Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 13 – Completing a skills checklist

travel physical therapistDuring this stage of the travel physical therapy process you will start to work with your recruiter to find your position. How this process is handled can change based on the company you work with. Some companies are structured so that your recruiter also contacts the hospital, skilled nursing facility or home health agency directly, while in other travel physical therapy companies those duties are split allowing for more focus and better customer service.

No matter which way your company is structured you will most likely be asked to complete a skills checklist so your recruiter can determine your skill set and comfort with different clinical environments. Which will enable them to find you the travel physical therapy job that matches your abilities and focus. Although some of these can be long, they are no reason to stress. The key is to be honest so that you are matched in the job that is going to be the best fit for you, because nothing is going to give you a bad experience as a traveler more than a job that you don’t feel comfortable in.

Here are some tips to remember when you are completing a skills checklist:

  • Slow Down – Set aside a time when you can slow down and take your time. If you hurry through it you could miss something and have to to go back to complete it later or more annoying, you could have to do it again.
  • Relax – These are not a test. Just be honest with yourself (and your company) with your experience and skill level and you will be fine. A skills checklist that is an honest assessment (even with some areas not as strong as you would like) is better for all involved than one that may be a bit over zealous and provides the wrong information to a facility.
  • Keep Improving – Just because you fill out a skills checklist once doesn’t mean you shouldn’t always be expanding your skills and clinical areas you can work in. It will make you a better and more marketable travel physical therapist so try to branch out a little at each assignment and when you have new skills to add be sure to complete another checklist so your recruiter has it on hand for your next assignment.

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.

Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 10 – Applying to travel PT companies

traveling physical therapists applying for jobs onlineNow that you have your paperwork in order and have done your research online to see what companies interest you, compared them to each other and matched that up with your goals, wants and needs for your travel physical therapy career, it is time to start applying with the top companies on your list.

Applying to travel therapy companies is usually done online, but you can also call in directly. In this step though, we will just look at applying online. We will cover calling in later in this Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide.

When you are applying online you basically have two choices.

  1. Apply to companies one at a time
  2. Use a company gateway site to apply to several companies at once

Both of these have their pros and cons, which we will cover next.

Applying to One Travel Physical Therapy Company at a Time


  • This method keeps you in more control of how many companies are contacting you and have your information.
  • This method also lets you be more selective in the companies you talk to.


  • When you apply to one company at a time it will be a lengthier process for the simple fact that you have to visit multiple sites and put the same information on each company’s website.
  • Another negative is that if none of the companies you talk to have a position you want or just don’t seem like a good fit, then you will have to broaden your search and start the process over again.

Using a Gateway Site to Apply to Several Travel Physical Therapy Companies at a Time


  • Using a gateway site can save you time since you can complete a lot of information in one sitting and depending on the site you use, submit it to the companies of your choice.
  • This option will save you the time of searching the Internet for companies to work with since they are all aggregated in these sites.


  • Applying to a gateway site all but ensures that you will be contacted by all the companies paying for the site’s services if they do not have a company select option
  • Gateway sites can also take longer to complete the required information than a travel physical therapy company’s website because their goal is to provide only the top matched candidates to the companies paying for the service.
  • You will receive a lot of calls from recruiters and marketing efforts from companies once your information is passed on

Some Travel Therapy Gateway Sites are:

Regardless of the option you choose, be prepared to be contacted almost immediately and regularly once your info is submitted.

One final bit of advice to make whatever option you choose easier is to be sure to set up and utilize your “AutoFill” Google toolbar. It will make completing a lot of the basic info requested in on online apps less repetitive to fill out since you can do it with the click of a button.

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.

Featured Traveling Physical Therapy Assistant Job in Washington

  • travel pta in the mountainsTravel PTA (Physical Therapy Assistant) needed for a 13 week assignment in a Skilled Nursing Facility located in Sequim, Washington.
  • This is one of the most popular states to travel in with lots of things to do and beautiful scenery.
  • This position won’t be open long.
  • Great Benefits and Pay!
  • Please call Medical Solutions at (866) 633-3548 to speak with a Career Consultant regarding this travel assignment!

To learn more about this travel Physical Therapy job click here.

Click here to see more Travel Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs.

Featured Traveling Physical Therapy Job in Massachusetts

  • traveling pt in MassachusettsMassachusetts – PT (Physical Therapy) Traveler needed for this 13 week travel assignment.
  • Great benefits and pay with one of the best travel therapy (rehab) agencies.
  • While on assignment visit Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell or Cambridge.
  • Enjoy New England and easy access to activities in many states.
  • Lots of sunshine, beaches, hiking, skiing,and outdoor activities.
  • Contact your Medical Solutions Career Consultant today, whether you are interested in a SNF (Skilled Nursing Facility) , Hospital, Outpatient Rehab or Home Health.
  • Call 1-866-633-3548 for more information

To learn more about this travel Physical Therapy job click here.

Click here to see more Travel Physical Therapy Jobs.