Background Checks: The Importance of Consent

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When coming aboard any new position, 9 times out of 10 the employer will require a background check to be completed and cleared prior to your first day on the job. Typically, you will sign a consent form or “release of information” form buried somewhere in your new hire paperwork that will go over the various types of checks you are consenting to having run whether that is your criminal, educational, medical, credit, or other background information. It is important that the employer receives this consent and that the potential employee understands what they are agreeing to.

Candidates should know that no employer is exempt from obtaining permission before running your background. Verbal permission is not valid for obtaining a background check which is why the form exists in the first place. This serves as protection for both the employer and employee since verbal consent/contracts can easily become quite messy. In addition, if the employer declines to employ you based on information they received in your background check, they are required to report that to you and give you the company’s name that provided the information.

In the travel nurse/therapy industry, a lack of gaining the consent needed in a timely manner can have negative consequences including:

  1. Your start date could be pushed back because the results aren’t received in a timely manner (background checks aren’t quick!)
  2. The facility might book someone in your place that has their background information cleared while waiting for yours to come back. Losing your contract over something like this is not worth it.
  3. From a business perspective, we can lose the contract and could possibly lose the relationship we have with the facility itself if we don’t have things done when we say we will.

I cannot stress enough how important the credentialing/paperwork side of coming aboard as a new hire is on all sides. Please note that I am not advocating for you to skim through your paperwork and get back all information as quickly as possible without reading through and understanding what you are signing. However, I am advocating for the importance of the new hire process and making sure things are completed timely. Make your documents and credentialing process a priority – not items you’ll get around to completing. We’re here to help you start – not annoy you with loads of paperwork. Additionally, when you get the paperwork to fill out, read it and make sure you understand it. If you have any questions about the paperwork or the process, let us know immediately so that we have the opportunity to address any items you wish to talk about. Doing this early in the process will help avoid getting things in late and ultimately, causing you further issues when you’re unable to start in time.

You’re a valued professional and the facility needs you there for a reason which is why they want you to start on time. If you have any questions about our credentialing process at TravelMed USA, please let me know. I’d be happy to go over what to expect if you decide to come aboard with us. Please feel free to send me an e-mail.

ashley@travelmedusa.com

Wanderlust Problems: Solo Travel Photos

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Even if you’re not that “into” photography, documenting your travels is so very important and something you will have no regrets doing. In fact, most individuals that accept travel assignments are doing so because they have a desire to travel and explore new areas. However, what do you do when you want to take photos and you’re by yourself? Check out these tips below for a few ideas to make sure you don’t miss a single shot!

1. Invest in a good quality tripod and timer.

This one is the classic solution if you want to take a picture of yourself and no one is with you. However, I’m someone who loves photography and I can tell you it’s important to invest in a good quality tripod that is made for rugged environments if you’re going to be using it for more than just indoor photography. Best advice? Head over to Google and search “rugged camera tripod” and you should come up with a variety of options to choose from. In addition, you’ll need to make sure you purchase a camera timer. Usually the “clicker” is quite small so it’s easy to disguise it in your hand without anyone knowing that you took the photo yourself.

2. Selfie camera/Selfie stick.

The “selfie” was supposedly started by a gentleman named Lestor Wisbrod in the early 1980s, or at least that’s what he claims. According to him, it was a way to quickly take photos of himself with celebrities – over 150 of them! (Learn more about Lester here!) Interestingly enough, he did note that taking selfies back then wasn’t quite as simple as it is now with our easy to use front facing cameras. However, if that isn’t simple enough for you, you may want to try a selfie camera or selfie stick. This revolutionary (term used loosely) product has introduced an even simpler way to take photos of ourselves when no one can do it for us.The cameras typically have a flip out LCD screen that shows you what photo you are taking in real time as you are taking it. Alternatively, you can choose the stick which doesn’t require you to be as close to the camera as you would be holding it in your hand. Either way, selfies just became even easier.

3. Join a group online and schedule a meet up.

Although I am not a travel nurse or therapist, I do like to stay in touch with those within the travel nurse/therapy industry and have found several groups on sites dedicated for that purpose on Facebook. What better way to meet new people in your field than by joining a group specifically for that purpose? Sometimes when we’re off in a new place on our own, it can get a little lonely so being able to relate to someone there with similar experiences can be comforting and also allow you network and gain new friendships. Talk with some of the members, ask questions, and if you’re comfortable with it, schedule a meet up with a few people that are in the same general area. What an awesome way to get those pictures and make new memories.

4. When you’re out exploring, just ask someone!

Forget the internet. You’re touring a new city and exploring your surroundings – get out of the house and just explore! When you’re walking down your new city street or exploring that great local establishment, don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you (within reason and your safety in mind of course). Ask them questions about the area – locals will typically have a lot of knowledge about the area that you wouldn’t necessarily know. They may even be able to point you toward “must see” places in your area that will ultimately enrich your travel experience.

