With growing diseases, ailments, and aging population, the demand for the healthcare providers is also increasing. Among all the medical professions, occupational therapy plays a major role. They are the ones who provide the treatment needed to overcome the physical or mental disorder resulting from an injury or from any health issue. These therapists are required by the country’s top medical facilities and hospitals. Traveling occupational therapist is a new addition to this field.
There are numerous job opportunities in this field, and there are lots of benefits too. It is a rewarding career which helps you gain new experiences, expands your network, provides knowledge about all the aspects of occupational therapy with the chance to explore different countries, and get paid for it, etc. But, how to get the job as a travel occupational therapist, what is the salary, etc., are the questions that come to the mind of a job seeker. Let’s have a look at what this field can offer, and what are the pros and cons that you have to look at before starting your career.
1. Requirements and Job Description
There is no additional requirement for being a traveling occupational therapist, and it is same as of a normal OT. The duties and responsibilities are also the same.
2. Healthcare Settings for Traveling OT
There is no difference in the medical settings, and these professionals can work in hospitals, clinics, community health program, rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facilities, along with providing health care at home.
3. Traveling Occupational Therapist Jobs
There is never a shortage of job opportunities for these OTs, as there is always a position available in a healthcare facility in some or the other part of the country due to absences, leaves, census fluctuation, lack of staff, or any such reason.
These OTs work on a contract basis, and once any assignment is completed, they move on to the new project at a new destination.
4. Job Flexibility
Since occupational therapy travel job is based on contract, one does not have to get stuck with the commitments to stay for long. On the other hand, if the therapist chooses to go with a permanent job, they are generally obliged to stay in that medical setting for a minimum of 1 or 2 years before quitting the job.
5. Realistic Tasks
New occupational therapists are often given unrealistic standards, tough tasks, and loads of supervising work, and hence they are usually taken advantage of. On the other hand, if you are working as a travel OT and the facility gives unrealistic task, then you can deny and leave that specific setting and move on to another location.
Generally, most of the companies provide a mentor to the therapists who travel with them and provide aid and assistance at every stage. They help with therapy, locating at a new place, provide lessons on ethics, and much more that will help enhance your career.
7. Work Independently or With a Placement Service
If you choose this profession, then you have the choice to serve as an independent care provider or you can sign up with a placement service. Before choosing the placement organization, make sure that you check every policy and terms and condition including termination policy, health benefits, leaves, etc.
8. Traveling Occupational Therapist Salary
The traveling occupational therapist, according to indeed.com, managed to get an average salary of $100,000 (as of July 22, 2016) which is much greater than the occupational therapist working on a full-time basis.
9. Perks and Benefits
Traveling OT is entitled to get a lot of allowances and gratuity, apart from a high salary. The placement companies generally provide paid housing, bonuses on completing assignments, mileage reimbursement, non-taxable living stipend, referral bonus, 401(k), etc. Not only this, you also get a chance to explore new places and destinations throughout the country.
Cons of Travel Occupational Therapy
Nothing in the world comes with only positive aspects and thus, there are negatives of this occupation too which are as follows.
- The very first disadvantage of being a travel OT is that it is hard to establish roots and build personal relationships with people.
- Secondly, too much traveling may sometimes be hectic as every time you have to relocate yourself with the belongings to a totally new place. The desired location is also snapped up quickly sometimes.
- Another drawback is that along with traveling, you need some time to get acclimated to the new position, new colleagues, and staff.
- Since a particular project is for a temporary period, you have to find a new assignment every time after completing the previous project.
- Often, there are arduous cancellation clauses and in the cases of bad assignments, you may experience difficulty.