TRAVELING OT

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Comments (48)

Sandy in Capistrano Beach, California

59 months ago

lashley in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: To practicing traveling therapists:

I am a soon-to-be new graduate and am seriously contemplating signing up with a travel company for my first job[s]. Does anyone think this is not a good idea for an entry-level therapist?

My motives for doing traveling OT are that I do not have a sig. other and am able to do it, I love to travel, and I don't want to commit to practicing in one place just yet. Any pros/cons to the traveling world or words of advice?

Much appreciated!

I don't know if traveling companies will hire someone just out of school with no work experience other than fieldwork/clincals. You can try, but your choices of places to work may be slim.

Traveling can be a good thing - but, try to avoid skilled nursing if possible. Unfortunately, this is where most of the assignments will be and especially for you as a new grad. Usually when they want a traveler it's because it's so bad that they can't find local therapists to fill the positions. That's the case for many assignments - but, not all. Not always, but expect anything - to be treated rudely - given all the cases no one else wants to take etc. You can get a feel of the facility during the phone interview, but, they can also paint a picture that may not be accurate just so you'll sign up.But, it pays well, it's short term and it's a good way to save money and to pay back those school loans more quickly (if you have loans). There's some not-so-good traveling companies out there - a few that are reputable are Cross Country (Trav Corps) and Reflectx Staffing - that pay well and take care of their people. Some aren't as good and will promise you anything and not deliver. You need solid people behind you when you take off to travel - very important. But, you may have to work for about a year also before you can travel. Just be cautious, negotiate everything and know that you're their customer and don't let them take you for granted.

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lashley in Minneapolis, Minnesota

59 months ago

Thank you so much for your honest feedback. It gives me a lot to think about!

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tarakonradi in New York, New York

53 months ago

I've worked as a traveling therapist just a few months after graduating (and passing the NBCOT exam). I had no problem finding a job. My first assignment was outpatient, the second a SNF (which I personally loved) because of the flexibly and good pay, and third assignment in pediatrics. I worked with Medtravelers and had a good experience. The housing was awesome! I've also heard good things about Reflectx Staffing and am working with Cross Country on a future travel assignment now. I think choosing a travel company depends on what is important. Look closely at the insurance policies if you will use theirs, as they very A LOT from company to company. Some say it's free from the start, but then you go to the doctor and you have to pay out of pocket up until $3000 or more... Also something I really looked at is how they find you housing. Some companies put you in a hotel the first couple weeks, which I wasn't interested in...
Hope this helps. Good luck and have fun!

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lashley in Minneapolis, Minnesota

52 months ago

Thank you for the advice, you make some good points! What has been your favorite place to work in so far?

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OT_student in Belleville, Illinois

52 months ago

tarakonradi

If you don't mind me asking what did you make at each traveling company you worked for?

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

lashley in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: To practicing traveling therapists:

I am a soon-to-be new graduate and am seriously contemplating signing up with a travel company for my first job[s]. Does anyone think this is not a good idea for an entry-level therapist?

My motives for doing traveling OT are that I do not have a sig. other and am able to do it, I love to travel, and I don't want to commit to practicing in one place just yet. Any pros/cons to the traveling world or words of advice?

Much appreciated!

I'm sure you may have heard this already, but finding a strong mentor relationship in your early years will greatly benefit you as you enter the field. I've heard it to be somewhat difficult to attain mentorship in a position that constantly travels- but I mean technology these days should be able to allow more communication than not.

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tarakonradi in New York, New York

52 months ago

I felt perfectly comfortable jumping right into work without a strong mentor. I had people at every place I worked at who guided me, helped me and showed me many things. I feel the experience of seeing many different sites and how many different therapists work within these settings has given me an upper hand to my classmates who have only been working in the same place/department for the past two years. I feel more confident and more knowledgeable having had to learn quickly and I've enjoyed the challenge. I think having a strong mentor is important for many people, however. I guess it depends on how prepared you feel when you graduate and how well you are at self teaching/learning.

As for pay, I don't remember exactly to be perfectly honest... It depends on where you live. I would say the average is about $1200 a week, though. This is what you get in the paycheck. All the housing and insurance already paid for by the company. Long term care (LTC) pays the most and has the most flexible hours. I could chose when to come into work and leave at one job. As long as I saw the patients, I was good to go. Pediatrics is the most challenging, in my opinion as change is slow and the treatments are intense. You use up your energy fast running around with little guys!

