You’re about to embark on your first travel therapy assignment. Although it will be an exciting venture, it can also be intimidating to pack up and start over in a new place. Since your assignment will likely only be several weeks in length, you might be unsure about what to bring during the trip. It’s not like packing for a short vacation, but it’s not quite the same as moving either. Depending on the exact length of the assignment and the location, the list of things to bring may vary slightly. However, certain items are a necessary part of preparing for the travel position no matter where the road takes you. Here are four things you can do to prepare for your first travel therapy assignment.
Four Tips to Prepare for Your First Travel Therapy Assignment
1. Bring proper documentation
Before going on an assignment, make sure that you have the proper licensing and state certifications for where you are going. The educational requirements and the appropriate license may vary between states, so make sure you’re good to go. You also need to make sure you bring all of your essential paperwork with you to your assignment, such as proof of licensing and certifications, or any immunization records you may need. Many staffing agencies will walk you through this process and tell you exactly what you should bring with you to start your new job.
2. Pack Clothes for the Weather
Make sure you consider the weather and climate where you are going and pack accordingly. Look up the historical weather patterns for the area based on the time of year and then pack clothing that is appropriate for the temperature. Also consider the various activities you may do outside of work, like hiking, skiing or swimming, and plan outfits and footwear for those situations. Don’t forget to check in with your new job to find out if there are any dress code rules to be aware of, and pack comfortable shoes! You’ll probably be on your feet a lot, and many times travel assignments are very fast-paced since you’re usually filling gaps at locations that are short-staffed.
3. Learn About the Location
Take time to do research before reaching the location of your first travel therapy assignment. You want to study the facility and the area surrounding it. Learn about the facility, such as the type of work that takes place and the equipment that is available. Also consider any different policies that may apply to your line of work, at the facility or in the state. You also want to get a feel for patient volume, the culture at the office and what the population in that area is like. For example, is it in a rural or urban setting, how far away is your housing from the facility and what are the crime rates? These things are better to know ahead of time so you are prepared, especially if you’re traveling alone.
4. Plan your trip
Planning your trip is the fun part of your first travel therapy assignment. Depending on where you are going, you have to decide if you want to fly and rent a car or if you are going to drive. Regardless, you have to make the proper travel arrangements ahead of time and check what is covered by your travel agency. If you are driving, don’t forget to make your trip fun! There are plenty of ways you can have a mini adventure road tripping to a travel assignment.
As you can see, it is not enough to simply grab your clothes and go to your first travel therapy assignment. You also have to consider the paperwork that is required, how the weather will affect the outfits you want to bring, what it’s like where you are going and how you’re going to get there. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the smoother a transition you will have to travel therapy work. What additional tips do you have for people headed to their first travel therapy assignment?