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Before You Go: Must-Knows for Prospective Travel Caregivers
If you have a passion for helping people and love traveling, becoming a travel caregiver may be the career for you. There are many benefits of being a travel caregiver such as not only doing what you love, but exploring new cities, trying new foods, and meeting new people along the way. Being a travel caregiver is not only rewarding but gives you the opportunity to learn new techniques and practices to become the best you can be. While travel healthcare may sound great, there is quite a bit to consider before switching careers. We have compiled a list of our top nine things to know to help you prepare before taking on a new adventure.
Choosing the Best Travel Agency and Recruiter
There are dozens of travel healthcare agencies, some big and some small. When beginning your career, you want to look for a company that truly cares about you. With some companies, you may feel like you are just another number to them. Here at TotalMed, we truly care about you and your career. We will work with you to help you land the perfect assignment and will always be with you throughout your journey. From our employees to our caregivers, we treat everyone like family and want to help you thrive.
Have Documents/Licenses Ready
Before beginning your travel healthcare career, make sure you have all necessary documents to better help find the perfect assignment for you. These necessary documents may include your resume, certifications, licenses, vaccination records, and references. This will not only make it easier for you, but also your recruiter when looking for contracts.
Do you have the experience to become a travel caregiver? At TotalMed, we require our caregivers to have at least two years of experience before getting placed. Keep in mind that a great travel caregiver is also flexible. While you may get the city you want to work in, you may not get the shift you would prefer, or vice versa. Your recruiter will do the best they can to land you the perfect assignment, but there may be times when you end up in a different city or working a different shift. Being flexible is a necessity for a travel caregiver. Who knows? Maybe you will end up in a city that you fall in love with! Having experience and being flexible will help you get those competitive assignments.
Along with traveling comes packing. Throughout your career, you will get a better idea of which items you need to pack, and which items can be left at home. Most temporary homes come furnished, and some may have utensils and other kitchen electronics. However, if you are big into cooking, you may want to bring your own utensils. If you are traveling far from home, you may want to bring a few items that remind you of home such as pictures, a candle, or blankets. If you are unsure what you should bring, reach out to your recruiter or other travel caregivers for a better idea of necessary items.
Not all travelers qualify for tax free stipends. Talk to a tax professional to make sure you qualify!
Make sure to go over your contract thoroughly. You may want to have your recruiter go through it with you to ensure you understand all that it entails. Some key things to look over are pay rates for the first x amount of hours and overtime, contract length, requested days off, cancellation policies for both you and the facility, shift times, stipend, and which unit you will be working. There are other things to look over, but make sure you understand your contract entirely before signing.
Have Savings Before Beginning Career
Along with being flexible, you must be prepared for whatever is thrown your way. Contracts can be cancelled by facilities, so it is important to make sure you have some savings just in case. Situations can also occur during your travels such as your car breaking down or having a flat tire. Family emergencies can also happen that will cause you to end your contract early. Before going into travel nursing, make sure you have plenty of savings to help tide you over if an emergency does happen.
Do Not End Assignments on a Sour Note
There may be times during your career when you dislike your current assignment. Whether it be the facility itself or the people you work with, try your best to finish your contract. Most of the time your contracts will be roughly 13 weeks long. If you happen to end up not loving your assignment, let your recruiter know, and do your best to continue working hard and end it on a positive note. Ending your contract on a sour note could cause that facility to not recommend you for future contracts, which could cause issues when looking for new assignments. This is extremely important if you are a first-time travel caregiver!
Research Your Assignment City Before Moving
If your new contract requires you to move, be sure to research the city beforehand. Research the neighborhood you will be staying in, the route to work, and where the grocery store and gas stations are located. It is important to try to move at the very latest a week before your assignment begins. This will give you time to not only learn your commute, but help you learn how the traffic is. Spend a day before your first day going through your routine as if you were going to work. This will give you a better idea of how long it takes for you to get ready and walk through the doors of your facility. If you are a touristy person, check out the local shops and sites to visit on your days off. Make sure to enjoy your time while there visiting new places and trying new restaurants. You may even learn a thing or two about the town and the folks that live there.
Are you a caregiver looking to travel? We would like to work with you! Click Here to start your adventure today with TotalMed!