Do you have what it takes to be a travel physical therapist? Therapy professionals that do best in this branch of healthcare have the qualities, both naturally and through experience, it takes to succeed. But when you’re just starting out, you may not fully understand what is required of you and what you’ll need to make a go of this great career opportunity. You’ll want to take steps to avoid the three biggest pitfalls of new travel PTs. Here’s what you need to know.
When you’re just starting out as a travel PT, you may not know exactly what’s around the next corner in your career—and that’s OK. As a travel worker, this is to be expected—especially since you’ve signed up for change and surprises! But you can prepare yourself for a successful travel PT career by avoiding these three common mistakes:
- Traveling too far from home on your first few assignments. No doubt, you are excited to get out and see the world as a travel PT! But always remember that until you’re used to the open road, it may be best to stick somewhat close to home (within about an hour’s drive) for your first few assignments. Most placements last around 13 weeks; if you’ve never been away from family and friends for an extended period of time, you may find it takes some getting used to. You can take comfort knowing that familiar faces are a short drive away—just in case you need them.
- Not fully reviewing your placement before accepting it. It’s important to review all the details of your contract before accepting an assignment. Have a full understanding of what you’re agreeing to before you sign on the dotted line, to make sure you’ll be satisfied with your placement. Learn about the type of facility, how many beds will be in your caseload, your roles and responsibilities, available housing and benefits, your rate of pay, etc. Ask as many questions as you can of your recruiter so you can make a good, informed job decision.
- Arriving to your new home ill-prepared . Yes, you’ll be able to buy new things if you need them once you arrive at your assignment. But it’s much easier if you have what you need with you. Bring seasonally appropriate clothing and outerwear, work clothes and shoes, exercise clothes and sneakers, and all pertinent personal items. You also may need to bring household items, as well (check with your recruiter to learn more about your housing situation). In addition, you’ll want items for entertainment, including a TV/DVD player, computer, video games, books, games, etc. And it can’t hurt to have a travel app or two up your sleeve to learn more about the area around you. Good travel apps include Gogobot, Waze, CityMapper, FoodSpotting and Time Out.
On your mark, get set—go travel!
There aren’t many jobs that allow you to learn and grow quite like a travel therapy job. With just a little planning and preparation, you’ll be able to launch your travel career smoothly—taking the first step towards a rewarding PT career.
You can find your next travel placement with MedPro Healthcare Staffing
We’re an experienced provider of placements for travel healthcare professionals—and we’ll work with you for a rewarding assignment that helps you move your career forward. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the travel world a while, MedPro Healthcare Staffing will give you the support you need for success. To learn more, contact one of our recruiters today.