Allied Travel July 19, 2023

OT Traveler with Small-town Roots Turns Trailblazer

Meet Marianne D., Traveler of the Month for July 2023

Med Travelers recently honored Marianne D., M.S. OTR/L, an exceptional occupational therapist traveler, with the prestigious Traveler of the Month Award. Marianne's passion for patient care and dedication to her profession has made her a rising star in the field of occupational therapy travel jobs.

Marianne's passion for occupational therapy and her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people's lives have taken her on a journey to career growth in incredible locations nationwide.

Her journey began in her hometown of Jeffersonville, New York, nestled in the picturesque Catskill Region. After completing an accelerated program for occupational therapy at Utica College, Marianne started on her OT path.

"I always knew I wanted to travel and go around the country to see where I wanted to settle," she said. Her thirst for adventure and the desire to learn new skills led her to the world of travel therapy.

Marianne contacted several allied health travel companies but settled on Med Travelers after making a connection with recruiter Zach M. She has been with Zach since starting her OT travel career four years ago.

Reflecting on their bond, she said, "I liked Zach because he was very honest, especially about me being new to OT traveling and what to expect. Zach guided me, and I appreciate that."

Enjoying the diversity of OT travel jobs

In November 2019, Marianne went on her first travel assignment in Killeen, Texas, where she worked in a school setting. This initial foray as an occupational therapist traveler proved a transformative experience, confirming her love for working with children and igniting her desire to specialize further in pediatric occupational therapy.

Marianne's dedication and adaptability shine through as she recounts her diverse assignments. From schools to skilled nursing facilities, her versatility and eagerness to learn have allowed her to thrive in different environments.

"I like the variety that traveling has given me," she said, emphasizing her willingness to explore both pediatric and adult settings. "My mom was a nurse, and I didn't like her long hours, but I liked the medical aspects. I knew I wanted to go into the medical field starting in high school. My mom and career class introduced me to OT.”

“I liked that in OT, you can cover so many different age groups, populations, and fields, such as mental health,” Marianne continued. “You could go in many different areas and not have to switch careers or majors."

Maximizing her OT travel experiences

Throughout her OT travel career, Marianne's passion for her chosen profession has matched her adventurous spirit. She has taken advantage of each assignment to immerse herself in the local culture and natural beauty of her surroundings. Whether exploring the majestic landscapes of Wyoming, strolling along sandy beaches and paddleboarding at Virginia Beach, or embarking on exciting hiking adventures, Marianne is making the most of her travel experiences.

"I now have friends all over the country, and I stay in touch with many of them," Marianne said. "With travel, you can end up with some great long-term friends you can always visit. I've also had a lot of support from my family. My parents and sister have always helped me pack, and my parents have road-tripped with me or visited every place I've been on contract."

Marianne has just arrived for her next adventure, a return to Alaska to work in a school. Her first Alaska assignment included working in home health and at an outpatient clinic for pediatrics. She enjoyed being in the clinic, which was a new experience for her.

"I learned a lot," Marianne said. "I had many OTs with me, and I enjoyed having more co-workers or fellow OTs to ask questions and learn from."

Paying it forward

After learning so much from her travel assignments and those she’s worked with, Marianne is happy to share what she’s learned. So for those considering OT travel jobs, she offers this advice:

"Be open-minded, keep a positive attitude, and stay flexible," she said. "Sometimes you think you'll get a week-long orientation at a new assignment, but then you jump into it. That's OK.”

“I relied a lot on co-workers to help me as I started and show me the ropes a little bit. So as long as you're open-minded and friendly, you'll get those resources you need to succeed. It may not always be sunshine or rainbows, but it can be if you can adapt to any situation."

Marianne plans to keep traveling and hopes to go on assignment in Hawaii. But wherever her path takes her, with each new OT travel assignment, she’ll continue to hone her skills, nurture her love for working with children, and explore the vast potential of her profession.

READY to start making lifelong memories as Marianne has? Just APPLY with Med Travelers, and our recruitment team will help get you on your way!  


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