Tension runs high when discussing whether new graduate Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists should work travel assignments immediately after graduation. Some professors condition students to believe that it is a bad idea to jump into travel right after graduation. Yes, travel therapy isn't for everyone. But, many new graduates have flourished as traveling healthcare professionals.
As a Rehab Therapy recruiter, I have experience working with eager new graduates entering the work force. During my time, I have helped dispel many common myths of travel. Let's take a look into a few!
You will not get any mentorship. Though it is true that many travel assignments do not offer a formal mentorship program, your recruiter will put you in touch with a facility that has other therapists on staff. In addition, you will have orientation to become acquainted with documentation systems and the way the facility is run. We are here to set you up for success.
Travel therapy is a bad career move and hurts your chances of getting a permanent job later. This could not be further from the truth. Because you have a wide variety of experience through travel assignments, travelers are seen as well-rounded. Because of that, travelers tend to be a bit quicker to adapt whereas other therapists may only know how to give treatment in one specific way.
You can only be a good therapist if you work in one setting only. Working in multiple settings can put you light-years ahead of other recent graduates working a permanent position in one setting. Being a well rounded-therapist will make you more desirable when interviewing for subsequent positions. You also have the ability to impact more than one population of people during your time as a traveler.
You have no choice in where you go. This is simply false. You are the captain of this ship. This is your show! Tell us where you want to be and we are going to do our best to make it happen. Yes, there will be times where there won't be jobs in a highly desired location due to saturation or popularity. If that is the case, we promise to be up front about it. Of course, the more flexible you are to location, the easier it will be for us to find you a position. But, for the most part we can set you up in one of your preferred locations.
You will have to bounce around the country all the time and you will be lonely. As mentioned above, location is up to you. If you are looking to hang around one or two states, we can often make that work. If you are looking to travel all over the country, we can help with that too!
Also, you certainly don't have to do this alone. Take your significant other. Travel with your pet. You can even make a friend on assignment and travel together!
Getting licensed in multiple states is too hard and expensive. It is true that some state licenses are more difficult to obtain than others. But, for the most part, many states have a simple application and verification process. There are only a handful of states that require you to take additional exams and/or get fingerprinted. Plus, Physical Therapy compact licensing is on its way! Many travel companies will reimburse the entire cost of the license, so you will not lose money in the end.
What other myths have you heard about traveling as a new graduate? Comment below!