Why did you decide to become a traveling speech therapist?
I always heard money was better as a traveler, but you give up security. However, because of various circumstances, I felt I had nothing to lose, because my current position was not secure, either. Besides, I needed the extra income.My first assignment was in a school during which time I learned that my son-in-law was to be deployed to Afghanistan that fall. Since the assignment was going well I decided to buy a motor home. My wife asked if I could get a job in Florida, so she could be with her daughter, and our two-year-old granddaughter. I told her I was already working on licensure for both Florida and Alabama. We’ve been doing travel assignments ever since.
What do you enjoy about being a traveler?
First and foremost is the freedom. The ability to go where you want, work for whom you want, when you want, for as long as you want, in the setting you want, in the type of facility you want, for the amount of money you want. These freedoms are priceless. Often you are so sorely needed you are welcomed with open arms. I don’t see as much complacency in facilities I work in now as I had with past employers, since I am able to provide a level of care they typically have not seen before. I’ve heard that the number one thing people need in a job is appreciation. Most administrators and directors I worked for, understand I could go anywhere; so they tend to do everything in their power to make me want to stay or return.
But it’s a two-way street. For all of this to happen, you have to earn your keep and prove your worth every day, especially the first few weeks of an assignment. My goal is always to have a company be so happy with my performance that they will want me back. That creates options, options are security. You then increase your value and are paid what you are truly worth. As a traveler you learn a great deal from each assignment-even the ones that don’t go so well. As a result, the security I mentioned truly lies within you –the skills you develop, the experience you gain–which there is no substitute for. The facilities I choose to return to are the ones that recognize the value of this.
You’ve worked with all kinds of agencies. Why did you choose to take a placement with PT solutions?
I’ve worked with three agencies, including some of the biggest in the industry as well as directly with two therapy companies, one of whom own their own buildings. I’ve had good and bad experiences in all of these. Bigger is not necessarily better. And it’s not the company that matters—it’s the people and the relationships and trust you build.
My first contact with PT solutions was with Jessica. I was conducting my own search for a summer job in Indiana or Michigan. I began contacting companies directly eight weeks prior to my availability date. I had some possibilities, but no contracts developed. At five weeks, I started contacting headhunters I knew as well as some new ones. I found Jessica through the Michigan Speech Language Hearing Association. The first thing that impressed me about her were her excellent listening skills. She was genuine, honest, and I felt she really put my interests first. When she told me about Hastings, I did my research and it looked like a great fit. Since Jessica is local to the area, it was a position no one else knew about– that just felt right. The interview went very well. There were some last-minute snags but Jessica was straightforward about them and worked to resolve them successfully. She stayed in touch and kept me posted–very aware of my deadline. She’s always been there, as the assignment progressed, communicating promptly and taking care of business. When I met the rest of the PT Solutions team I learned just how “in sync” we were. I felt like part of a family with PT Solutions.[/three_fourth]
An Interview With Dave was last modified: March 28th, 2013 by myptsolutions