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Yup, peds is definitely energy consuming at times :)

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

OT in Costa Mesa, California said: Guess you've just done and know it all Miss OT student.

Yup- haven't done a wellness program or work & industry area yet, but I'm glad I've got some experience :)

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

OT in Costa Mesa, California said: Amazing how little knowledge and experieince it takes to be so proficient
and informative - and to have all the answers about OT in every capacity. That is, minus wellness and work/industry. I'm sure OT is an invaluable asset in
those two areas as well. It's just all so amazing how OT does and knows all.
You should be so proud of yourself for knowing all things OT - just an endless stream of information, accurate or not. Sure that you'll be such a joy to work alongside. Just so grateful that I work in home health and don't have to work alongside the know-it-all OTs all day and have to listen to all the bizarre OT rhetoric - praise the Lord!!

I've had minimal problems regarding co-workers in relation to what I know or what they know. I understand the concept of respect amongst peers and I thoroughly enjoy the fact that I can give input and be heard whether 'accurate or not.' I can say that even in the most difficult of situations I have been able to make the best of it and not bring others down. It does take some sacrifice on my part to make another person's situation better or more bearable, and I've found that the more you know- the more of a responsibility it is on your part to improve and help whoever and wherever you are the best way you can- without being overly sarcastic, disrespectful, or negative (letting your personal problems interfere with your work). Though I have only had over a year of formal OT school, I have had nearly over 10+ years in the workplace- and although not all of it was easy or enjoyable, I did what was expected of me and more. Work became enjoyable wherever I was- thank God.

Also, OT IS an invaluable area in wellness and work/industry :) The medical field is fixing the problems, we aiming to prevent them ;)

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Summer in Costa Mesa-
True power is having knowledge, having influence, being 'at the table' for healthcare policy, and having a voice, both individual and collective, amidst the many who seek to minimize the profession.

You were right in saying knowledge is power. You seem to be in responding a way that represents the 'weak' voice. As you know, you can only have power if another has it taken away and weakened. OT has been slowly internalizing a passive and 'nice' appearance-profession that it has forgotten to 'be' and act in a powerful manner. It does no good to hear your complaints and sarcasm if you don't seek to improve or find a solution to your situation. Why diminish the change that is being made? Why seek to disparage those who seek to grow and strengthen our profession and it's #'s?

I hope to one day begin more of an active stance and influence within policy making and help bring and sustain and 'place at the policy making table.' Hearing your concerns is somewhat discouraging, but in reality, AOTA has been implementing changes to address common issues as you have voiced. Yes, there are problems within our healthcare, reimbursement, etc., but where there's a problem, anyone can be a solution.

Being a traveling OT, as this thread states is a perfect way to gain exposure to many facilities, see the difficulties and find a way to improve the exposure, influence, and impact of OT therapy. Traveling OT's have a great position to really portray OT in a powerful way in therapy.

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Knowledge is not power if it is only in thought. Power is in action, influence, and impact. OT has developed real research and has shown its effectiveness- that is real fact. Also, further knowledge will become OT's power after more research is developed. Medicine has come to affirm the importance of OT, and has begun to integrate OT in further preventative therapy due to occupational science.

From your example, PT is not as effective and OT in therapy neurodevelopmental diseases, b/c once the physical is gone, then what? OT is an effective profession that goes beyond the physical, and research has shown this- current occupational science is being developed in such areas to reveal further impact and relevance in the medical field. Qualitative research and interviews from clients with such cases have found OT to be much more effective in everyday application/therapy. I'm sorry, but your one comment is superceded by the many many clients that find OT beneficial in their health, wellness, and recovery. That is not just rhetoric, that is fact coming from clients whom I have personal interaction with.

Your point has been that OT is weakened by the lack of knowledge (which you consider the source of power). My friend, research is the new focal point that will address today's concern as well as the future. Your case will be irrelevant- at which my 'over-notched' rhetoric will be the status quo b/c the profession itself will have been strengthened by those who seek the knowledge through research- it will help to develop a foundation.

As related to this thread, clinicians can help improve work efficiency and team development through positions such as the traveling OT. By evaluation and assessment of what 'works' or not, traveling OTs can help develop a new schema on how OT can work- multi/trans/inter disciplinary, education in-service as to how MD's can better facilitate OT in therapy, etc. There is great potential in having such a position.

