Being a traveling medical professional is an occupation that has been getting more popular in recent years, as the demand for medical staff has been steadily increasing, outpacing the supply.
Whether it’s nurses, doctors, or therapists, most medical professionals can easily find temporary work all over the country. Here at Ventura MedStaff, we have been helping medical professionals find the best travel assignment for themselves for years.
But what is it really like to be a travel physical therapist? In this blog post, we’ll give you a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day life of a travel physical therapist.
Responsibilities of a Traveling Physical Therapist
For a lot of your work responsibilities, your day will not be too different from a staffed physical therapist. These responsibilities will typically vary depending on the facility where you find yourself.
However, there are some things that are standard for most facilities and most days. A lot of your days will start with conducting patient assessments for the patients assigned to you. Once you have all the information you need from patients, you can start developing and implementing treatment plans, as your schedule and the facilities allow. At better-equipped medical institutions, you may find yourself with a variety of gear and facilities, whereas in other places you will have to make do with more limited equipment.
This, however, is one of the things that make traveling as a physical therapist so interesting and rewarding – learning to adapt and do the best with what is available to you.
Learning & Teaching Is a Part of Your Job
Even though your primary job is to help your patients feel better, you should be open to learning from your peers and take advice if given. For the most part, your coworkers will be staffed therapists with plenty of experience with patients and the facility itself – listen to them and try to adopt some new techniques and practices. Try and team up with a mentor if you can.
At the same time, you can also transfer your knowledge. If you’ve seen and learned techniques your colleagues are not familiar with, offer to teach them. Another way you can transfer your knowledge is by showing your patients some things that can help them in their recovery even after they leave the facility and your immediate care.
Properly documenting everything you do, and the patient’s recovery is vital, not only for their recovery while under your care, but also later on. For example, if they visit a different doctor, knowing what you did and what techniques or tools you used to help your patients can be of great help for further diagnostics or future performance.
Another thing you may need to do is evaluate and track the work performance of your therapy assistants. They are a crucial part of the healthcare system, and they will rely on you and your notes on improving the level of care they provide to their clients.
Ups and Downs of Being a Traveling Physical Therapist
While there are many perks that come from traveling as a medical professional, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. For example, traveling to a new location every 13 weeks (the average duration of the traveling therapist contract) can be exhausting to some people, while others may thrive with the opportunity to adapt.
There is one thing that is universally seen as a great thing – the compensation. Generally speaking, traveling physical therapists are paid significantly more than staffed physical therapists – most likely due to the high demand for qualified and skilled professionals.
Job security is another factor that can be concerning to traveling physical therapists when they start out. This is because the medical facility that hires you has the right to unilaterally cancel your contract on a whim. However, if that happens, the chances are that you will be able to find a new travel position quickly with the help of your recruiter.
If you’re willing to put in the hard work, travel physical therapy can be a very rewarding career. Ready for an adventure? Reach out to us at Ventura MedStaff, and we can get you on the path to becoming a traveling medical professional.