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Are you ready to dive into your next travel position? We offer therapists and nurses awesome travel experiences throughout the entire United States with great pay, benefits, and incentives. Contact us anytime for more information on our available assignments at 1-800-796-0923 and check out our website at http://www.travelmedusa.com/

Nurses: 12 Free Apps To Make Your Life Easier!

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We are living in an age where technology is and will continue to be used in all aspects of our day to day activities whether that is our in our personal or professional lives. FindNursingSchools.com created a list of 12 free apps that are geared toward nurses and nursing students. Take a look at some of these great options below and let us know about any apps you’ve found beneficial in the comment section!

1. Medzio Health Navigator – Medzio Health Navigator is a dual purpose app. It uses the location of your phone to track down nearby healthcare facilities, hospitals and clinics for all of your medical needs. With each listing, you are provided with contact information and directions to the facility. The second purpose of the app is to provide users with medically correct information in regards to health topics, symptoms and first aid care.

2. Essential Skeleton 2 – Essential Skeleton 2 by 3D4Medical utilizes 3D technology to display the human skeleton from head-to-toe. Anyone taking courses in anatomy and physiology would benefit from this app. 3D4Medical also offers a free Essential Anatomy app display the muscular system.

3. Epocrates – Epocrates provides prescription information for thousands of drugs, as well as several tools for pill identification. If you’re looking for more detailed clinical information, you can upgrade to Epocrates Essentials for a yearly subscription fee.

4. Micromedex Drug Information – Micromedex provides detailed information on thousands of prescribed and over-the-counter medications. For each drug, Micromedex lists generic names, dosing instructions, warnings, drug interactions, adverse effects and more.

5. NCLEX Qbank – We love NCLEX Qbank for nursing students! This app is powered by Kaplan Nursing, a trusted name for testing resources. Nursing students now have NCLEX practice questions at their fingertips. Kaplan’s Qbank offers over 180 questions with options for timed tests and review help for incorrect answers.

6. Eponyms – An example of an eponym is Crohn’s Disease (a word derived from a person’s name). This app provides definitions for eponyms falling under various medical specialty areas.

7. Stat Spanish – If you lack a background in Spanish and you are a medical professional, this app is a must-have. When it comes to communicating with Spanish-speaking patients, Stat Spanish will make your life a little easier. English-Spanish translations will help you greet patients, discuss symptoms and perform a simple exam.

8. AACN2Go – If you are an acute or critical care nurse, this app is calling your name! AACN2Go is brought to you by the America Association of Critical-Care Nurses. AACN2Go provides easy-access to quick references and online journals.

9. Read by QxMD – With Read by QxMD, you will be well informed with the latest scientific research, medical breakthroughs and industry news. You’ll also gain easy-to-navigate mobile access to PubMed.

10. Calculate by QxMD – This app is exactly what its name says it is – a medical calculator! Calculate by QxMD was developed in collaboration with industry experts to provide over 150 unique calculations for all areas of medicine.

11. MD ezLabs – MD ezLAbs was designed to provide users with quick access to normal and abnormal lab values. Each lab test contains a link for users to find more detailed information.

12. Code Happy – The purpose of Code Happy is to help you build a nursing support network. When you need a pick-me-up, you can use the Code Happy app to call on other nurses for “Happygrams.” This allows nurses to spread humor and inspiration with other like-minded individuals.

http://findnursingschools.com/blog/12-free-apps-for-nurses-and-nursing-students/

Recruiters & Job Seekers: 3 Tips For Getting on the Same Page

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If you’re like many job seekers, you may feel as though your recruiter holds your fate in their hands only to hear “We’ll let you know when a position opens that fits your needs.” What does this mean and why did you get that response? Is there truly no job opening or is it something else?

In the travel industry for nursing and allied health, recruiters have to react and make decisions quickly because the jobs move just as fast. In desirable locations and/or settings, job postings may have 10+ applicants in as little as 30 minutes! So with all this in mind, what can you do to get on the same page as your recruiter and set yourself apart from other applicants?

Recruiter Says: “I’ll keep your resume and let you know when I find something.”

For the majority of candidates for travel positions that are even somewhat flexible with location, your recruiter should be able to find something to present to you for consideration. That said, if you’re not at all flexible with location (i.e. will only consider opportunities within a 10 mile radius of your home), this could be a legitimate statement – there may not be anything available within such a small distance. However, maybe your skills weren’t made clear on your resume and your recruiter thinks you aren’t a good match for the available positions. The majority of resumes in all industries, not just healthcare, lean on the poorer side. While a healthcare recruiter should be an expert in that specific field, the job seeker should make their skills and qualifications absolutely clear to increase their chances of being matched with a position. The recruiter doesn’t have time to dig into every resume to find out what your skills are so make sure to add any keywords that will stick out and accurately describe your qualifications!