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

"From your example" meaning, that you were making a comparison between OT and PT. I can't say that this is any more valid that comparing PT and Psych or _(discipline_ vs _(discipline)_. There will always be differences. The comparison must come from within the profession to further identify fidelity and what therapies are successful and about 'what' makes them successful. It makes not sense to compare two varying disciplines (even if there are similarities).

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

OT has been researching in the past. The present is even more of an emphasis to develop stronger evidence. The past as you may know was started the wrong way. OT practice, but did not have a strong research to support its practice- hence your perception in OT not being affirmed int he medical realm is valid. However, the emphasis has been slowly directing research to grow to build the foundation. OT will need to work backward to do so, but once it is in place- we will have a stronger 'knowledge' for practice. AND OT has found it's place in medical practice. Internationally, OT is known to be active in preventative care. In the USA, we are behind in our healthcare. Our system is what is holding OT back. OT has a very strong standing in pre and post care.

Occupational sciene has substance- it is everyday occupation, if people do things, we can research those areas? The reality is that research is done in all things and OS chooses to do it with what people choose to do it real life. Not convoluted, simple and real. Living goes beyond the textbook and OT has the skill to help clients maximize their potential for health and wellness in their situation.
"Hopefully the OT came down from his/her pedestal and
actually addressed the UE issues other than idealizing about them and
talking about their occupation-based approach when the pt.just wants to
function and be able to go home and then to out-pt. Of course, their
occupation changes at that point from per se an engineer to just self
care if they're lucky." My friend your expectation in therapy lies in the medical bottom up approach- UE is important, but more importantly is everday living and occupational based therapy. In the clients that I've come in contact with, OT address everyday living and how to function. OT helps the client see beyond what they expect rehab to be- I.e. they may expect to not be able to cook or stand while doing everyday activities. From what I've observed, OT helped the same client see...

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

how to do things in an adapted way. Modifying the home, giving various alternatives such as a rolling office chair rather than a limited direction wheelchair, etc. There are so many things OT can do for the client. And as you have mentioned, maybe the engineer vs ADL occupations may not be significant, but both occupations are important no matter if there was a loss or change in either. People forget their professions initially and do want to reclaim independence. OT can address that in many ways. I'm glad you mentioned voc. rehab- Vocation fall under the MOHO. That is a very strong area possessed by OT. Voc. rehab may have a certain way of doing things, but OT has a strong reason for vocation, interest motivation, etc. Again, research in that area has been strong, hence there is no need to argue of the 'lack of skill' just the need for further proficiency and application.

Your point is only a half truth. OT is well respected internationally- why? Healthcare is not the barrier for the profession outside of the US. Again, your point is valid up to the point that OT and help change and influence the healthcare within the US.

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Further, I suggest you make another thread and stop diverting from the topic on this thread.

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

There is nothing wrong with an individual envisioning a plan for progress within the profession.

Again, you feel the need to validate your comment by comparison with other 'real' professions. Well, let me use another example of valid scientific research. The association and funding from NIH and related sources shows the importance and relevance of the research done within OT. They are scientists creating a path for future healthcare positions. It seems as if you forget that in the beginning both OT and PT were aides/assistant/certified under the MD. You seem to make PT and MD and other 'real' medical professions as originating from their own discipline when in fact they weren't. MD- philosophy, bio, and chem (3 different areas). MD came about from various areas, not the area of medicine. That 'pedestal' is deceiving as well. Every profession has a beginning, and OT is working to strengthen its own through research.

I agree that OT may not be able to address every detail of the upper extremity as others may, but again, that is an area we can address. If our curriculum was adapted to integrate further bio-anatomy then, your point would be irrelevant. Again, it is a matter of what area you want to address and advocate for change.
It's similar to how most medical professional don't take cultural sensitivity classes- very relevant in the workplace, but not as common b/c it isn't a 'medical' class. It's a matter of who is getting that education in their studies. At the same time, if it is an area of importance for you- why not push for more therapists to develop a stronger insight on the UE such as CHTs? Still OT, but just as proficient as a PT. Don't complain unless you feel that you can advocate for change.

The mistake is that you've set expectations beyond what you can live up to by placing them within other professions

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Wishful thinking stays as such, until you take action, as I've stated before.

