New PT Traveler Recognized Among the 'Best'
Recruiter know-how, willing mentors and travel jobs spur career growth
By Debra Wood, RN, contributor
Being nominated as the best physical therapist in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards came as a bit of a surprise to Mary Paige Hyland, DPT, who works as a travel physical therapist with Med Travelers. She’s grateful for the honor, however, especially considering that she is a relatively new PT.
Hyland decided to seek travel jobs immediately after completing her doctorate at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, so she could be close to her husband as he pursued a degree in opera at a Boston-area college.
“It would be a change for us,” Hyland said. She was introduced to snow--108 inches the first year she was there--and northern winters. But she has come to enjoy the seasonal variety, at least for now. “It was fun and an adventure.”
Hyland pursued a physical therapy career because of the variety of opportunities available in the profession. Therapists work in hospitals, nursing homes and clinics, and they may care for children or adults.
"Being a physical therapist provides opportunities to experience treating a multitude of patient populations,” she explained. “In many settings, seeing each patient several visits per weeks builds a platform for wonderful relationships and patient care."
[FIND travel physical therapist jobs in choice locations with Med Travelers.]
Getting the right start as a new grad physical therapist
Traveling immediately after completing her studies presented some challenges, but Hyland has found it a great experience, thanks to her Med Travelers recruiter, Christina Miner.
“She set me up in assignments with a lot of physical therapists I could learn from,” Hyland said. “I told her I did not want to be in a place as the only therapist on my first assignment. She found locations where they were willing to spend time with me. That’s when I decided I would be OK traveling.”
Hyland has been traveling between the Boston area and Mississippi, where she and her husband come from, for two years. While in Boston, she has visited the historic sights and taken weekend trips to Cape Code and Maine, savoring the local traditions and foods. But more importantly, the variety of travel assignments has expanded her professional skills.
“Everywhere I go gives me a new orientation,” Hyland said. “In a normal job, I would have one orientation. Every 13 weeks I learn something new, a new system with new people who do things in different ways.”
Variety in patient populations and physical therapy jobs
Additionally, in the two states, patients’ cultural backgrounds tend to differ. In Boston, Hyland has been assigned to facilities with high proportions of Russian, Asian and Portuguese populations, with some language barriers to overcome.
“I enjoy working with people from different cultures,” Hyland said.
She credits Miner with making her career and personal goals a reality. In addition to her 13-week physical therapist jobs in the Boston area, Miner has found her holiday assignments in Tupelo, Miss., so she and her husband can spend time with family.
"I always look forward to assignments at home; my co-workers in Mississippi have become dear friends and great professional resources," Hyland said.
Miner reports that Hyland has done “an awesome job” as a travel physical therapist, and that many Med Travelers clients keep requesting to have her return for future assignments. Some are even willing to wait until she is available.
“That speaks volumes as to her quality of work and the communities she is serving,” Miner said. “She has done a really great job.”
Hyland said she’s grateful people keep having her return.
“I’ve been able to make connections with people in 13 weeks--co-workers and patients,” Hyland said. “It’s long enough to make a difference in each location I go to.”
Hyland encourages anyone considering travel physical therapist jobs to ask about the orientation and if the employer is willing to work with new people. She said that traveling has helped her grow professionally as a therapist.
“Each place has a different therapist and different specialties and I get to learn everywhere I go,” said Hyland, who plans to keep traveling for a while. “Traveling is a good choice, if you are willing to be flexible and learn from others.”
REFER A FRIEND to work with Med Travelers; he or she can get great allied travel jobs and you can get up to $1,000 for each referral!
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