Have you ever had someone say they would get back to you at a certain date and time but they didn’t? Didn’t it make you feel like you or your time wasn’t important? In today’s world everyone is so busy going a mile a minute, it is understandable why things can sometimes slip through the cracks. In the healthcare travel world, time is everything and can make or break desired opportunities for travelers. Clients typically need travelers for immediate coverage or plan ahead for future coverage so they can make schedules and move around the necessary people in order to make sure the patient level of care is not affected.
As a healthcare traveler, there are several opportunities presented to you at once which can make it hard to keep straight exactly what you are looking for. This factor may cause you to be sent for consideration to positions you aren’t really interested in which in turn may lead to unnecessary time spent by the client to review, coordinate, and interview you. When this happens no one wins. You wasted your time interviewing for a position you were never interested in and the client could have been supervising staff or treating patients during the time they set aside to interview you. Below you will find some tips on how you can avoid this from happening:
- Know your top priorities. Are you more interested in setting, location, or pay? When you know what is most important to you, it will help rule out opportunities that don’t match up to what you are looking for.
- Research locations you are contemplating traveling to. Now remember, time of submittal can also make or break your chances as needs can fill quickly, but a quick search of the location and weather is always helpful before being sent over for consideration. If you know you are not a fan of snow or heat, don’t be sent out to locations where these typical weather patterns occur during the time period you would be on assignment. If you just don’t like the location or what is has to offer, it is okay to say you are not interested.
- Have a realistic pay expectation in mind and know it up front. There are several factors that can affect pay such as: experience, urgency of need, and the budget of the facility. The Account Manager can tell you if your pay expectation can be met and can advise you on what is the typical wage for the area for the time period you would be there and for your level of experience. If it does not meet your expectation then don’t have the Account Manager send your profile over for consideration.
Once you have been sent over for consideration there are also other professional courtesies to be considered. One of the most important of these courtesies is giving accurate availability times for phone interviews. It can be hard for both the client and you to find time to set aside for interviews, so if something comes up and you are not able to interview at the set time, communicate with your Account Manager right away. The Account Manager can let the client know and help coordinate another time that will work for both parties.
After you complete your interview, let your Account Manager know via a quick email or text that you were able to connect with the client so they may follow up and get feedback. In the likelihood that the feedback was positive and the client makes an offer, it is customary for you to get back to your Account Manager within 24-48 hours from the time the offer was made depending on the guidelines the client has set with the Account Manager. Having an answer within that time frame allows the client to determine whether or not they will need to offer the position to another candidate they have already interviewed (with the hopes that other candidate is still available) or if they would need to continue interviewing other candidates. If you know up front you will need to have extra time to make a decision, communicate with your Account Manager at the time of submission so they can make the client aware. Mentioning that you need extra time for a decision might be a good idea to bring up during your phone interview so the client can let you know if they are able to work with the timeline you have in mind. By keeping in mind these few suggestions on professional courtesy you will not only be a better clinician but a better employee.
Lori Flahive is a Team Lead for the Rehab Therapy division of Aureus Medical Group.