Recruiters Says: “At least 1 year of experience in [specified field] is required. No new grads.”

We have absolutely nothing against new graduates and we do have several opportunities specifically available for new graduates that will provide training. However, our client companies specify what they want for a reason and the majority of travel opportunities for both nursing and therapy are going to require at least some level of experience beyond clinical work because there is very little on the job training provided. A new graduate should have the opportunity to precept with an experienced professional in their field and not feel overwhelmed being thrown into the field without any working experience. It’s not fair to you as a growing professional in your field.

Recruiter Says: “We’ll be in touch as soon as we hear something.”

We’d love to be able to give you a direct answer on your interview right after you complete it but unfortunately we won’t find out until the hiring manager gives us an answer. Trust us – we want to know the answer as much as you do and we’ll stay on them until we find out. However, if you’re currently working, don’t put in your notice until we have a signed confirmation from the facility. Although rare, cancellations before the confirmations are signed do happen on occasion and in the event something falls through, we want to make sure that you’re protected. Communication is key in our industry.

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Some additional tips?

* Always tell the truth on your resume – embellishments will hurt you in the long run, particularly when you’re on the job.

* Be upfront with any scheduling needs or start date accommodations so that your recruiter can communicate that to the facility.

* Keep in contact with your recruiter!

Hopefully this has helped clear up some of the mystery behind recruiter responses and what you should do. As recruiters, we want you to be successful because a happy job seeker will always come back in the future. If you have any additional questions you’d like answered about the recruitment or interview process related to travel nursing or travel therapy, please feel free to leave us comments in the box below – I’d be happy to answer!

-Ashley

 

Therapists: 5 Tips To Make the Most of Your Travel Experience

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Allied health careers are some of the most rewarding careers, both personally and professionally, for many that I talk to. The ability to watch an individual progress and gain abilities they wouldn’t have had otherwise makes the job worthwhile and that need will not be going away anytime soon. Travel therapists are needed throughout the country in all disciplines and settings and we are seeing an increase of candidates looking to give travel a try. One of the biggest benefits besides the new experiences you’ll gain is the very attractive compensation package which nearly always beats out any permanent position. Here are some tips to get you

1. Bring a ‘Comfort Item’ From Home

This may sound silly but when you’re heading off for a brand new job in a brand new area that you’re not used to, it can be comforting to bring something to remind you of your permanent home. Whether that’s your favorite candle, blanket, coffee cup, or picture, bring something that makes you happy!

2.  Explore Your New Surroundings

Speaking of being in a new place, enjoy your new place! Especially if you’ve traveled alone, you may feel less interested in heading out and exploring your new environment. Don’t make that mistake. Part of the joy of traveling is gaining new experiences outside of the workplace as well. Grab your laptop and do a little research online to see what is in the area that may be of interest. Side Note: Don’t forget to take pictures!

3.  Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Yes, you’re the new kid on the block at your new place of employment, however, that does not mean that you shouldn’t ask questions. Best practice when it comes to the job itself and processes are asked during the interview so expectations are set correctly before the assignment starts. However, if something doesn’t seem right whether that is process related or clinically related, talk to your manager and of course, keep your recruiter advised. We’re to advocate for you!

4.  Get Involved In Your New Workplace

Why would you want to get involved in your new workplace? I see travel work the same as I would a permanent position. You are working at the facility because they had a need and chose you because you were the best fit for the job. Many times travelers feel left out and while we can’t force others to include you, you can be proactive in your desire to be included. This has two benefits – the facility gets more from you and 9 times out of 10, you end up happier in your position because you feel some ownership in your position.

5.  Keep In Contact With Your New Friends

One of the long-term rewards of travel is the new friends you’ll make along the way. While you won’t necessarily make friends at every location you travel to or at least not in the sense that you want to remain in contact long after you’re gone, don’t write it off completely. If you’re particularly close with someone at work, ask to remain in contact! From references to outright friendships, it’s beneficial no matter how you look at it. Don’t have time for phone calls or text messages? Keep in contact using social media – Facebook has a ton of groups available specifically for travel therapists!

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I hope you’ve found these tips helpful and give you some ideas for how to really experience your time traveling. As recruiters, we want you to be happy in your job but also want you to be able to take away some great experiences to last a lifetime. If you’re interested in considering a travel therapy position, I’d be happy to help. Let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll see what we have available!

ashley@travelmedusa.com

(386) 264-6864 (Direct Line)

– Ashley

Travel Nursing Interview Tips

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If you’re brand new to travel nursing or an experienced professional, we have some great interviewing tips that may help you get that next great assignment. Interviews for travel assignments can sometimes be challenging because they are typically “held” over the phone without a meeting in person. Your first impression must be made solely by your vocal presentation and that can make it much harder to differentiate yourself from other candidates. See below for some of our favorite tips for having a great interview!

