Qualities of a Great Travel Therapist–Devin DeBoer, PT
By working as a travel or contract physical therapist (PT), Devin DeBoer has been able to become proficient in many different settings. Instead of specializing in just one setting, he has gained enriching experiences in skilled nursing, acute care, outpatient care, and home health. With over 10 years of contract experience, DeBoer has figured out what works best when filling in as a contract or travel therapist. If you have the following qualities, you may want to consider this employment option, as well.
Most Important Qualities for Success as a Travel or Contract Therapist
Finding uncharted territory exciting is something travel therapists need to thrive on. You need to like to experience new communities and friend groups, and embrace all of the changes that you will experience as you go to new places.
When you arrive as a new therapist at a facility, DeBoer views it as being a guest in someone’s home. You need to adjust to new standards and workflows that may be different from your previous placement. “Instead of imposing your will on their system, you need to adapt and be flexible to their system,” says DeBoer.
A good travel therapist seeks to understand how a facility works. You need to find out what kind of productivity is expected, what documentation standards there are, and much more. DeBoer has found that it works really well to go to the director of the facility after a week of working and seek feedback for his work, versus waiting for the director to come to him.
“Look at this as an opportunity to learn,” says DeBoer. Each therapy group can teach you something, whether it be techniques, organizational skills, or efficient documentation. Being open-minded allows you to learn!
Boosting Your Career with Travel Therapy
DeBoer has enjoyed working as travel therapist because it has given him a view of the, “whole breadth of the continuum of care.” Not only that, but he has found that he can simply focus on the therapy, and avoid the complaints and office politics that sometimes detract from job satisfaction in permanent therapy jobs.
By approaching travel therapy with the right mindset, you, too, may enjoy working as a contract or travel therapist at some time in your therapy career.