National Physical Therapy Month 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
 
National Physical Therapy Month happens every year in October. Throughout the month, we recognize the Physical Therapy profession's efforts to "transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience."
 
National Staffing Solutions honors a Physical Therapist every year for their excellent patient care and unique experience with Travel Therapy as a career.
This year we are featuring two very talented and dedicated Physical Therapists, who met on assignment and now travel the United States together.  
 
 


  • When did each of you start your career in Travel Therapy and how long have you worked with National Staffing Solutions? Also, where is your current assignment?
Janelle and Braden Traveling Therapists Image

JANELLE: I started traveling as soon as I graduated from Physical Therapy school, May of 2014. I have been working primarily for National since 9/10/16. My husband and I are currently with Henry Community Hospital. I work in home health care and Braden does outpatient for the same system.

BRADEN: I started Travel Therapy in October 2013. I've been with National Staffing Solutions for almost all my assignments. We are in Newcastle, in currently for assignment.

  • Tell us about your transition period up to becoming a Travel Therapist?

JANELLE: Before graduating and starting as a full time Physical Therapist, I was going to have to move back in with my parents to get on my feet and save enough money for a down payment or rent deposit and start paying off my loans. One day my classmates were talking about traveling medical staff and all of the benefits (travel, stipend, new cities, new experiences, and salary). From that discussion I was hooked! I needed to know more. I began to do some research and started talking to a recruiter. By the time I had graduated, I found a good fit and I was placed in Nebraska with a company that was going to provide me with mentorship for my first job. This avenue allowed me to be an independent adult and travel while allowing to make serious payments to my student loan while still enjoying my young adult life. If I did not make this switch, I would be living with my parents probably working two jobs with very little time or money to travel and enjoy my 20's.

BRADEN: I started out doing outpatient in Tucson, AZ 
Braden Travel Therapist Salt Lake Photo
making 62k with over 117k in student loans. After 
making my student loan payment and paying rent, I barely had any money left at the end of the month. I went to the APTA conference in Salt Lake City in the Summer of 2013. I met with a few travel companies including National Staffing Solutions and realized I could make so much more money and get to travel all over the country. Basically, my decision was made before leaving Salt Lake. It took a couple months to get licensed and start up, but I haven't looked back.

  • What were your top 3 criteria in your job search as a Travel Therapist
    and explain why.

JANELLE: A company and recruiter who was responsive, attentive and easily approachable. Initially I was looking for a company that could provide a guarantee of mentorship for a new graduate and a new traveling therapist. Third a wide variety of job opportunities and job settings.

BRADEN: Location, setting, and interesting/new experiences. I am constantly wanting to see, do, and try new things. I love taking weekend trips and try to take contracts in new areas that will open up more places to go check out.

  • What were your expectations going into Travel Therapy and how does that compare to reality?

JANELLE: To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect as a Traveling Therapist. Initially I thought I was going to be an outsider that could be viewed as taking a job or not appreciated more or less isolated. That has been the farthest from the case! Most locations have opened their arms to us encouraged us to stay longer and provided opportunities for us to explore the local areas. On several occasions we have been able to work with other Traveling Therapists and have built lasting friendships during these assignments.

BRADEN: I assumed it would be easier to get licensed in multiple states, unfortunately the states' bureaucracies make things difficult and tedious requiring more money and time than I think it should.
  • How did you make new friends while traveling? 

JANELLE: I have been lucky so far! Most of my assignments have included either other travelers (PT, OT, ST or RN), which has provided me a group of people to instantly connect with! I also have had several jobs where I worked with people who were just like me! They were around my age and full time employees, but not from the area. We became friends over exploring and shared interests. Additionally to fill my time, I used the Meet-up app and found groups that shared my interests. I found groups that liked movies or board games or wine to fill my weekends and evenings. Participating in these groups I was able to find a close group of 3-4 friends.

BRADEN: In larger cities, Meetup.com is great with lots of groups and option to meet new people. In smaller towns, you're a little more confined to making friends at work and branching out from there. 
  • How did you meet each other?

JANELLE: Braden and I met on assignment in Kingman, Arizona. I had already been there for several months and knew the area. So Braden asked me to show him around, which took all of 15 minutes. During the weekends, a lot of the staff would go hiking or go into Vegas and so we started spending a lot of time together. When we were talking, we found out that we were both planning on taking our next jobs in Washington. Eventually we both made it to Washington - Braden in the Seattle area and me to eastern Washington. I spent a lot of time traveling to see Seattle and Braden during that time. After several months, I moved closer to Braden and we began hiking, meeting up with other friends and enjoying each others company. This turned into something special and now we have someone to share this great adventure with!

BRADEN: Janelle and I met in the little town of Kingman, AZ. We were working together and the staff did a lot of stuff together on the weekends like heading up to Vegas. We were both planning on going to Washington for our next jobs and go closer during our time there.

 

  • What is it like to work with your life partner traveling the United States?
    What’s the best part?

JANELLE: It is exciting, fun, eventful and stressful all wrapped into the one. The best part is having someone to come home to that understands the situation; who has your back to celebrate, discuss, organize and plan with. I was fine traveling by myself, but I love having someone to share this experience with. It makes it all worthwhile!

BRADEN: It's great. I always have both another therapist to bounce ideas and questions off of. Also, I kinda like her company :)

 

  • Any tips you have for couples that met while traveling?

JANELLE: Communication! When you are managing two jobs, companies, a recruiter and then your relationship; many things can get lost in the shuffle. Have a plan and have a back-up plan because with traveling you never know what will happen. Also when working together in the same job, try to find some space and to leave the job behind when you're at home.

BRADEN: Communicate, communicate, communicate.
  • Name one thing that you learned about each other on assignment.

JANELLE: Braden is knowledgeable and strong and will stand up for his true north. Something I admire greatly in him.

BRADEN: Janelle is so compassionate. She always goes above and beyond for her patients.
 

  • When finding a recruiter, what qualities and characteristics do you look for?
    Tell us what you like most about your recruiter!

JANELLE: I look for someone who is quick to respond, attentive, truthful, and organized. Megan is amazing! I can contact her in any fashion with any silly question and I will get a response within 1 day.

BRADEN: I really value good communication especially when someone is upfront and prompt. Megan is helpful and great about quickly responding to questions.


  • Can you give some advice for therapists that are interested in Travel Therapy?

 JANELLE: Do your research and find a company that you trust. Find a recruiter who responds to you and you get along with. Your recruiter is your lifeline.! Find a good tax person as well to organizeeverything. Also you need to stay organized to manage CEU's, licenses and write-offs.

BRADEN: Be open to change and be adaptable. Be good with computers and be able to learn new documentation systems quickly. 




If you would like to share your travel assignment experiences with National Staffing Solutions, please email Marketing@NationalStaff.com.

We have Recruiters for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, Nursing, and Advanced Practice that are knowledgeable in the industry and are determined to creating a lasting relationship with you while working with us!



 

Leanne Leuterio
10/25/2017

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