When I began my job hunt after graduating from PT school and passing my board exam, I wasn’t sure which setting I wanted to work in permanently. Having enjoyed all my clinical rotations in school and having numerous interests, I began looking for a permanent position where I would have the opportunity to rotate between units and/or clinical settings. This type of position turned out to be much harder to find than I originally anticipated. So, I decided that I could create my own rotating position as a traveling Physical Therapist. I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made!
I decided to create an informational packet about Travel PT from the perspective of a new graduate for the students attending my alma mater, and any other new graduates who may be interested in doing travel PT. I remember how intimidating it can be to enter the job market as a new grad and how exciting, yet nerve-wracking the idea of traveling can be. I hope that new grads find this information helpful and gives them the insight they need to make an informed decision about their first position as a licensed PT.
•Gain valuabe work experience in a variety of settings
• Enhance your skill set as a Physical Therapist
• Grow your professional network
• Experience different geographic locations throughout the country and enjoy what each location has to offer
• Do you have friends & family scattered across the country?
• Do you take an adventure’s approach to life?
• Hone your interviewing and communication skills
• Find out what’s important to you in a position prior to beginning a permanent position
• Take the “good” and the “not so good” aspects of each assignment to frame interview questions prior to taking a permanent position
• And as an added bonus!!! Great compensation benefits
Sample Experiences from My Journey as a Traveling PT
Experience 1: • Cleveland, OH • Outpatient worker’s compensation and occupational medicine • Became Worker’s Comp Certified in the State of Ohio • Gained experience working alongside physicians • Human Performance Evaluations & Work-Hardening Training • AllScripts Documentation
• Urbana, OH • Outpatient pediatrics, outpatient orthopedic & sports medicine, aquatic therapy, inpatient acute care, and swing bed program!! • EPIC Documentation! • Opportunity to take McKenzie Part A: MDT of the Lumbar Spine
It’s an awesome way to add to your Physical Therapy skill set!
Is it true that most travel contracts are for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs)?
While there are many contracts for skilled nursing facilities, there are also travel assignments available in a variety of other setting including but not limited to:
• Private outpatient facilities
• Hospital-based outpatient facilities
• Acute care
• Inpatient rehabilitation
• Swing bed
• Assisted living
• Home health
What are Questions to Ask When Interviewing for a Travel Position?
• What does a typical day look like? What will my schedule be? Will I be working in a single location or will I be traveling to multiple locations? • What will my caseload be? How many and what types of patients? Do you double book? • What is the make up of your staff? Is it a single therapist clinic or a larger staff? • What documentation system do you use? • What kind of orientation will you provide? • Never ask about compensation and benefits. This will all be handled through your travel company and recruiter
Will I Receive the Support I Need as a New Graduate?
• It is important to work with a recruiter who understands and is sensitive to the needs of a new graduate. • Working with a recruiter who knows which contracts and clients are open to a new graduate is key. • With that being said, there will be some positions that will not be willing to interview a new graduate • When speaking to recruiters it is important to ask about their experience placing new graduates. • Some companies even offer free unlimited online CEUs for their travelers. This is another question to consider when speaking with recruiters from different travel companies.
Will I Be Eligible for Benefits?
ABSOLUTELY! Most companies will offer you company-paid Disability & Life Insurance on the 1st day of the month.after beginning your first contract you will be eligible for medical, vision, and dental insurance • If you contract begins December 31st, you are eligible January 1st • If your contract begins January 2nd, you are eligible February 1st • Many companies also offer several elective insurance plans that you can opt into if you choose • After 90 days of employment, you will be eligible for 401K retirement programs • DON’T FORGET! – You are also reimbursed for travel, licensing, and pre-employment requirements such as fingerprinting & drug testing
Why Did I Choose Ardor & Miranda?
Prior to deciding on a travel company, I spoke to dozens of different companies and their recruiters. For me, Ardor and Miranda stood out from the rest. For one thing, Ardor is a HUGE travel company with A TON of available contracts across the United States in a wide variety of settings. Secondly, Miranda is phenomenal. Unlike many recruiters, she is not pushy or threatening like some other recruiters I spoke with. She works with you to find the best match for you. I interviewed for a few different contracts and said “No” to a few before accepting my first contract. She was completely understanding and moved forward with finding another option for me. Unlike many recruiters who want to just get you signed for one contract, Miranda takes care of her travelers from day one so they will continue to come back to her for assignment after assignment. I know that she’s always available for anything I may need on a daily basis.
A Helpful Tip if You Know You Want to Travel
Apply for multiple licenses at the time of original licensure. This will make it easier for you in the beginning as applying for endorsement in other states can be a lengthy process in some states. For example, if you have family in California, friends in South Carolina, and you want to go to Texas at some point, apply for all 3 states prior to taking the NPTE.
Want More Information About Current Travel Opportunities with Ardor Health Solutions?
The Ardor Health Solutions mobile app is another example of the perfect combination between technology and healthcare. The Ardor Health app helps you to find your next position. Your dream job could be at your fingertips no matter what career you hold in the healthcare industry. Click below Download The Ardor Health App Now!
Surf the Ardor Health Solutions website: https://www.ardorhealth.com/
Check out Miranda’s Facebook page where she post’s some of the HOT travel contracts she has available.