TravelMed USA: ‘Medical Careers In Motion’ May 2015 Newsletter

Please take a moment to check out our newest ‘Medical Careers In Motion’ newsletter for May 2015. We create these newsletters every month in order to keep our travelers in the loop with what’s going on at TravelMed USA!

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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

Contract Tips for Travel Nurses and Therapists

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So you’re ready to embark on your first travel assignment and are excited to get to work! You’ve found a great company and recruiter that you feel comfortable working with and now it’s just a matter of picking a location and jetting off…. right?

I wish I could say it was just that easy and I guess if we were living in a perfect world, it would be. However, there are several things you should take into consideration before you should take that leap. We’ve put together some travel tips to help nurses and therapists that have made the decision that travel is what they want to pursue in the hopes that it alleviates any unexpected issues from the start.

1. Read your contract thoroughly before signing.

This is not to say that you’re signing your life away, but at the very least, you should understand the terms of your contract in all aspects including but not limited to policies/procedures, pay structure, and cancellation notice. Policies/Procedures are pretty self-explanatory but at least make sure you understand them as they can vary by company. If there’s anything you’re uncomfortable with or unsure of, ask your recruiter for clarification before signing. Make sure that your recruiter is also breaking down what your pay structure is so that you know your taxable rate of pay as well as your individual tax-free stipends. Finally, make sure you understand what kind of cancellation notice you’re agreeing to which typically ranges anywhere between 2 weeks to a full 30 days, however, make sure it is written in your contract.

2. The reality of cancellation – Are you prepared?

Outside of poor performance, wrong-doing, or another reason for cause, contracts can be cancelled early for reasons on the facility side as well. You may be covering a leave of absence and the individual is coming back early, the facility has hired a permanent employee to replace you, or the census within the facility has dropped to a point where you are no longer needed. If you’re with a dedicated recruiter, they will do all they can to secure you a new contract and provide a seamless transition. However, that is not always realistic if you’re not at least somewhat flexible with location. If you do experience a break in your contract – are you prepared financially? Make sure you have enough money set aside to carry you if something should happen – whether this is a month’s expenses or more.

3. How to avoid contract cancellation altogether.

Although no one can promise that your contract won’t be cancelled, there are steps you can take to avoid it as much as possible. No one wants to book a nurse or therapist into a job only to have them cancelled a few weeks in – it’s not good for you and it’s not good for the recruiter either. How set are you on only working in a well known city? Would you consider working 45 minutes away? The reality is everyone wants to work in a desirable location and with that comes the much higher chance of cancellation because it’s much easier to fill positions with permanent employees in great locations – in other words, you’re more easily replaced. Take the time to consider a slight commute from your desired area in order to increase your longevity in the area you want to be in. Another bonus of working in a less “in-demand” area? Higher pay!

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As your recruiter, we want you to feel secure before heading out on a contract assignment – particularly for the first time. Being prepared for travel is so very important and with these tips in hand, you can feel a bit more comfortable knowing what you should be considering before signing that contract.

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

Nurses: 3 Tips For Thriving in a Night Shift Position

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If you’re a nurse thinking about considering a switch to a night shift position, it’s important that you are prepared not only from a clinical perspective but also a personal one. We’ll leave the clinical advice up to you but we do have some tips on how to make the transition a little easier.

1. Feed Your Body Well

I’m sure you already know working in healthcare that it is so very important to keep yourself well fed and hydrated with water and quality foods. Sometimes, especially during a busy shift, it is difficult to find the motivation to care for yourself when you’re giving so much to other people – assuming you have time to even take a break! Do your best to stay away from junk/snack foods – the energy you get from those are short lived bursts that will leave you starving for more very quickly. We would prefer you eat a well prepared meal but when that’s not possible, keep healthy snacks that will sustain you throughout your shift such as fruits, nuts, and other snacks beneficial to energy.

2. Get Enough Sleep

No one likes working when they haven’t slept enough and you can’t give 100% if you’re not feeling 100%. Many of us are not naturally nocturnal people who can easily fall asleep when the sun comes up. If you are having trouble getting to sleep, make sure you’re shutting off your tech devices (computer/tablet, television, phone, etc.) at least an hour before your bedtime. Use a lavender or similar pillow spray to help induce a relaxing feeling and try blackout curtains to reduce the sunlight intruding through your windows of your bedroom. Finally, try to keep a schedule so that the tasks you need to get done aren’t eating into your sleep time. You and your health are so very important – treat yourself well!

3. Keep Physically Active

Another great way to keep yourself feeling great working nights is by staying physically active. Working nights can be a difficult adjustment for our bodies to handle so make sure you aren’t adding on additional stress by sitting still when you get off your shift. Even if it’s something like taking a quick 30 minute walk, use this as your “me” time to transition from a long shift to a relaxing “evening” even if it is technically morning. Added bonus? Exercise is great for your heart!

