As a travel therapist, you have likely learned by now there are so many options and things to consider when deciding to go for this adventurous lifestyle. So, other than being informed about tax homes, contracts, stipends, and being empowered to do this amazing work, there’s another element we have to account for: SPEED! Yep, travel therapy jobs can move FAST. To give you an idea: a job can be available for applications and be filled 45 minutes later. No joke!
What is something that can help us land jobs when they can close so quickly? Flexibility and incredible work ethic help, but first and foremost, we must have our paperwork in order and submitted on time. For real, we can’t get a job without it! As healthcare professionals, we know we can’t get anything done without proper and expedient paperwork now, don’t we? Travel life is no different!
There are two areas of paperwork that we need to have prepared for landing assignments:
- Job Submission paperwork (Before you get the job)
- Credentialing paperwork (After you get the job)
Job submission paperwork
This is the list of paperwork your recruiter will likely need in order to submit you to jobs as a travel SLP, PT, or OT. The sooner you get these to your recruiter, the better.
- Updated Resume
- Skills Checklist
- Copy of Licenses: include the states they are held and the dates
- References: at least two names with phone numbers. They must be from a manager in the same specialty as the job you’re applying for.
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Other proof of identity
Even if there isn’t a travel job that’s available to you at first, get as much of this as possible to your recruiter as soon as you know you want to work with them. That way when something comes up, they can submit you right away (and as soon as you say to!). You don’t want to miss opportunities just because your recruiter doesn’t have your resume!
Since you are so incredible at submitting your paperwork to your recruiter, you likely will soon land a sweet assignment! And just like when you’ve worked perm or in a hospital or facility, they require certain criteria that must be met (and with proof!) before travel therapists can work there.
Your recruiter will need to submit the following to the hospital or facility who has the contract you’re taking:
- Copy of your Immunization Records: Most likely showing your HepB, MMR, Varicella/Chicken Pox, Flu, and some others
- Proof of a Physical Examination: per the hospital’s criteria
- Copy of TB test record: You probably know this, but the TB test has multiple parts – one visit to receive the injection and a 2 day waiting period until your results can be read. Some hospitals have you do this test twice, so give yourself the time to get this done.
- Drug screen paperwork: If needed, sometimes this is done on-site
- Background check paperwork: If needed for a certain population.
Try to get all your credentialing clarified with your recruiter as soon as possible. Then complete it all as soon as you possibly can. Yes, your start day can be held up by not having your credentials completed! Make sure your recruiter also tells you if the hospital has specific forms you need to fill out to confirm your records, too.
The travel therapy secret to success: staying organized
Staying organized is the best way for travel therapists to work well with their recruiters AND land jobs. It also helps you look good when going to new hospitals or facilities if you get all your paperwork in on time and in an organized way!
Use tools like Kamanahealth.com which keeps every secure and easy to share with recruiters. Or DIY with Dropbox. If you use Kamana this is done for you but if you use Dropbox here are some extra tips:
- Organize your files by the categories: Job Submission and Credentialing
- Label documents clearly (e.g. Resume, California License with date, TB test with date)
- Share your files electronically with your recruiters ASAP
- Keep EVERYTHING up to date so it’s always ready to send
- Try not to change file locations often (in case you sent links out to your recruiter)
Cheers to preparing paperwork in advance! (Whoever thought we’d say that?!)