As a Student Outreach Coordinator at Aureus Medical, I focus solely on helping students and new graduates plan for their career and help find their first position after school. I frequently get questions from students about what it’s like to be a traveling healthcare professional coming right out of school, advice on how to prepare for travel, as well as how it’s going to impact their career in the long run.
We do our best to describe the life of a traveling medical professional. However, it’s beneficial to talk directly with someone who is a current traveler. We often suggest that students talk directly with one of our travelers about their traveling career, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. With this being said and graduation quickly coming upon us, I decided to reach out to one of our travelers who started traveling right after school and has done several assignments with us since then. Jonathan Reynolds is a traveling Occupational Therapist. I asked him questions that I often hear from students and ones I thought would be beneficial for anyone thinking about getting into a travel career. As you know, I’m sure everyone has a different perspective on traveling, and this is only one point of view.
What got you interested in travel therapy?
I first became interested in travel when I went to the AOTA conference in Nashville and spoke with travel recruiters!
What is your favorite part about being a travel therapist?
Being able to travel the country, meet new people, and try new things!
Worst part about being a travel therapist?
Being away from family.
Best advice to give a new grad who is thinking about traveling?
Be flexible and have an open mind when job searching.
What is your advice to a new grad who is concerned about not getting adequate mentorship?
Trust yourself! You’ve spent two years in school learning how to do this! It’s scary starting out, but you have all the skills you need!
What is your best advice on working with the permanent staff at the facility?
Be sure to communicate. Good communication skills can make transitions from job to job easier.
What is your best advice for working with a staffing agency?
Be sure to form a relationship with your recruiter. The more they know about you the easier it is for them to find the perfect fit.
One thing you wished you had as a traveler?
Would you do anything differently in the beginning of your travel career if you could?
No, I was lucky to start out in a great location with mentors to guide me when I started.
What is your best advice to a student or new grad to get prepared for a travel assignment?
Do your research. Look at the pros and cons and be sure that you’re prepared to take on the adventure of travel.
What should a new traveler look for in their first travel assignment?
mentor to guide them in their first week.
What are the things you learned as a new grad traveler?
Communication and flexibility are the best traits you can have as a travel therapist. Always have a back-up plan because treatments and travel plans rarely go according to schedule!
How do you think traveling has impacted your career?
Traveling has had a positive impact on my career. It’s given me the opportunity to network with therapists and companies across the country. As a travel therapist, I feel that I’d be prepared for anything when I take a permanent position.
I hope this helps answer any questions or clears up confusion about traveling! Do you have any burning questions you have always wanted to know about being a new traveling healthcare professional?
Brooke Seeba is a Student Outreach Coordinator for the Student Outreach division of Aureus Medical Group.