Blog

4 new year’s goals for Traveling Therapists

continuing education

How are you doing with your new year goals, so far? While some of you have focused on bettering your  health – especially with exercise or improved diet – others of you are getting organized or letting go of past grudges. Maybe you’ve even considered a new career path or simply bettering your current position professionally. The truth is, it’s tough to self analyze and come-up with attainable goals every year. So, this year, we did it for you.

1. Explore new perspectives, advance your education

Therapy is an incredibly diverse field that’s rich with case studies, differing viewpoints, and the latest techniques. As you know, there’s always something new to learn. This year, don’t just spend time continuing your education. Instead, engage in new dialogues, join new groups, or even take a course studying a perspective you’re not fully aligned with. Perhaps you can do your own research and build a 2019 reading list challenge for yourself. At minimum, attend a conference or workshop near you. Use 2019 as your year to grow.

2. Start practicing what you preach

No matter what type of therapy you practice, you’re intervening in a patients life to help them heal, overcome, and progress forward. What do you need to overcome? What’s standing in your way of being more healthy, more clear-headed, or just more? This year, practice what you preach. When you suggest a new type of exercise, try it yourself. If you’re recommending a plant-based diet, give it a go for a month. If you’re advocating for a new option for stress relief, check it out on your own. Don’t just help your patients, help yourself.

networking

 3. Network more 

As a traveling therapist, there’s an everlasting drive to explore. Sometimes, the adventurer in you can take priority over your professional growth. Don’t miss the opportunities locally and online to rub shoulders with other professionals in your field. According to the Career Addict, not only can you help up-and-coming professionals through mentoring, but you’ll open doors for yourself whether it’s a move-up, a move geographically, a move into becoming more of an “influencer” in your field through speaking events or writing opportunities. If for no other reason, life as a traveling therapist isn’t all roses so, you can benefit from the positive reinforcement of being with others just like you.

4. Get outside of your comfort zone

Yes, travel therapy is for those with a case of wanderlust, but you may have found yourself slipping into activities or living in areas inside your “comfort zone.” It’s time to challenge yourself and grow a little bit. Start by reevaluating where you’ve traveled over the last few months. If you’ve ended up on the east coast for most of your career in travel therapy, head to California for an assignment. It’s a new culture with a new environment and certainly, a new world of adventure waiting for you. If you’ve stayed in the continental U.S., check out the job opportunities in Hawaii or even Alaska.

No matter what year it is, your end goal should be to grow as a traveling therapist. We hope these resolutions will help you throughout the year to increase your chances for sustainable professional and personal growth.

Things to do while on assignment in Charleston this December

Winter is here and the holiday season is upon us. If you’re on a travel therapy assignment in Charleston, South Carolina this month, don’t worry about feeling bored or lonely. There are plenty of thrilling activities you can enjoy in this charming city without dealing with the crowds of people that often flood the place during the summertime.

With an average base salary for physical and occupational therapists in Charleston standing just below $80,000, according to Glassdoor, you’ll have enough funds to save for one – or more – of the following events and attractions in the beloved Chucktown:

Head to the beach

While the weather may not be as warm during this time of year, it’s still comfortable enough to take a walk in the sand down the shore line of one of Charleston’s beaches. Thrillist recommended checking out Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island Edisto, Kiawah, or Seabrook during your stay. All locations are free of charge.

Check out the aquarium

Another great activity for the sea lovers, the South Carolina Aquarium is a must-visit. Here, you can enjoy thousands of different aquatic animals ranging from otters and sharks to adorable sea turtles. According to Traveler of Charleston, the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery area of the aquarium is an exhibit you can’t miss – you can witness the rehabilitation of injured sea turtles and watch them released back into the ocean via TV monitor!

Invite your family to visit the aquarium during your stay in Charleston.

Walk down Rainbow Row

Known as one of the most iconic sites in all of South Carolina, Rainbow Row is a fresh breath of air. It’s a row of 14 houses painted in bright, pastel hues that can’t be missed. According to Free Tours by Foot, there are various theories behind the meaning of the colorful houses. One is that the houses were used to catch the attention of the drunken sailor to help guide them home. Another is that the merchants used it as an advertising scheme. Others believe that the bright pastels were used to lower the property temperatures during the warm months. No matter the history behind the houses, one thing’s for sure: it’s one of the most beautiful, monumental sites in the world and can’t be passed up.

Visit Battery Park

According to Travel Pulse, a trip to Battery Park is the only way to complete a stay in Charleston. It’s cornered by Copper river on one side, and Ashley river on the other, offering gorgeous sights of the water no matter where you’re standing. Beyond its beauty, visitors can bask in the glory of its history – this site was named after the Civil War coastal defense artillery battery left here.

Don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy wintertime during your assignment in Charleston. Set aside some time to try one of these activities with your coworkers, or invite close family and friends for a quick visit before you embark on your next destination.

Working away from family during the holidays? Here’s 4 things to do..

 

The holiday season has officially arrived. While normally a time filled with cheer and excitement, you may be feeling a bit different this year while traveling on a therapy assignment. With your family back home celebrating, it might seem more difficult to get into the holiday spirit. Don’t let this get the best of you – there are ways to cope with being away during the holidays and still ensure you enjoy the season.

To ease the stress or strong feelings that come with working away from family during the holidays, consider the following tips:

1. Reserve a seat at a local community theater production

If you’re looking for a nostalgic activity that’ll help you get into the Christmas spirit, head to a local theater for a production of one of your holiday favorites. This time of year, many theaters in towns near you put up their own version of “It’s a Wonderful Life,”  “A Christmas Carol” or other festive plays that are sure to help you feel less lonely around the holidays. Holiday songs are the best way to beat the blues.

