Therapists with an urge to travel can have their cake and eat it too. And they can have it for brief stretches or for months at a time. You'll be working hard, but you'll be doing so in parts of the country you possibly only once dreamed of visiting.
What is the appeal?
First of all, the medical professions bring a host of rewards due to the nature of the work. Rehab therapists are helping people get their lives back and deal with individuals in a variety of situations day in and day out. Throw in the traveling component and you enhance your overall lifestyle portfolio a great deal.
Also, consider the fact that traveling therapist firms can post you in working environments to which you otherwise wouldn't have access. Imagine working at some of the nation's top healthcare facilities with some of the leading practitioners in their fields. Or consider using your skills in a remote location caring for an underserved population where your skills will be greatly appreciated.
This is the time to visit cities such as San Francisco, Miami, Honolulu, New York or Chicago. It is an opportunity for those who enjoy hiking or skiing to visit Colorado, for surfers to visit a coastal town, or to get away from it all in the greenery of Maine. Who knows? You may like what you see and decide to stay there permanently.
Salaries for traveling therapists are highly competitive. Free private housing is not unusual. In fact, most living expenses are covered. Add to that a 401(k) retirement plan and travel expenses and the benefits are quite attractive.
With average assignments lasting 13 weeks to 26 weeks, traveling therapists will have plenty of time to get a feel for a particular hospital and geographic region. Working as a traveling therapist is a perfect situation for anyone who wants to visit different areas of the country without having to commit to the stressful and often costly realities a permanent move involves.
Young therapists with just a few years of experience and seasoned professionals who no longer have children at home particularly appreciate the opportunity to move around the country and visit family and friends longer than a typical three-day weekend allows them.
As the song says: Go where you want to go, do what you want to do.€
If you're an occupational, physical or speech therapist with an itch to see the country while serving patients who desperately need you, contact Centra Healthcare Solutions. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other medical facilities around the country are eager to use your services. We look forward to hearing from you.
If you're thinking of working as a traveling speech, physical or occupational therapist, you're probably thinking of how great it could be to travel around the country.
But you also might want to consider the potential tax benefits of work as a traveling rehab therapist.
You may see a significant tax advantage when you work as a traveling therapist. Understand that we're not accountants, CPAs nor attorneys, so the following information you see here should be verified by a legitimate tax professional or lawyer.\
However, the per-diem rates you'll earn on a travel assignment may well give you a terrific tax advantage.
First of all, you should get to know the IRS' per-diem tax rules intimately. You may read more at the IRS' website and its publication 1542, Per Diem Rates for Travel Within the Continental United States.
In addition, tax prep software programs such as Quicken and TurboTax also can help you figure out how/if your per diem rates will help you with tax savings.
Here are two critical things of which you should be aware:
- You'll have to have what the IRS calls a "permanent tax home," and
- You'll have to take what the IRS deems a "temporary" (less than a year) assignment away from that permanent tax home.
Basically, the IRS may let you claim deductions on your taxes for some travel expenses, or you may receive free tax reimbursements and tax-free per diem allowance payments. That is, you might be able to deduct a portion of your per diem income for every day you're on a temporary assignment that takes you away from your permanent tax home.
Understand that not all companies that place rehab therapists in travel assignments pay per-diem allowances. They also may not pay enough in per diem or they may pay per diem as a part of your hourly rate. This is where speaking to a professional tax advisor will be of great value to you.
You also should know that the IRS' per diem rules can change from year-to-year, so what you can deduct this year may change next year, so be sure to keep on top of the changes. Again, turning to a tax professional can be beneficial to you.
If you'd like to take advantage of all the benefits working as traveling therapist can give you -- tax, lifestyle, financial -- give us a call. Centra Healthcare Services offers speech, physical and occupational therapists assignments in rehabilitation facilities and hospitals all over the country. We look forward to hearing from you.
Once you've received your travel rehab therapy assignment, you'll need to start preparing to get there.
Most travel therapists get to their assignments by car, so you'll need to take everything you need in your vehicle (although you can ship a few larger items ahead). Naturally, the length of your assignment will dictate how many things you'll need. A multi-month assignment may necessitate hiring a u-haul-type of truck to get all of your belongings to your temporary home, especially if you're taking family members with you.
If you're unsure about what to take, the website Packinglistonline.com may be helpful, especially if you're only moving yourself and if your assignment will be just a few weeks long. The site lets you say where you're moving to and for how long. It then offers suggestions regarding how much and what type of clothing to bring. The site even gives you a "before you leave" checklist of things you'll need to do, such as cancel a newspaper subscription, etc.
The website also asks you questions about where you're going, it's typical weather, how long you'll be staying, in what accommodations you'll be staying (apartment, tent, hotel), how many people and/or pets who will be traveling with you.
Now on to the actual packing. Crates that are open at the top are great (milk crates or plastic boxes) because you can stack them for better use of your available space. You also can move them easily. You even can buy some that fold up after use for easier storage.
