Small town USA may look like a scene from an old western film or the inspiration for the most recent country music hit. However, don’t be so quick to roll your eyes at the idea of taking on a travel assignment there. Although working in a rural area can be challenging, places with limited access to healthcare also have their charms about them. For example, everyone will likely get to know your name pretty quickly. On the downside, there may not be the most exciting things to do or the finest dining restaurants nearby. However, if you want an authentic experience practicing in your field, travel to Timbuktu. Keep reading to learn the top five benefits of rural physical therapy travel assignments, according to AlliedTravelCareers!
Five Reasons Why You Should Consider the Benefits of Rural Physical Therapy Travel Assignments
Here are the top five benefits of rural physical therapy travel assignments and why you should start searching for one today!
Higher pay rates
Often times, travel physical therapists who take on assignments in rural areas make more money than they would in urban settings. This is because your hourly rate is relatively the same whether you take an assignment in Los Angeles, California or Custer, South Dakota. You might be thinking – how is this possible. Well, the difference is that in a rural area, your paycheck will stretch further. Living expenses tend to be much cheaper in the country than in the city. Although many travel therapists overlook the small places in the middle of nowhere, it can often times truly pay off.
More personal patient experience
The second reason you should consider a rural physical therapy travel assignment is because you’ll have a more personal patient experience. Since there is a shortage of all healthcare workers in rural areas, you’ll get to build more of a one on one relationship with your patients. Plus, you’re literally there taking care of your neighbors.
Less competition for assignments
There is less competition when it comes to rural physical therapy assignments. Many people are battling over the popular travel destinations like Florida or Hawaii, but few people are lining up to move to Missouri. For this reason, you’ll have a greater chance of finding the assignment or experience you really want in a rural area.
People really need you
Although there are always barriers to physical therapy, like health insurance, sometimes those barriers are simply that there are no therapists close enough. The most important of the benefits of rural physical therapy work is that you get to really make a difference in the lives of your patients. Some of them may have never had access to therapy before. You moving to the country can really help people who never had the option of choosing therapy. Not only is the care meaningful to them, but it can make your work more meaningful for you too.
Personal and professional growth
Since rural healthcare systems are typically understaffed, you have a greater chance to get your hands in treatment areas you may not be exposed to in a large health system. New experiences can help you to grow in your professional career. Aside from the work aspect, moving to a small town can change you personally. Like we said before, you’ll be caring for your neighbors. Plus, you’ll inevitably get to know a lot of people in a small town. This can be a good or bad thing. For better or worse, chances are, the relationships you’ll make in small town USA will stay with you forever.
Have you worked in a small town before? What were your favorite benefits of rural physical therapy travel assignments? Share with us in the comments below!