When you start looking for a travel therapy job one great place to start are job boards and application portals that let you apply to multiple travel rehab and therapy companies at once.
Job boards are excellent if you are looking for a specific job in an area. That way you can choose to work with travel therapy companies that have jobs that meet your criteria, without wasting time getting to know a company and recruiter only to find out that they don’t have a job you want.
Meanwhile the application portal is a great option if you are just getting your feet wet in a travel therapy career and looking for a company for the first time. They are also a good way to shop around for a new travel therapy company without having to visit a bunch of websites or call a bunch of companies. Why? Because when you put your resume or information on one of these boards the companies will call you. Trust me. So make sure to use an email address or phone number that you don’t mind being contacted at. i.e. not your work account or phone.
But if you do want to be more selective, some travel therapy application portals let you select which companies you want to work with. And also keep in mind that not every company is on every job board so if you rely on these solely to fine your next travel therapy company you may miss out on some really good companies too.
Some good job boards and application portals in the travel therapy industry are:
And just for good measure, here are some therapy jobs boards and application portals that are more broad and not focused solely on travel positions:
Short-term travel rehab and therapy jobs normally last 13 weeks, but many hospitals and skilled nursing facilities prefer to have longer contracts for their travelers. But overall the length of the time can vary, but what is most important is that you as a travel therapist know what you want. Are you looking for a series of short-term travel assignments all across the country that let you see and experience a bunch of new places or are you looking for a travel therapy job that is more stable and lets you stay close to your family and home.
Short-term travel rehab and therapy jobs normally last 13 weeks, but some hospitals and skilled nursing facilities prefer to have longer contracts for their travelers like 26 weeks. But overall the length of the time can vary, but what is most important is that you as a travel therapist know what you want.
Are you looking for a series of short-term travel assignments all across the country that let you see and experience a bunch of new places or are you looking for a travel therapy job that is more stable and lets you stay close to your family and home.
If it is your first travel therapy assignment you may want to keep it short with an option to extend, especially if you are going to be working away from home. On the other hand if you are working close to home there is nothing stopping you from working a longer contract or extending multiple times. Whatever you decide is going to be best for your travel rehab career, make sure you let your recruiter know up front so they can work to find you the assignment that is the best fit for you.
A quick follow up to Patrick’s last post about 3 Reasons to Consider Travel Rehab and Therapy Jobs.
Another reason the money can be so good for travel therapists is the cost of living differences across the country.
Well, if your permanent residence is in a state with a relatively low cost of living like Oklahoma or Arkansas, then the money you make in high cost of living states like California or Washington D.C. is going to be worth a lot more back home, when you go to buy a car or house for instance.
And conversely if your permanent residence is in a high cost of living state you can travel to and live in low cost of living areas and make major purchases there and scope out cool, new potential places to live, without committing to them.
This rule holds true whether you are a physical therapist, PTA, occupational therapist, COTA or SLP. Use sites like Payscale.com to see the difference for yourself.
If you haven’t heard, you can take your profession as a therapist or rehab specialist on the road to locations you’ve only dreamt about. Say you want to work in Hawaii, you can do that. Or maybe you’re more of a nature freak and what better place to explore the great outdoors than say, Colorado or maybe even Montana. You see the choice is yours when it comes to becoming a “traveler” and what’s better than being able to see new places and meet new people? The answer is knowledge.
By moving from town to town and state to state you will undoubtedly come across a variety of people, cultures and more importantly job experiences. It is quite possible that you will take something from each and every assignment or short-term contract. Whether it be a new method of therapy or some rehab technique, heck you might even learn something that doesn’t pertain to your profession at all, like fly fishing! Yes, choosing life as a traveling therapist or traveling rehab specialist can be very rewarding. The benefits of traveling are too long to list as well as the benefits of continuing to educate ones self.
Besides learning from your travels around the country from hospital to skilled nursing facility to an in-home assignment you could also take some classes or attend one of the various seminars and conferences throughout the year.
Here is a list of events dedicated to all things PT as provided by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
Continuing education opportunities from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
Events and continuing education from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
While out on your next traveling assignment you may find yourself with some downtime and there are so many ways to spend that time. Depending on where you are located you could take in a round of golf or catch some rays at the local beach or perhaps you’d like to do some exploring by hiking around a nearby mountain range. Yes, your options are endless when you take on a traveling rehab or therapy position, but what about the time when you just want to kick back and relax. That’s the time you could kick back and relax on the deck and cozy up to a good book. Over at MikeReinold.com is an “Essential Reading List” aimed at all things rehab. Mike states, “The goal was to include books that I felt were influential in my development and clinical practice.” Maybe you have some of your own books that you’d like to share that were also very significant in your development or perhaps turned you on to the idea of becomming a therapist or rehab specialist.
Unless you were like me up until about a year ago, I was without a cell phone. Don’t say it, I know, it’s nice to be a part of the 21st century. I’m sure there are the rare few out there and I commend you but I cannot picture myself without one nowadays. I thought to myself, why just get a phone, I want the best there is out there and I settled on the iPhone from Mac/Apple. It was by far the best purchase of 2008 for me, (the house comes in a close second.) It’s quite the tool and I personally think there is nothing else out there that can come close to matching it’s power and capabilities. There is one small qualm I have with it and is aimed more at the service provider AT&T. You see I live in Omaha, Nebraska, and we have a modest population of around 1 million if you count the surrounding burbs and whatnot. Well the problem is that I live in the heart of the city, midtown and at my home I get “No Service.” Ridiculous and I’ll save that for another time.
I’m sure can already guess how a “smartphone” like an iPhone can help you on your next therapy or rehab assignment. Recently Mac released the 3rd generation iPhone 3G s complete with GPS, video, tethering and all sorts of other goodies, so many that I’d have to write another post about it. Again, we’ll save it for some other time. You see, having a phone like this in your pocket is so many things in one and you wouldn’t really need to bring your desktop or laptop computer wherever you go.
You can access your emails from many different accounts and have them all sync up in one place, or you can check out what all your friends and family are doing and saying on Facebook. You can map out the route to your next short-term contract assignment and follow along, send pictures of all the places you stop along the way and on and on and on. It seems there isn’t much the iPhone can’t do and a few of the other phones out there have the same capabilities but they just don’t hold the prestige of the iPhone, in my opinion. There are loads of applications (apps) you can load too. There is something for everyone, from games to medical information, it’s all there. Here’s a list of essential apps for the traveler and another of accessories for your iPhone essential to travel.
So you see, all you need is a phone and you’ll be well on your way to making the most out of your assignments and keeping in touch with the life you left behind at home. Good luck and happy travels to you all.