And, OT "research" is valid- as I mentioned that past has had its short comings, but presently, the research being done is receiving more attention and greater funding due to the apparent need within society. OT, physics, english lit, art, bio, etc. all have research all are valid. You are incorrect in thinking that cultural competency 'means nothing' in OT- you may be a female medical provider talking to a certain person/culture and they ignore you, why? You'd think you saw patient who was non-compliant, but in reality, his culture influences him to only deal with males (not allowing females to talk to him). All other disciplines have some training in cultural sensitivity along the line, but not enough in medicine. "To be skilled in this area, you would need a degree in anthropology or
social sciences, not just a few OT courses." Funny you should mention, but anthro was one of the early disciplines that makes up OT. Funny that much of that research has been used within OT. Interestingly enough, anthropology supports much of what OT does- occupational beings. Also, many within OT have come from social sciences, not only bio, neuro, kines, etc. I would say that OT has the potential to do much more in such an area, b/c its practitioners do have various backgrounds that help create individual skills within therapy. OT is the blend of art and science.

However, I am glad to have finally read specific instances from your experience. They have given me a better context as to why you feel the way you do. Thank you. As you know- I may sound like I know it all when I respond to your experiences, but that is your perception. I intend to just ask, break it down, and see possibilities of change so that I may be able to learn more. I will respond soon.
However I do have some questions-

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PJ USC OTS in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Why wouldn't a CHT work within in-pt acute? Their skill set is applicable to such areas and would help therapy in the earliest stages?

How often did you communicate with the other OT about the limited outcomes from therapy given? You mentioned that a pt. was not under your case load, so did you communicate about pt. case exchanges with the OT? You mentioned that another OT used an an arm trough when you saw a potential for improvement- how did you manage that situation? Did you discuss your concern with the other OT? If not, is that an ethical dilemma that is of concern?

Pertaining to the deep tissue massage- was this for edema, scar tissue, circulation, etc? How often did you use temp modalities?

You mentioned you began using 'PT techniques,' 'OT overlap,' why?

In your home health example- why would you replace some thing related to occupation- a football with a cone? Couldn't you have modified the use towards the football? Was it even something of interest for the pt?

Do you feel that education/curriculum change can improve OT competency? B/c it sounds like that is your main concern- that OT requires further knowledge. This is an argument that will go in circles, but it sounds like that is what is lacking. It is addressable.

Also, please go into SI and SIPT. I'd like to hear more about that. That is another interest that you touched on.

I will reply when I get a chance, as today is Mother's Day and there's much activity to do for today. Thank you again for your examples.

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Suzie Que in Hawaii

52 months ago

Agreed! Thank you Jillian for giving some real world examples! I must admit, your examples are somewhat discouraging of the OT field. However, I would also note that you are an OT and was able to come up with better solutions than other OT's and, I assume, bill for it. How did you get your knowledge base to be so much better? Again, thank you.

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For PJ in Corona, California

52 months ago

If you want responses to your questions, you can email me at:
marinagirl8787@aol.com

My comments are deleted so can't respond on the forum.

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margaret1 in portland, Oregon

52 months ago

For PJ.

Wow. I have to respect and admire you passion for the OT field and your obvious committment to secure it's future. Although, at the end of the day, it's reimbursement that will secure the profession in all areas of practice. If medicare and other insurers announced today they would no longer pay for OT services, I would be out of a job. Of course there are those private sector jobs that would still be around, but lets be honest, how many Masters and OTDs would work for $15-20hr? A COTA would probably get $10hr, if employment at all.......maybe you'd do it? Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy my job and give the best to my patients. But, I am also a realist and after 12yrs in the field and 25yrs total in the medical field, I know what is happening out there.

Maggie

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Student in Mobile, Alabama

49 months ago

lashley in Minneapolis, Minnesota

I'm in the same position you were 9 months ago. What did you end up doing? Got any helpful advice you would like to share with a soon-to-be-grad who is in the same position you were in?

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lashley in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

48 months ago

I am still deciding what to do while studying to take my boards. Travel therapy has a lot of pros, however I have heard many OTs say that there may be a lack of on-site support, which concerns me as a new grad....

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NAD in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

48 months ago

margaret1 in portland, Oregon said: For PJ.

