Leaving The Big Easy for a New Grad Travel Career
By Megan Murdock Krischke, contributor
While his other classmates decided to stay in his native New Orleans after graduation, Quinn Asaro, PT, DPT, and one of his college friends decided to take their physical therapy careers on the road. Little did he know that his short-term plan as a new grad physical therapist would turn into a long-term passion--with personal and career benefits.
“I have had such good support from Med Travelers. I have a good relationship with my recruiter and she is pretty much available when I need her. One time I got laid off because they found a permanent employee to fill the role I was in and she found a job for me right away--I didn’t miss any time. The payroll service is also really good; whenever I have questions they are on top of it.”
Asaro and his friend, Dustin Bernard, who also works for Med Travelers, have had two physical therapy assignments in Texas, an assignment in Boston, Minnesota, New Orleans and several in California, including in Joshua Tree and Palm Desert. They are currently in Santa Cruz, Calif., and Asaro hopes to go to Hawaii next. When asked to name his favorite assignment, he is hard pressed to pick just one.
“Santa Cruz has been the most fun--the area is the best, right next to the beach and an hour from San Francisco. When I worked in Palm Desert I was in an outpatient facility and the whole facility was staffed by travelers and so I made a lot of friends there. Minnesota was fun because I had never experienced snow--I learned about shoveling and getting stuck in ditches. I guess that part was fun in retrospect,” he reflected.
While traveling with a friend can limit some options since you have to go where there are two jobs available, Asaro says it is great to have someone familiar around and to always have a buddy who is up for an adventure on the weekend.
“One of the things I like most about traveling is meeting new people from different areas. I also like not knowing what I’m getting into because it presents new challenges,” he said. “The company helps out a lot with finding jobs and setting things up. So all I have to do is move.”
Asaro’s experience traveling has given his résumé some unique strengths. His physical therapy jobs have spanned a variety of work environments: hospital-based acute care, outpatient, skilled nursing and home health.
“I didn’t have prior home health experience, but the company I was on assignment with was willing to train me. The only setting I haven’t practiced physical therapy in yet is inpatient rehab,” he noted.
One of the things that Asaro has found most challenging thus far in his travel career has been learning each documentation system, and estimates he has learned more than a dozen different systems. But that experience has also helped make him uniquely qualified for future physical therapy jobs.
“I know that my experience traveling has made me more adaptable,” he added. “I may not be the expert in each setting, but I am well-rounded and an employer can throw me in anywhere and I can handle it. I know how to get a patient to where they need to be.”
One of Asaro’s favorite ways to spend his free time is attending sporting events and visiting different sports venues. During his time as a traveling physical therapist, he estimates that he has attended baseball games in 10–12 different stadiums. He has also been to several football stadiums and started attending hockey games. While in California he has visited Yosemite National Park, gone skiing in Lake Tahoe, and visited major cities such as San Diego, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
“My advice to other travelers or potential travelers is to find a recruiter you are comfortable with and then stay open-minded and be adaptable. There are different types of challenges but it is a great way to experience the country while earning an income,” Asaro concluded.
Pictured: Quinn Asaro, PT, DPT, stands in front of the roots of a giant sequoia tree during a recent physical therapy assignment in California.
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