Put your clothing in one crate. In fact, you could split up your clothing among crates, with pants in one, tops in another, shoes in another, etc. Or casual clothes in one and uniforms in another. Whichever suits you best.
Use other crates for toiletries and keep one for dirty laundry. Put your snack and water supplies for your car trip in another and keep it handy for you as you drive.
Another great idea is to put all overnight needs in one crate. This way you can just carry one crate in to your hotel room with you for overnight stops as you make your way to your assignment.
Working as a traveling physical, occupational or speech therapist can be very exciting: you'll be moving from rehab facility to hospital or other assignment frequently, learning new skills and meeting new people. If you have a bit of wanderlust in you and you would like to bring your much-needed skills to the rehab facilities that desperately need you, contact Centra Healthcare Solutions. We look forward to hearing from you!
Travel and medical careers are two terms not often associated with each other. But the high demand for traveling occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists and the like means that those with wanderlust can have the best of both worlds.
But that doesn't mean you need to take a crash course to become a travel agent. Professional staffing agencies such as Centra Healthcare Solutions specialize in placing rehabilitation therapists in temporary assignments across the nation close in medical and rehab facilities seeking their skills. This is an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of working and living in a different area of the country while someone else makes the relocation arrangements.
Your travel arrangements usually will be handled by your travel therapist placement service. These services understand that suitable furnished housing is a high priority and so we keep that in mind when securing suitable housing. Still, if you desire to stay with relatives, friends, or find your own housing, travel therapist services typically provide a generous housing subsidy.
Aside from finding a place to live, placement firms also take care of the utilities. All you have to do is unpack your personal belongings and report to your assignment.
Your temporary housing can range from homes, condominiums, or one- and two-bedroom apartments. Again, if you prefer other living arrangements, generous subsidies are typically provided.
The other bright spot is that placement agencies make every effort to find housing in good neighborhoods close to you assignment's location. Not every travel therapist staffing service is going to provide the same menu of housing amenities, so it makes sense to discuss these points with the service before you accept an assignment.
Other things to consider are the degree of safety and security at a particular housing facility and the kind of neighborhood in which it's located. It is important to consider the part of town you will be in €" is it residential or in the center of a city? (You'll also want to find out about the kind of public transportation -- if any -- that's available. Or will you need to bring your vehicle?) You will be living there so you want to be as comfortable as possible for the duration of your assignment.
Got a bit of wanderlust in your blood? Willing to move hither and thither about the country, working at rehab facilities desperately in need of your PT, OT or speech therapy skills? Then contact a recruiter at Centra Healthcare Solutions. We'd love to talk to you about the many assignments we have open right now. We look forward to hearing from you!
Be prepared for an overload of information when searching the Internet for information on travel companies serving physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. It isn't a question of whether you'll find the needed information, but how to determine the legitimate firms from the fly-by-night entities.
Sifting through the myriad of services is less burdensome if you ask some key questions. How well does the company understand the needs of therapists? Do therapists hold key positions in the travel company? If so, there is a greater chance that such an agency is sensitive to the particular needs a traveling therapist is likely to encounter when on assignment.
This is not the time to short-change yourself. Do the necessary homework so you can be confident that the agency you are dealing with is interested in you and your needs rather than their bottom-line.
Look at a travel service's website. Does it look professional? How thorough is the information it provides? Does it appear the firm knows what it's talking about? And while you should not judge a book by its cover, one is more likely to gravitate towards a well-built and attractive website. It is probable that the more professional a site appears, the more likely it is that the service is the real thing and one with which you'd like to do business.
Once you have identified a potential travel therapist service, don't be afraid to ask about pay and benefits. This is a competitive industry and firms seeking good therapists are willing to make it worth your while. Don't be surprised to be earning as much as 20 percent or more than your stationary€ peers. Of course, this is dependent on your particular placement and the skills you bring to the position. Still, an attractive salary is to be expected.
Higher pay is not the only enticement. Traveling therapists also enjoy free and fully-furnished apartments or housing stipends, access to exercise facilities, travel expenses, health benefits, retirement benefits, and other amenities. Often service-sponsored housing facilities are located in good neighborhoods and not far from your assignment.
If a particular benefit is attractive to you, then by all means seek out a firm that outpaces the competition in that particular area.
Before signing a contract, make sure your needs are being met. Feel the firm's representatives out on how well they listen to your concerns, and how well they want to help you satisfy your needs. If the list of pros and cons leans too far in the negative column, then seriously consider taking your therapist skills to another service.
In the end, it should be a good fit for you and the placement firm. And who knows, it may be one that has the potential of establishing a long and lasting relationship.
Centra Healthcare Solutions wants to build long-lasting relationships with skilled and reliable occupational, physical and speech therapists. If you'd love to see the country and serve patients in a wide variety of rehab settings, contact one of our recruiters. We look forward to hearing from you!