Wow. I have to respect and admire you passion for the OT field and your obvious committment to secure it's future. Although, at the end of the day, it's reimbursement that will secure the profession in all areas of practice. If medicare and other insurers announced today they would no longer pay for OT services, I would be out of a job. Of course there are those private sector jobs that would still be around, but lets be honest, how many Masters and OTDs would work for $15-20hr? A COTA would probably get $10hr, if employment at all.......maybe you'd do it? Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy my job and give the best to my patients. But, I am also a realist and after 12yrs in the field and 25yrs total in the medical field, I know what is happening out there.

Maggie

So u are telling me DO NOT choose this field.. I got acepted for my master in OT...but because of this forum .. I have a doubt of starting the program in September..

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PJ in Los Angeles, California

48 months ago

margaret1 in portland, Oregon said: For PJ.

Wow. I have to respect and admire you passion for the OT field and your obvious committment to secure it's future. Although, at the end of the day, it's reimbursement that will secure the profession in all areas of practice. If medicare and other insurers announced today they would no longer pay for OT services, I would be out of a job. Of course there are those private sector jobs that would still be around, but lets be honest, how many Masters and OTDs would work for $15-20hr? A COTA would probably get $10hr, if employment at all.......maybe you'd do it? Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy my job and give the best to my patients. But, I am also a realist and after 12yrs in the field and 25yrs total in the medical field, I know what is happening out there.

Maggie


I worked in the school district as an aide for less that $13/hr. I would work there b/c I loved what I did, the population I worked with, and I had great coworkers. However, the reality is, we have bills, and some people want to live beyond a simple lifestyle. I understand that money is a big issue for some, but our culture influences that. Why else would we place money before our real passions?

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PJ in Los Angeles, California

48 months ago

NAD in Fort Lauderdale, Florida said: So u are telling me DO NOT choose this field.. I got acepted for my master in OT...but because of this forum .. I have a doubt of starting the program in September..

Remember, all jobs have a form of doubt and problems. Again, this forum is a great place to survey various opinions, but if you really need further guidance and mentoring, you'll find it with your instructors as well as with your CI during fieldwork. Don't forget that OT Connections on the AOTA website is a great place for networking and discussion forums.

I feel that your doubt would be less present if you connected with other students within and outside your program. There's always going to be doubt especially when you haven't had the full experience of being an independent professional- I know I do at times. However, I hope that the program you are attending prepares you well for the work area you are going to pursue. The more educated and more support you receive going in, the more confident you will be a performing OT services. Of course, each MA program prepares you to be a generalist- so specialization comes with conferences, years of experience, continuing ed, etc.

No one is telling you to NOT BE. Ultimately, it is your choice. What you do with your knowledge and skill set is up to you to shape your practice.

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OT Student in San Jose, California

38 months ago

I thought this post was about Travel OT????

Can someone please respond with Travel OT related information only????

I'm really interested in learning more. Thank you.

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OT Student in San Jose, California

38 months ago

I'd like to know more about the pay, assignments, environment, travel companies, length of assignments, etc. Thank you.

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

38 months ago

Most assignments are 13 weeks... from my understanding that is also the minimum contract length. The pay is excellent (50+/hr for many assignments) and on top of that you get around 1600 a month as a stipend for living expenses. The downside is the assignments and environment. Usually you only do a phone interview so you could arrive in hellsville and not know it lol. I've heard of travel therapists being assigned the most difficult clients/caseload because they were only temporary anyway. The thing about travel therapy is that most of it is a toss up. Some assignments are wonderful and some are disasters... also finding an assignment in a popular city can be difficult so if you want consecutive assignments in orlando or new york or something good luck. Some people like me could care less about the downsides with that kind of money. BUT there are better ways to make a lot of money in OT... private practice/independent contracting being one of them :)

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New Grad in Sacramento, California

38 months ago

I almost took a travel position this week until I visited the facility and they didn't even have a mat in the gym to work on! LoL! If I was a seasoned therapist then I would have taken it. Since I'm a new grad I'd rather take less money for a place that's a better learning environment.

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

38 months ago

how much were they offering?

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Brent Healy in Sanford, Florida

33 months ago

Sandy in Capistrano Beach, California said: I don't know if traveling companies will hire someone just out of school with no work experience other than fieldwork/clincals. You can try, but your choices of places to work may be slim.

