More books for your brain!

3409035557_d0490b0315Again over at MikeReinhold.com he’s listed the favorites of some highly respected clinicians in the field of orthopedics and sports medicine. This time around we have an Essential Reading List from George Davies, who Mike says,  “George is considered to be one of the founding pioneers of sports physical therapy and one of the most respected expert clinicians.” With a description like that, you know there’s going to be some good stuff on that list.The next contribution is an Essential Reading List from Eric Cressey. According to MikeReinhold.com, “Eric offers another perspective on our essential reading list, but you can start to see the overlap between the disciplines of physical therapy, athletic training, strength and conditioning, and fitness.”

There is a wealth of information and knowledge in those couple lists. I’m sure you may have read some of the books and I hope that maybe you also discover a few that you have not. Try and make it a goal of yours to read at least one book while you’re on your short-term rehab or therapy contract assignment. Please comment about any other reading materials you see fit to add to your own list.

Expand your skillset by traveling and doing this.

32383106If 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).

iPhones for the mobile lifestyle.

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.

19194652I’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.

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.