A lot of people are very curious about our situation and how traveling as a healthcare worker actually works. So, whether you are curious or are considering starting your own adventure, here are some commonly asked questions:
- How long is each assignment?
- Generally, each assignment is 13 weeks. Of course, there is always a chance you might love it and the facility may ask you to stay longer. This is optional and usually is not discussed until you are about half way or more through your assignment.
- Do you move everything every 13 weeks?
- Oh my gosh, no! The travel agency gives you options about housing. I most often let them find my housing. Personally, it is less stressful for us. They set everything up, rent furniture, have the lights and water turned on, and we just show up! All the furniture is arranged and set up, all we have to do is put the dishes in the cupboards (sometimes the rental company does that for us too!) We just bring our personal items, clothing, etc. and when it’s time to leave we just take our personal items and leave everything else for the rental company to pick up.
- What housing options are available?
- Most agencies give you two options. Take a set amount of money and find your own housing or let them find your housing. There are pros and cons to each option but for us, it’s an easy choice to allow them to find housing. It is tough to find a fully furnished apartment for 4 people for 13 weeks! So, I let my agency deal with that. But, if you know people in the area or like the thrill of finding your own housing, you have that option!
- How does your daughter go to school? Isn’t it hard for her to find friends?
- We home school her so she is not put in school and taken out every 13 weeks. We love it and so does she. She actually has more friends than I do! We are very active and she goes to parks and plays with kids. I was surprised at how easily she makes friends and before we know it, we are setting up play dates at the park with kids she met there. Also, we enroll her in programs in each area. She has done tennis lessons, dance class, horse back riding, violin lessons, soccer, basketball, and summer camps. So, she gets a lot of interaction with kids and she video chats with them once we leave the area.
- What if you get to a facility and don’t like it?
- You can always talk to your agency about it. For me, I know that each assignment equals 39 work days. I can handle almost anything for 39 days. No, I have not loved every facility I have been to but I know it is temporary and I enjoy my days off adventuring the area. Once you leave, you don’t have to ever go back, it is your choice where you go and even at the worst facilities, 13 weeks flies by.
- Don’t you miss staying in one place?
- Absolutely not, never have I missed “settling down”. As a traveler, I get most of the same ‘perks’ as full-time staff does. Benefits, vacation time, 401K, etc. Again, pros and cons to everything but for us the pros far out number the cons. I love the thrill of leaving one place and heading to a whole new place. So many things to see and do, we are never bored!
- Why did you start traveling?
- Honestly, I did not like my full-time job at all and I knew I needed a change. I had heard of traveling while I was in school and it had always been in the back of my mind. After discussing it with the family, we took the leap and tried it. I still remember my first assignment, I was so nervous! There was so much I didn’t know about traveling but by the end of that assignment I knew I was hooked to traveling!
- Do you go without a job in between contracts?
- I never have. I have been traveling for over 3 years now and have always had my next contract signed before my current one ended. This does require flexibility, you may not get to go to the area you wanted or get the shift you were looking for. But, as a traveler you have to be flexible and it will always work out.
If you have any other questions or if you are interested in becoming a healthcare traveler (I’m not a recruiter) you can contact me and I will try to help in any way possible! Adventures are everywhere, find yours!