Traveling can be a good thing - but, try to avoid skilled nursing if possible. Unfortunately, this is where most of the assignments will be and especially for you as a new grad. Usually when they want a traveler it's because it's so bad that they can't find local therapists to fill the positions. That's the case for many assignments - but, not all. Not always, but expect anything - to be treated rudely - given all the cases no one else wants to take etc. You can get a feel of the facility during the phone interview, but, they can also paint a picture that may not be accurate just so you'll sign up.But, it pays well, it's short term and it's a good way to save money and to pay back those school loans more quickly (if you have loans). There's some not-so-good traveling companies out there - a few that are reputable are Reflectx Staffing - that pay well and take care of their people. Some aren't as good and will promise you anything and not deliver. You need solid people behind you when you take off to travel - very important. But, you may have to work for about a year also before you can travel. Just be cautious, negotiate everything and know that you're their customer and don't let them take you for granted.

Hi Sandy:

I'm Brent, and I work for Reflectx. I just wanted to say thank you for your kind words and recommendation of Reflectx Staffing. Please let me know if we can help you or any of your colleagues find a position with us.

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maryc in Saint Louis, Missouri

33 months ago

lashley in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: To practicing traveling therapists:

I am a soon-to-be new graduate and am seriously contemplating signing up with a travel company for my first job[s]. Does anyone think this is not a good idea for an entry-level therapist?

My motives for doing traveling OT are that I do not have a sig. other and am able to do it, I love to travel, and I don't want to commit to practicing in one place just yet. Any pros/cons to the traveling world or words of advice?

Much appreciated!

Hey Lashley, I'm an OT and wanted to do travel OT right out of school, but got advice to do a permanent job first, for at least a year. I did, for 2 years, and then travelled for 2 years. Personally I think having a good basis under your belt before traveling is very important, because as a traveller you will be expected to jump into job duties asap, with little orientation. It will also be more difficult to get a good travel job as a new grad. Although, I have PT friends that did traveling right out of school and were fine!

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OTwife in Madison, Wisconsin

16 months ago

My husband did travel work for three years with Reflectx and we were very happy with them. They took really good care of us, there was never a break in employment (except vacations) and the pay was excellent. We bought a house and he went perm. at the local hospital. The pay cut was hard. For travel his net pay was $1400/wk., now it is $1800 bi-weekly. He started traveling with 4 years of experience. Traveling allowed him to check out many different facilities in the state and get a feel for them before committing to a permanent job.

If we go back into travel, we will definitely go with Reflectx. We had their health insurance and it covered all 4 of us. It was a lot more expensive, but the deductible/co-pay is similar to other plans and as you can see by the net pay, we still had a lot more money left after everything was taken out. Contracts were typically 13 weeks, he would often do 2 or 3 contracts in a row at the same place. His handler at Reflectx was truly fantastic. She always made it a point to find him hospital assignments, she was very quick to return calls and made sure he was up-to-date on his paperwork. The downside of travel to follow in next post.

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OTwife in Madison, Wisconsin

16 months ago

Downside of OT travel work:

There is no guarantee that there will be steady work. It was never a problem, but it was always a possibility.
Vacations are unpaid. I think other companies may handle that differently, but that was how it was at Reflectx. With good budgeting that is not a big problem but a week off of the payroll and your health insurance lapses.
You need to plan your time off when your contract is written. There are no sick days. Although it appears, ironically, almost no one takes sick days in the healthcare industry.

The big one - in order to get the extra per diem pay, your permanent residence must be 50 miles from your assignment. This is federal law. Your actual hourly pay is $30 something dollars per hour, a big chunk of your pay is the per diems (food and housing) it is something like $125+ per day. That is tax free. Some people use their parents address as their permanent residence... a bit of a grey area. We didn't have that option so it meant for some of the assignments we only saw each other on the weekends. We have young kids, that was really hard. I would imagine if you didn't have kids or a significant other this would not be a big deal but someday you may want one or both of those and the lack of roots make it hard to get either.

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tikitarita in Los Angeles, California

16 months ago

Sorry for the delayed response. For me, the average travel pay was 1100 to 1400 with housing and 1500 to 1800 if you find your own housing.

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GreenLightStaffing in Pompano Beach, Florida

16 months ago

That 50 mile rule is actually an urban legend and not the true IRS test for proper travel designation, the actual rule is way more complicated than that and is subjective. If you don't use the right agency who is on top of this issue, you could get hit with back taxes and penalties - so be careful of any agency who uses such a cut and dry rule. I would be happy to discuss your individual fact circumstance with you.

