Travel PT and Taking OCS Exam

Just starting out as a traveler? Traveling questions or experiences to share? Here's the place.
agmitch1
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:26 pm

Travel PT and Taking OCS Exam

Unread post by agmitch1 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:54 pm

I am a new registrant of HoboHealth and very close to signing on as a traveling PT in California. I have been working in outpatient for the past 12 years and have already registered to take the Orthopedic Clinical Specialist Exam ( OCS) offered one time per year in March. Are there or does anyone know of any traveling PT's that were studying for the OCS at the same time as working? I guess anything is doable but wanted to see if anyone has direct experience with this. Any thoughts, comments would be appreciated! Thanks.

Hobohealth
Site Admin
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Travel PT and Taking OCS Exam

Unread post by Hobohealth » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:45 pm

I took the OCS while traveling. I am glad to have the certification. I think it has been very marketable and gotten me good travel assignments I wouldn't otherwise have gotten.

It is a hard exam and will require a lot of studying. The studying is mostly solitary, although I have seen online study groups and prep courses (Evidence in Motion has one I know of).

The 3 things I would recommend studying:
-Current Concepts in Orthopaedic PT Practice - a home study course by APTA'a Ortho Section. A new edition just came out: https://www.orthopt.org/content/c/26_2_ ... th_edition

-Orthopedic Physical Therapy Secrets - I remember answers on the test that I knew only because I had read this book. It may appear to be a small-ish paperback, but there's a lot of words and information packed in there.

-And just generally being up-to-date in your Ortho PT practice, that's the most important thing. If you've been practicing using good evidence the past 12 years, you should do well, if not, you have some ground to make up.

The one downside to being a traveler and studying for the exam at the same time - if you aren't working in a primarily Ortho population, it can be difficult to apply new info you might learn through studying. At the same time, traveling and seeing some variety in setting may help since the test covers Ortho injury management from acute to long-term.

Hope this helps and I hope you do pursue your OCS. Start studying now!

James

Hobohealth
Site Admin
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Travel PT and Taking OCS Exam

Unread post by Hobohealth » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:27 am

Additional unsolicited thought:

I think studying for the OCS and travel PT go well together. Travel PT inherently means changing jobs frequently - maybe every 13 weeks, but maybe just a time or two per year if you take some longer contracts or some extensions at jobs you like. Without a steady employer or clinic, you can easily lose all the external direction and motivation to seek your next educational goal. Doing something like studying for your OCS is a great goal to keep you motivated and learning for a long period of time without having to settle for online CEUs or the most geographically-convenient learning opportunity. Also, you get a very meaningful board certification at the end... I've been meaning to get trained in dry needling for a couple years now, but keep making excuses when I can't find a course convenient to my time off - I guess I just have to bite the bullet and sign up for a course.

My very first blog was a brief one on this topic. Rings as true today as it did 5 years ago: http://hobohealth.com/wordpress/profess ... sacrifice/

Post Reply