By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
Following, is the conclusion of my conversation with Ann Marie Ruggiero, Director of Travel Therapy and Recruiting at Medical Connections. Here, Ann Marie discusses other aspects of a career in travel therapy including how current health care trends may affect this field.
Which areas hold the most opportunities for travel therapists right now?
The majority of assignments are in skilled nursing settings like assisted living facilities, outpatient settings and of course in acute hospital settings. There is a pretty even need between physical therapy travel jobs, occupational therapy travel jobs, and travel speech therapy jobs.
How much experience is ideal for the aspiring travel therapist right now to get hired?
All therapists who aspire to travel need is one year of experience after graduation. The reason for this is that there is often a very minimal amount of orientation on a new assignment. You may be hitting the floor by 10am on your first day.
In your opinion, how are current healthcare trends affecting travel therapy?
The increase in baby boomers will increase the need for travelers, especially in the skilled nursing facilities that we have contracts with throughout the United States. Even with the economy the way it is, we have found that therapy has slowed down slightly but there is still a big demand for traveling therapists at this time.
In light of this demand, we recommend that our therapists have multiple state licenses to make themselves more marketable and be able to accept a new assignment quickly. These are therapists who do not have a problem finding work at all. One of our benefits is 100% licensure reimbursement. If you are contemplating going into travel, get at least one or two other state licenses.
Anything else we should know about Medical Connections?
We have wonderful benefits at Medical Connections as well as several solid clients we work with throughout the U.S. We have recruiters available every day, even on Saturdays. You can also go to our website (www.medicalconnections.com) to ask a question or submit an application through our website. Most important, I want travel therapists (or those considering this career) to know that we have so many travel therapy jobs right now that we can’t even fill them.
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.