Our firm also believes that the biggest risk is lags between jobs, and that is why you should use multiple agencies you feel happy with and that should mitigate that risk. One way to also mitigate this risk is to choose positions that you would feel comfortable with extending to a extra 13 weeks with, which happens quite often. Easier to find 2 assignments a year than 4.

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OTRgranny in Bryan, Ohio

16 months ago

BigRoy in San Jose, California said: Most assignments are 13 weeks... from my understanding that is also the minimum contract length. The pay is excellent (50+/ hr for many assignments) and on top of that you get around 1600 a month as a stipend for living expenses. The downside is the assignments and environment. Usually you only do a phone interview so you could arrive in hellsville and not know it lol. I've heard of travel therapists being assigned the most difficult clients/caseload because they were only temporary anyway. The thing about travel therapy is that most of it is a toss up. Some assignments are wonderful and some are disasters... also finding an assignment in a popular city can be difficult so if you want consecutive assignments in orlando or new york or something good luck. Some people like me could care less about the downsides with that kind of money. BUT there are better ways to make a lot of money in OT... private practice/independent contracting being one of them :)

I wonder if you are still getting $50 an hour on top of stipends? That is a much higher hourly rate than what I and my friends have received. Just starting my third assignment and will clear $1500 a week net, made the same at the last one and $1400 for my first. Every company is different and health insurance coverage varies dramatically. If you don't go with the same company you are starting all over again with deductibles with each contract. Just check it out carefully. Ask whether you will earn any PTO. Some recruiters have "forgotten" to tell their clients that they should be accruing PTO and have additional benefits. If you refer someone to a company make darn sure it is in writing. I had someone refer me and the company was not going to pay her her $500 until I started complaining.

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tikitarita in Los Angeles, California

16 months ago

$1500/wk with housing provided, or not?

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OTRgranny in Bryan, Ohio

16 months ago

No I paid for my own housing.

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JV in Makati, Philippines

16 months ago

Do you guys have any pieces of advice which great companies who offer travel OT?

Any travel OT here? Do you mind to give me some experience when it comes to travelling?

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SarahClark07 in Longwood, Florida

13 months ago

I work with Advanced Medical and the assignments are usually 13 weeks, they provide housing if you want, and they're pet friendly. They also have a really great new grad program!

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Scr11 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

12 months ago

Hi Sarah!
I'm about to graduate from OT school and have just started speaking with Advanced Medical. Did you start with them as a new grad? Any advice you can provide? I'm concerned about taking a travel job right out of school (I hear great things and also horror stories!) so am wondering if you can provide any insight into the company and your experiences? I'm happy to provide my email if you'd rather communicate that way. Thank you so much! Steph

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SarahClark07 in Longwood, Florida

12 months ago

Hi Steph!
Congratulations on your upcoming graduation. Who are you speaking with at Advanced Medical? They were the first to put together a new grad program and it definitely rocks! I know they have other travelers that are mentors for new grads. You should email them, they are super helpful and transparent. newgrad@advanced-medical.net Good luck with everything!

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EO in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

3 months ago

Do you mind if i ask what travel company you were with?

tarakonradi in New York, New York said: I felt perfectly comfortable jumping right into work without a strong mentor. I had people at every place I worked at who guided me, helped me and showed me many things. I feel the experience of seeing many different sites and how many different therapists work within these settings has given me an upper hand to my classmates who have only been working in the same place/department for the past two years. I feel more confident and more knowledgeable having had to learn quickly and I've enjoyed the challenge. I think having a strong mentor is important for many people, however. I guess it depends on how prepared you feel when you graduate and how well you are at self teaching/learning.

As for pay, I don't remember exactly to be perfectly honest... It depends on where you live. I would say the average is about $1200 a week, though. This is what you get in the paycheck. All the housing and insurance already paid for by the company. Long term care (LTC) pays the most and has the most flexible hours. I could chose when to come into work and leave at one job. As long as I saw the patients, I was good to go. Pediatrics is the most challenging, in my opinion as change is slow and the treatments are intense. You use up your energy fast running around with little guys!

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phaines9 in Orlando, Florida

3 months ago

lashley in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: Thank you for the advice, you make some good points! What has been your favorite place to work in so far?

Did you ever decide to get in to traveling? I work for National Staffing Solutions and came across your post? Are you under a contract right now?

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phaines9 in Orlando, Florida

3 months ago

For all of you interested, send me an email and we can set up a time to talk Patrick@nationalstaff.com

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