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I hope these tips have helped or at least given you some ideas on how to best prepare yourself, from a personal perspective, for transitioning to a night shift career. As recruiters, we want you to be happy in your job and that is directly tied with how you treat yourself. You play an incredibly important role in patient care and you should always remember that it’s OK to take care of yourself as well.

If you’re interested in considering a night shift position, whether contract or permanent, 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

Nurses and Therapists: Helpful Information About Travel

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Top Cities for Travel Nursing Opportunities:

  • Tucson, AZ
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Denver, CO
  • Washington, DC
  • Miami, FL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Reno, NV

Compact States: Where Are They?

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

What Can Be Reimbursed?

  • Housing/Living expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Licensure/Certification expenses
  • …and more! If you have something you need reimbursed, JUST ASK – it never hurts!

What Facilities Use Travelers?

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Home Care

How Long Are Contract Assignments?

Travel assignments are usually anywhere between 8 weeks and 26 weeks with the majority being 13 weeks.

What Benefits Do You Offer?

  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Incentives/Bonuses

Utilizing Your Recruiter to the Fullest!

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The relationship between a traveling therapist and their recruiter varies from person to person. To some, recruiters are a necessary evil in a market that is strained for talent. To others, recruiters are a lifeline that keeps them stable. If you are simply using your recruiter as a way of finding a position, you could be missing out on everything this person has to offer.

With that being said, I wanted to give everyone out there a few tips on getting the most of out your relationship with your recruiter.

Your recruiter is your employee. Make sure you’re getting the most out of him or her by constantly updating him or her on your situation. What your recruiter doesn’t know can ultimately end up hurting your chances of finding a good fit, or getting the highest pay available to you. Communicate with your recruiter and help this person understand what’s motivating you on your search. You never know what small detail could mean the difference between a great fit and 13 weeks of torture.

Therapists have different needs when it comes to working with a recruiter. Have a conversation with your recruiter up front to set the groundwork for this relationship. Do you want a recruiter that’s going to check up on you every month, week, or day? Do you want a recruiter that will find a good fit for you with good pay and not call you back until it’s time to think about the next move? Taking a few minutes to go over what you expect of your recruiter will pay off in the long run. After your recruiter knows your needs, he/she will be able to fine tune your future searches based on your standards.

As always, keep in mind your recruiter will go to bat for you whenever you ask, but you have to ask. If you are interviewing for an assignment and you’re not sure how things will go, ask your recruiter for some tips. Chances are he or she will be able to coach you on how to interview with a certain client to make sure you have a better shot at landing the position. Whenever I mention using your recruiter to get info or assistance that’s above and beyond, it reminds me of a physical therapist traveler I worked with at the beginning of my staffing career. This person (Julia, PT) wanted to go to the mountains in CO for her next assignment because she loved to Hike. When we found potential assignments for Julia, I would look up Hiking locations in the area for her to help her decide which job would be the best bet. Julie ended up accepting a job in CA due to the shortage of open physical therapy positions in CO at the time. The main reason she decided to take CA over the possibility of CO was because she knew there was some great Hiking in the area. This was a compromise on both ends, and it wouldn’t have been possible had I not known what was motivating her to travel.

Next time you are contacting your recruiter for your job search, try to use some of these tips. Communication is key, and if your recruiter knows you well, he or she will work much harder for you. When you are using your recruiter to his or her full potential, you will end up with positions that will keep you happy while you’re doing what you love. This will also make for a long lasting relationship and long term positions.

-Call me today to discuss your next position!! 386-264-6866

-Ema

Is Becoming a Travel Therapist or Nurse Right For You?

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Is becoming a travel allied healthcare professional for you?? Find out by reading the article below!

Traveling is a really great way to go! HONESTLY…..

  1. If you are money motivated or want to pay off your student loans especially if you are a New Grad then traveling is for you. You can travel within your local area. You can travel throughout your state or nationwide. It is up to YOU! TravelMed offers up to $65hr plus benefits and many other incentives.
  2. If you like to explore and see new places then traveling is for you. You get to site see; explore new areas, visit friends or family in other states some you may not have seen in a while. You also get to go through the seasons, very beautiful!
  3. If you like flexibility then traveling may be for you! You can pick your schedule. Most of the time you work Mon-Fri general 8-5, 7-4 but you may be able to get 4 10’s, 3 12’s. You also have the choice to take off as much time as you want in between assignments. Couple days, week, couple months, 6 months. The industry norm is a 13 week assignment however we have 6, 8, 26 even yr contracts. You have the ability to extend at same facility or move on to another.
  4. Also as a travel/contract employee you don’t have to deal with the politics which is always nice.

Contact a Recruiter today if you are interested in hearing more!

1-800-796-0923

www.travelmedusa.com

-Ema