2. Visit a theme park on Dec 25th

Are you a thrill seeker who loves riding roller coasters? If you’re away from family, this time of year is perfect for checking out your favorite theme park. Because it’s the holiday season, you won’t have to worry about navigating through a congested theme park and you probably won’t have to wait in any lines, either. Some of the destinations recommended by lifestyle blog Fodor’s Travel include Walt Disney World, Stratosphere Casino Tower and Six Flags Over Texas. If your assignment is on the opposite side of the country, check into your local theme parks and see if they are affiliated with any events happening this winter.

 

3. Check out the Christmas displays in area neighborhoods

No matter where your assignment takes place, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the country. Run a Google or Bing search for popular neighborhood displays, print off a map and make yourself a big travel mug of hot chocolate. Plug in your heated blanket, roll down the windows and enjoy the spirit of the season!

4. Buy a ticket to a local game

Whether you’re a regular sports enthusiast or you rarely watch sporting events, winter is the perfect time to attend your local team’s game. Maybe it’s basketball, hockey or football, or something more unique like roller derby – splurge and buy yourself a ticket to a sporting event around Christmas. Even if you’re not a big sports fan, you can still enjoy the food, drinks and atmosphere!

No matter how you choose to spend your time away this season, always remember why you chose this career path in the first place. Travel therapy provides an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and expertise while caring for others across the nation, all while traveling and discovering new and exciting destinations. Keep this in mind if you start to feel lonely or isolated – your return back home will feel more satisfying and thrilling when you complete your assignment on a high note.

November is Native American Heritage Month

During November, most of the population is preparing for the holidays and the start of a new year. But did you know it’s Native American Heritage Month? According to the National Congress of American Indians, November is a time to celebrate the diverse cultures, traditions and historical events of Native Americans.

As a travel therapist, you have the opportunity to meet many unique individuals of various cultures. Understanding the beliefs and values of each cultural group can help you provide the most valuable care while treating each individual with respect. This month, let’s take a closer look at some of the potential challenges – plus solutions – for travel speech and language therapists, physical therapists and occupational therapists working with Native Americans:

Historical insight

Due to the historical oppression of indigenous people, many Native American clients may find it difficult to trust in his or her therapist. When the No. 1 priority of all therapists is to ensure patients are comfortable and can confide in them, it’s important to learn how to build trust and help your patients feel confident in the way you provide care.

“Eye contact is normally avoided as a sign of respect.”

Some of the most common barriers when working with Native American patients revolve around understanding communication values. According to researchers at the Native American Cancer Research Corporation, eye contact is normally avoided. Native Americans tend to gaze at the floor during conversation – understand that it’s a sign of respect. Additionally, patients of Native American descent associate loudness with anger and hostility. They also take long pauses after questions, taking careful consideration into their answers before responding on a whim.

What travel therapists can do

As the Minnesota Psychological Association suggested, working with Native American patients is all about considering the three C’s: Context, Comfort and Communication. This theory revolves around understanding the context of your patients background and story, building a relationship with your client and using the right communicative tools and techniques based on the values and beliefs of Native Americans. Keeping this in mind, here are a few recommendations and tips while working with Native American patients:

  • Patience is key. Give your patients enough time to evaluate your questions thoroughly and speak their truth in regard to how they’re feeling.
  • Approach all patients in a calm demeanor. Avoid an excessive tone or emphasis when speaking while addressing care.
  • Keep Native American spirituality in mind during care. According to research by the Center for Health Disparities Research, clients believe it’s important to incorporate Native American spirituality into therapy, but not to use tribal spiritual or healing methods for care.
  • The CHDR recommended providers meet Native American individuals, find a Native mentor, or spend time in the community to get a better understanding of the culture and background.

Jackson Therapy Partners seeks to educate travel therapists on embracing all cultural values and beliefs when providing care. This month, take the time to pay close attention to the needs of Native American patients with respect to their values.

6 fun outdoor activities to try this fall

 

Now that the trick-or-treaters have gone it’s the perfect time as a traveling therapist to get out and enjoy some of the fun outdoor activities that bring out the nostalgia and cure the homesickness. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get to know some of your coworkers or other travel therapists nearby.

Add these festive events to your agenda this month:

1. Go on a ghost walk through town
Whether you’re on assignment along the West Coast, practicing in New England or making way down south, there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy the crisp fall air on a ghost walk through America’s most haunted cities. According to Time Out, some of the best ghost tours are in Savannah, New York City and San Francisco.

2. Visit a pumpkin patch
Looking for the perfect pumpkin to transform into a pie or decorate your front porch? Grab a few friends and head to the local pumpkin patch. And don’t let those pumpkin seeds go to waste – toss them with cinnamon sugar and roast them in the oven for a sweet and tasty fall treat.

Go apple picking this October. Go apple picking this fall.

3. Go apple picking
A trip to the pumpkin patch is key, but apple picking is a fall classic – especially if you’re on assignment on the East Coast. It’s the perfect place to grab the delicious fruit for a tasty apple crisp or as a treat for your clients.

4. Get lost in a corn maze
Gather your coworkers and head to a corn maze for a fun and exciting adventure. There are plenty of family-friendly options, but more difficult mazes exist for those who are up for the challenge.

6. Go on a hay ride
If the corn maze isn’t thrilling enough for you, grab tickets to the nearest hay ride at a local fall festival. Use this opportunity to taste the local dishes, make new friends, and experience an all new adventure.

No matter how you plan on spending this fall, consider all of these activities an opportunity to get to know other therapists practicing in your area. Traveling on assignment can be intimidating when you’re constantly moving from destination to destination, but fun activities dedicated to the season can help you put yourself out there and ease the tension that comes with meeting new people.