potential traveler questions

Just starting out as a traveler? Traveling questions or experiences to share? Here's the place.
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Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:26 am

potential traveler questions

Unread post by meobpt » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:02 am

I am in the contemplation stage of becoming a traveling PT. I would love to know James's recommendations for recruiting companies. Do I need to post my email address here in order to do that?
I would also like to hear from people about the realities, such as how frequently do you actually get the locations and practice settings you want?
How often do you end up settling for a less than desirable assignment/location?
If you want to take more than 1 week between assignments, does that work out?
I welcome any tips, guidance that people have to help me determine if this is the right move for me. Thank you!

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Re: potential traveler questions

Unread post by Hobohealth » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:42 am

Hi there!

I should have access to find your email on here... I'll shoot you over my recruiter recommendations.

I say if you have the urge to get on the road, go for it. There's absolutely no downside, it's only 13 week contracts - you can stop traveling after any number of assignments if you find traveling isn't for you. I would guess that you're far more likely to enjoy the ability to move where you want when you want and to be able see a variety of practices and/or settings.

You asked about time off between assignments. I find that one of the great benefits of traveling is getting whatever amount of time off you want between assignments, just no pay for that time off. (some companies will offer a benefit of PTO after a certain number of hours of weeks worked for them if you do multiple contracts in a row with one agency) Where some people run into trouble with time between assignments is with health benefits. Certain companies are sticklers about getting back to work in 14 days to keep your benefits - this really only applies if you are going to stick with one company anyways.

To address your concern about finding the place and setting you want: First of all, it is highly, HIGHLY variable depending on where you want to go. A trustworthy recruiter will be able to advise from a list of a few places you want to go where you might have the best luck finding the job you want. For the most part, in 8 years of traveling, I have found the type of work I wanted - where I wanted - when I wanted. Typically, within a reasonable commute of where ever I want to live, I am able to find good work. But, I have also made myself a person who is able to be flexible, so that when things don't work just how I want them to, I have a back up.

So, here's my brief list of ways to make yourself more flexible and available to opportunities should they arise:

1. Get a few licenses and be willing to travel. If stuff isn't working out for you on finding the job you want in a certain area, having a few licenses will allow you to look elsewhere. Sometimes getting a good contract in a particular city is just a matter of timing, and if you re-visit a troubled job search 13 weeks later, you may find a great change in your choices.

2. Patience, Grasshopper. I very frequently find jobs right when I'm aiming to start working. If there are just no jobs in a particular city, that's one thing - by all means, jump ship and look somewhere else. If there are a good number of jobs in an area, but you just haven't nailed one down yet, waiting may be a valid option. Frequently jobs crop up looking for someone to start as soon as possible. If you are willing to wait until the last minute to find a job, you could be rewarded.

3. Open up your idea of what settings you are willing to work in. I started out doing outpatient only on my first couple assignments, and probably had to sacrifice in other areas to get those jobs (maybe I commuted further or waited longer to find the right job). Over time, I have accumulated experience in a lot of settings that makes my job options much broader. i.e. Working a job that was 1/2 outpatient, 1/2 inpatient opened me up to new inpatient experiences and doing some home care along the way has rendered some good assignments as well.

Bottom line is that if you are set on working in one particular setting, you may have to sacrifice location or be willing to be patient, but frequently, it all just works out. Hope this helps and good luck!

Keep asking questions if you've got 'em, and I'd love to hear other's perspectives too!


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