Things I’ll ask before accepting my next assignment…

25 Feb

Starting travel work is certainly a learning process!  I have been fortunate to pick the brains of a few seasoned PT travelers and a PT traveling newbie like myself throughout this experience.  As I undergo the process to find an assignment in Arizona, these are some questions I ask during the client phone interview.  Many of these questions are applicable across practice settings.  Do you have any suggestions to add to the list?

Get specific about productivity standards.  Are the standards different from assistants versus therapists? Are the standards different between contractors versus full time employees?

Daily caseload expectations.  How many patients is each therapist expected to see in a workday?  Is documentation time allotted?   How many patients are you expected to see in one hour, and how much 1:1 time do you have with each patient within that hour?

Supervisory roles.  How many PTA’s will you be supervising (whether at one or multiple facilities)?   This is important to maintain compliance with state practice act rules.  Every state can be different.  Additionally, Medicare has rules for supervision.   If the state’s rules are stricter than Medicare’s, or vice versa, follow the most stringent rule.   It is also important to have an expectation for the volume of supervisory tasks you will have.  Cosigning, conferencing with your PTAs, updating plans of care, recertifications and discharges typically aren’t considered “productive” time (even though we, as clinicians, know these are certainly productive uses of our work hours).

Overtime.  What is the facility/clinic’s policy on overtime?  How is work load adjusted to ensure a contractor does not go into overtime?  If the facility/clinic will not pay for overtime, will your staffing company do so if it is nominal?

Location hopping.  Is there the possibility of traveling between locations?  If so, travel time should be paid (and thus included within your 8 hour work day, for example).  Is mileage also paid (if not, you may be able to keep track of it for your taxes)?  How far are sister facilities or satellite clinics from your primary location?  If there is the possibility to travel between sites and you are open to it, have it included in your contract.

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