Travel occupational therapy is a profession that requires a lot of flexibility, resourcefulness, responsibility, and engagement which are also the regular requirements of an occupational therapist’s everyday tasks. So, it’s no wonder that many occupational therapists are drawn to the field of traveling at some point in their careers when they discover they have the option. If you are considering embarking on this journey, we have prepared a step-by-step guide for travel occupational therapists and all of those who would like to become one in the hope of answering your burning questions. Let’s dive in!
Who Can Be a Travel Occupational Therapist?
Anyone who already holds a master’s degree in occupational therapy and is, therefore, a licensed therapist can easily join the world of traveling healthcare professionals. So, no further qualifications are necessary to start your travel OT career.
Does it Pay Off To Become a Travel Occupational Therapist?
Travel therapists earn competitive pay in the world of travel nursing and their paycheck can depend on the experience, too. So don’t forget to count that in.
What Are the Benefits Of Being a Travel OT?
This job also comes with a number of benefits, such as free, low-cost housing or a housing reimbursement stipend. It should also include medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, so feel free to ask your healthcare recruiter for more information on how they handle these perks. Don’t forget to ask about bonuses that are included, for example, a referral bonus. And, last but not least, the biggest benefit of this way of living is being able to travel!
How To Get Started As a Travel OT?
Once you’ve decided to combine working with traveling to some beautiful places you’d want to choose the right med staffing agency for yourself. There is plenty of information on the internet, so dig in, take your time and ask around! Some of your friends or OT colleagues might have already tried working as travel professionals and could share some valuable first-hand experience and give you a unique sneak-peek into the traveling way of life!
What To Pay Attention To As a First-Time Traveling Occupational Therapist?
The first thing that should be on your to-do list is to find the right medical staffing agency. Ideally, you want the healthcare recruiter to have great reviews, offer great pay, and include a variety of perks and benefits in the package, but most importantly to be there for you and to recognize your professional and personal worth. A healthcare recruiter that you can connect with, get all the information from, and rely on is crucial for any medical worker out there. As Ventura MedStaff practices, it should be at your disposal at any time – from the beginning of the application process to the end of your contract.
The second thing you should probably consider is the location of your travel therapist assignment. Ask yourself how far would you like to go and how many hours of traveling will it take you to get there. The actual distance might not be the problem for some people, but it might be better to take on assignments that are closer to your permanent residence for starters, just in case you get homesick.
Then, it all comes down to organizing! We suggest breaking things down into categories. Make a list of tasks you need to complete and things you need to pack and then slowly start crossing them out.
While your med staffing agency can and will help you with the administration like obtaining your state license, there are still some things that you need to take care of on your own – like handling your tax. This can be a daunting task but the one you should be aware of as it needs to be handled with finesse. You can always get help from a tax professional if you are not a financial expert.
Make sure you always agree to clear arrangements and accept only clear conditions defined by your travel contract. Everything is supposed to be transparent and there should be no gray zones.
It is easy to get caught up in the professional part of your new lifestyle, which is pretty understandable as we all want to prove ourselves worthy and as medical workers are truly dedicated to our patients. But don’t forget to take breaks, to seize the opportunities to travel, explore and experience as much as you can.
As an occupational therapist, you know how important it is to adapt to the environment and to adapt the environment to your patients’ needs. Ventura MedStaff team is dedicated to providing the same to its employees.