Whether you work as a healthcare traveler or as a healthcare professional in one medical facility, you’re going to need pretty much the same vaccinations as well as the same physical abilities when it comes to being able to perform your job.
Here is a short rundown of the health and vaccination requirements and/or recommendations you’ll need to keep up to date.
Because healthcare workers are exposed to a variety of communicable illnesses and pathogens, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that healthcare professionals receive the “appropriate” vaccines that will reduce the chance that they will get – or spread – what it calls “vaccine-preventable” diseases including:
- Hepatitis B
- Influenza (flu)
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap)
Each vaccine may require a series of dosages at different times, as well as booster dosages after a defined time has passed. Check out the CDC’s page with the recommended dosages and vaccination schedules. By the way, the page has links to many different vaccination resources; it’s a good page to bookmark.
One of those links is to a page detailing state immunization laws for healthcare workers and patients. After all, you could easily find yourself working in an assignment in Texas in spring and in Colorado in summer, with an assignment in California in the fall. Best to know in advance what vaccinations each state recommends.
As for healthcare professionals who need physical accommodations, as with any other healthcare employer – or any employer for that matter – travel staffing services are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to make “reasonable accommodations” to those employees with a disability. The ADA is quite complicated – as you well know – too much so to go into details here. So, if you have any questions or concerns at all, talk to your staffing services’ staffing manager or recruiter.
At least two healthcare professions that are in much demand for traveling – nursing and physical therapy – do have some relatively “physical” demands: Nurses and PTs often must have the physical ability to assist with lifting and transferring a patient and performing CPR. Nurses and PTs also have to have “sufficient mobility” to bend to the floor, stoop, move around quickly and move in a small, confined space.
Still, as mentioned above, a travel staffing service will work to accommodate physical disabilities as much as possible for their travelers. Talk to your staffing manager.
If you have at least one or two years of recent experience as an RN, OT, PT, speech therapist, pharmacist, pharm tech, or other allied health professional, contact the recruiters at MedPro Healthcare Staffing to discuss career opportunities as a healthcare traveler. We look forward to speaking with you.