How to Become a Travel Physical Therapist

You might be familiar with travel nurses, but did you know that there are travel contracts available for physical therapists as well?

Physical therapists can become traveling medical professionals as soon as they graduate from school and obtain their Doctor of Physical Therapy – no previous job experience required. If this is something that interests you, reach out to us and our Ventura MedStaff therapy recruiters will find a contract and facility for you. Want to learn more? Read below for the simple steps it takes to become a travel PT.

What Do You Need to Become a Traveling Therapist?

The requirements for becoming a traveling therapist are the same as being an on-staff physical therapist – you need your DPT.

Once you graduate from your school, you will have to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination. The NPTE will test your knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and biomechanics. You will also have to pass the practical clinical testing to ensure you can transfer your theoretical knowledge into practice.

What Do You Need to Start Traveling?

All of this is required for you to become a physical therapist. Then, once you decide to become a traveling therapist you have the start thinking about where you want to be licensed. Just like travel nurses, travel physical therapists are only licensed to practice in their own state. If you want to work outside your state, you will have to apply for the license of that state. It can be tedious, especially if you want to work in a new state every 13 weeks, we know. But there is an alternative.

Just like there is a licensure compact for travel nurses, so too is there one for traveling therapists. This  PT Compact will enable you to work in any member state with just one license. This makes things so much simpler for all traveling medical professionals.

Do I Need Experience to Become a Traveling Therapist?

There isn’t really a rule for who can and can’t become a traveling physical therapist, as long as they are licensed. However, most people look to gain some experience, develop some work habits, and get to know the working environment before they take the plunge and travel thousands of miles away from home for a short-term contract.

If, however, you feel that you are ready immediately, all you need to do is contact a reliable travel medical staffing agency and pick your first assignment. Becoming a traveling physical therapist can lead to better pay, gaining more experience at a faster rate, and lets you explore the country and states you never thought you’d see before. That sounds like a great experience for physical therapists of all levels.

Are There Downsides to Becoming a Traveler?

Like with most professions, there are some advantages and disadvantages to becoming a traveling physical therapist. One struggle a lot of travelers face is finding short-term housing. However, talking with your recruiters, they will probably know some properties in the area you can look at, or have some resources available for you to check out. Most importantly, though, keep in mind that the hospital can cancel your contract at any time. Whether it is because they filled the posting with a permanent staff member or the need for your position has ceased, your contract can be terminated, and there’s not much you can do about it, so being prepared for that is an important part of the mindset of a good traveling physical therapist.

So, if you feel up to the challenge, contact Ventura MedStaff and join our growing family of travel medical professionals. Live your adventure.




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