’re interested in becoming a traveling physical therapist, if you don’t mind travelling to new places for each new assignment, and if you want experience in a wide variety of aspects associated with physical therapy, then travel therapy is the field for you. It’s exciting if you look forward to seeing different places and working with different kinds of patients, it’s exhilarating if you don’t mind uprooting yourself on a regular basis and being unable to settle down in one place, and it’s profitable in the long run if you’re willing to put up with hardships in the short.

In general, travel therapy jobs help physical therapists who hope to set up their own private practice sometime in the future because:

  • They allow you to gain a vast amount of experience in a short period of time.
  • They allow you to work in different settings and gain an insight into how each healthcare environment is managed and administered.
  • They provide you with access to different kinds of patients; so besides gaining experience in all forms of therapy, you’re also able to choose from them and settle on one particular field that interests you the most. In short, choosing a specialization becomes an easier task when you’re a travel physical therapist.
  • They facilitate the process of making enough money to set up your own practice because they pay more than regular therapy jobs.
  • They allow you to decide on the location you want to set up your own practice; you can base your decision using the information you’ve gathered over the years relating to the flow of patients, the kind of payment they’re capable of, the nature of the work environment, the kind of licensing required by the State, and various other factors that you pick up over the course of your travelling assignments.

Setting up your own practice depends on a variety of factors – money, experience, and future prospects. If you’re a travel physical therapist, you’re able to gauge all these factors and make your decision accordingly.

Summertime and the job search can be easy.

Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back and relax this summer, soaking up the rays of the sun, gathering with friends and family for BBQ’s and the like? Yeah sure, if you had a job! Life would be much easier during these summer days knowing you’re in a job that is secure. So what do you do if aren’t fortunate enough to be in this position?

Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back and relax this summer, soaking up the rays of the sun, gathering with friends and family for BBQ’s and the like? Yeah sure, if you had a job! Life would be much easier during these summer days knowing you’re in a job that is secure. So what do you do if aren’t fortunate enough to be in this position?

Travel Therapy Job Search
Use your summer to find a job, not seashells.

Some job seekers may think that since it’s summertime, the chance of finding work may be slim due to vacations and breaks from those who make staffing decisions, and in turn will take a break from the job search. The days of long vacations are gone and many companies operate the same, no matter what time of year. Sure, people still take vacations and the application process could take a little longer than normal, but there’s no sense in stopping your search and waiting through the three months of summer. Now is the time! You never know, summer could be the time when facilities are gearing up for the fall and winter, so it’s best to a step forward.

Take advantage of summer activities with friends and family. You can meet so many different people during all the weddings, BBQ’s, get-togethers and so forth, so it’s the perfect time to network. Let it be known that you’re looking for work and who knows, you just might get a lead or two.

Even though it can take a little more work during the summer months to find that job, don’t give up. Be persistent and stay positive. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being lazy, so do what you can and keep to a schedule, even if you take an hour out of your day. Remember to leave polite messages with whomever you call. Everyone at that faciltiy is entitled to a break, even receptionists and on their return, they’ll be more apt to relay a nice message as opposed to one who is obviously annoyed that they haven’t been contacted. Even so, you even might get through to the hard to reach hiring manager since their assistant is away. You could now be a couple steps ahead of your competition as they wait it out through the summer.

Make use of your downtime and make sure you have everything in order from your licenses, resume and other pertinent information. Update your resume if you’ve accomplished anything as of late. Keep up to date with your skills and enroll in a couple classes if you must and while you’re there, network with other classmates. Perhaps they know of opportunities that may be well suited for you but not for them.

It’s summertime and living can be easy… Just take note of the suggestions above and before you know it, you could land that perfect job before fall arrives.

Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 7 – Looking at Travel Physical Therapy Benefits

Now your next step in the traveling physical therapy process is evaluating the benefits that each company provides its employees. One way travel therapy companies differentiate themselves is by the benefits that they offer, but there are also some basics that you should look for. These are:

Housing
401(K)
Health Insurance
Dental Insurance
Travel Reimbursement
Certification Reimbursement
Direct Deposit

Now your next step in the traveling physical therapy process is evaluating the benefits that each company provides its employees. One way travel therapy companies differentiate themselves is by the benefits that they offer, but there are also some basics that you should look for. These are:

  • Housing
  • 401(K)
  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Travel Reimbursement
  • Certification Reimbursement
  • Direct Deposit

Companies will offer differing levels of these basic benefits and some will also offer other benefits including:

  • Life Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Referral bonus
  • Completion bonus
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Extension bonus
  • Free continuing education credits
  • Paid-Private Furnished housing

Keep in mind however, these benefits still come from somewhere and that is your pay, this is especially true if the travel physical therapy company you are going with only offers standard packages that you can’t customize. But if your company lets you personalize your pay package and utilizes Per Diem allowances you will have a lot better opportunity to get the benefits you really want and maximize your pay at the same time.

Next up in the Travel PT Career Guide we will look at how to research and evaluate travel therapy companies.