1. Make sure you are well rested before your interview begins.

If at all possible, try to schedule the interview for a time when you’re not just getting off work after a long, 12+ hour shift. You want to make sure that you are alert and able to communicate your skills and experience effectively to the hiring manager. Trying to think on your feet during an interview when you’re exhausted, hungry, and/or tired is never a good strategy. Another tip? Dress for your phone interview the way you would for a face-to-face interview. Whether that is a suit, scrubs, or your favorite shirt – whatever makes you feel more confident is key!

2. Find a quiet area to conduct the phone interview.

Whether this is a room in your home where you can close the door and be alone or even your vehicle, you want to minimize the distractions so that you are able to concentrate and the hiring manager is able to hear you. As much as I love going to Panera Bread for business lunches and even face-to-face interviews, this is not a good environment for a phone interview.

3. Understand the details of the facility you are interviewing for.

Before being interviewed, your recruiter should release details on the hospital you are working for. At the very least, get on the computer and Google search the location, staff, and maybe even recent accomplishments they’ve had or new technologies they’ve implemented. Why do you want to work for this facility and what makes you different from every other candidate they’ve spoken to? Travel nursing jobs serve a very important purpose and you should prepare for the interview as you would any other permanent position.

4. Maintain effective communication and be professional.

Sure, every hiring manager might break into the small talk with you a bit and that can typically be seen as a good sign. However, don’t be the one to initiate the small talk. This is a serious job you are interviewing for and the hiring manager will not be impressed by the funny story your brother told you last week. Make sure your answers convey what the hiring manager is asking and remember to stay on topic.

5. Your resume and skills checklist will be verified. Be able to explain it.

The hiring manager has two key pieces of information in their hand while they are on the phone with you – your resume and skills checklist. It’s not that they want to quiz you, but when they ask you about a position you did from 2011-2013, you should know exactly what they are asking about and your details should match what you stated on your resume. Feel free to expand on additional details but make sure at the very least what you’re communicating to the hiring manager matches with what your resume conveys.

6. ALWAYS have questions to ask the hiring manager.

Contrary to popular belief, asking smart questions doesn’t make you seem inexperienced or uninformed – it makes you seem engaged in the process. As your benefit, you learn more details of the position before deciding if it’s the right one for you. Ask about the shifts you’d need to work, whether you’d float to another unit, nurse:patient ratios, and the type of schedule they would require you to work. In addition, specific clinical questions need to be asked during this interview as your recruiter will not have those answers for you.

7. Sell yourself based on how flexible you are.

As any experienced nurse knows, the more flexible you are with your schedule and shifts, the more the hospital may want to work with you. This is not for everyone so if you know that you are unable to commit to it, don’t say it. However, I have run across several nurses that didn’t mind going between day and night shifts (within reason of course), had open availability both weekdays and weekends, and/or willingness to float to other units. These three things are items you want to tell the hiring manager even if you’re certain your recruiter already did. Remind them of your ability to help them in dire situations and if chosen for the position, they can count on you.

8. Take notes!

As much as we’d like to be, your recruiter is not able to hear how your interview goes or what is said. The hiring manager will likely detail the position, responsibilities, and other details that you will want to refer back to. Don’t try to rely only on your memory.

9. Verify all job details with the hiring manager to ensure understanding.

As your interview comes to a close, ask the hiring manager to verify the start date, shift, unit, and assignment length. This is to ensure that everyone knows what they are signing up for and also to make sure no details have changed since the position was initially presented. Also identify any next steps and above all, CALL YOUR RECRUITER!!

10. Be certain that you are available to interview when you say you are.

I probably should’ve mentioned this first but I can’t stress it enough. Make sure if you say you are available for a phone interview on a certain date and time, you are actually available. Things do come up and that is understandable but unless it is an absolute emergency, be courteous in letting your recruiter know ahead of time that you need the interview date and/or time changed so they can get it rescheduled or at the very least, let the hiring manager know.

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As your recruiter, we want you to feel prepared to speak with the hiring managers you interview for so that you can get the position you really want. With these tips in hand, you should be able to knock your next interview for a travel assignment out of the park!

Looking for a travel assignment or even something more permanent? Send me a message and I can see what we have available that meets what you’re looking for. Even if you just want some more information, I’d be happy to help!

(386) 264-6864 (Direct Line)  or  ashley@travelmedusa.com