Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes for a travel PT…

11 Jun

Choosing your travel housing and getting it right the first time (especially when trying to figure it from a distance in an unfamiliar place) doesn’t always happen. For me, my originally planned location was a good starting point because of its proximity to family despite its significant distance from my workplace. But with the passing of time, getting to know your surroundings, and getting to know the (not so hospitable) people within your new community can lead you to the conclusion: “Get me the hell away from this place!” I’m still sticking to my recommendation to fellow healthcare travelers to strongly consider the RV-ing route for this exact reason. Lower cost rent, monthly/weekly/daily rate options, and the ability to take your “house” with you at the drop of a hat continue to be an advantage.

However, I am learning the challenges to RV’ing in the Tucson area, where you really have to be selective about the community you pick in the sand sea of senior citizens. At my last location, the (older) population was not of the hip variety (if they even had their real hips) and pretty intolerant of a 30-something professional in their lair. (Mind you, I was not in a community exclusive for 55+. There were hellians tearing around on trikes and 40-something trailer trash milling around—that’s right, I went there.) It doesn’t take long to pick up on the vibes of the “regulars” who reside at an RV park that are not interested in a transient person invading their space. I actually got confronted for “casing” one of the mobile homes while trying to take photos of the Super Moon with my telephoto lens. These experiences, culminated with a climactic over-dramatized incident involving my dogs, led me to speed up the process of moving on to sandier pastures. As a PT and an RVer, I’m grateful for the housing freedom to be able to scope out other options and pick up and go as I see fit. Currently, I’m settled in to an RV park that is in a much more desirable location, managed by welcoming and professional folks, and doesn’t appear to have an express ticket on the gossip train. All pluses in my book!

Watching the sun set behind the mountains from my RV site…

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3 Responses to “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes for a travel PT…”

  1. Gia March 27, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi Jen. I am a thirty something close to making the leap to travel. I am similar to you…negotiate per diems to avoid permanent and I love to travel. But how do you pick a travel company??? Who is reputable?

    • workingonwanderlust March 27, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      Hi Gia! It’s difficult to narrow it down. Some say go with a well known name, but I had trouble with that because big names don’t always have enough individual attention. The first company I tried was a recommendation from a coworker who traveled. Unfortunately, what worked for her was 100% not a good fit for me. Second company, who I am with now, was also recommended to me by a traveling coworker. It helped to be specifically referred to a recruiter within the company and that this coworker and I are similar in many ways.

      I suggest research! Ask about benefits, ask about practice settings and geographical regions they most often place therapists, ask about license reimbursement, continuing Ed, etc. The problem can be, once you open contact with multiple companies, some are harder to shake than others if you’re not sold on working with them.

      Lastly, there’s a decent forum out there now called therapistcentric.com ( formerly Med Traveler Club) that I used to get some answers from travelers and also to see ratings of companies (by travelers themselves).

      As a side note, right now travel companies are feeling a bit of a squeeze on quantity and variety of available positions (hypothesized that it’s due to a lot of the reimbursement/ Medicare changes). This just means you might have to wait a little longer or open your options a bit more to get an assignment.

      • Jenn August 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

        I am also Jenn and a 30 something traveler. I absolutely love it. Currently in Colorado but I have also done assignments in New Mexico and Maine. Considering buying an RV so I enjoyed stumbling upon your blog!

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