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Allied Travel Jobs: 5 Ways to Make New Friends on the Road

By Ed Lamb, Contributor

New friends

As a recruiter for Med Travelers and other AMN Healthcare affiliates since 2008, Marissa Revland knows that leaving friends is one of the top reasons physical therapists, radiologic therapists, occupational therapists, and other allied health professionals give for not pursuing allied travel job opportunities.

She wants everyone to know, however, that concerns over making real and lasting connections outside of hospitals, clinics, and physician offices should not stop anyone from accepting allied travel jobs in a new city and from gaining the new skills they’ll learn from these assignments. She emphasizes that establishing friendship throughout the community is a must.

“While on an allied travel assignment,” Revland said, “it is great to get to know co-workers, but you have to choose wisely at first and be sure to not let office politics creep into the conversations, as it may bias your opinions and attitudes without realizing it.”

Med Travelers makes it possible to travel to assignments in different cities with a friend by encouraging clients to participate in its referral program. The program is free and helps talented allied health professionals travel with current colleagues or friends, expand their career and personal horizons, explore a new city with someone they already know, and qualify for a referral bonus.

CONTACT Med Travelers to find your ideal allied travel job.

How Allied Travel Clinicians Can Find New Friends

Ask Your Recruiter for Introductions

Revland keeps an updated list of clients who have agreed to coach and mentor other travel medical professionals. When a therapist raises the refrain of “But I won’t know anyone,” she consults her database for introductions.

“I always offer to see if there are any other travelers on assignment in the area or at that placement they are going to,” Revland said. “If we can see in the system that we have someone there, we have the ability to request those travelers’ info and if they are happy to share that with other travelers that will be arriving to the area soon.”

Connect With Online Communities

Professional organizations like the American Physical Therapists Association and American Society of Radiologic Technicians maintain several social media accounts. You can connect with them by liking their Facebook pages and following their Twitter feeds to build relationships across the country.

Each professional association also has state and local affiliates with their own social media accounts. Joining online discussions with allied health professionals in the localities where interesting assignments exist can give a traveler a good sense of everything from patient demographics to day-to-day weather and traffic. Plus, nothing says an online friend cannot become an IRL friend.

Revland encourages her clients to go one step further to make real human connections before flying or driving into a new town for a travel health assignment by inquiring about the existence of chat groups and online communities for states, cities, and employers.

“These can be great resources, as well,” she said, adding that such private message boards are normally closed to recruiters.

“They offer a wealth of info based on what you are looking for, and I know there is a great one for those interested in traveling to Hawaii that I have heard about and has been extremely helpful to my travelers.”

Learn About Your Neighborhood Before You Arrive

Revland further advises her clients to make friends through their hobbies and interests.

Doing a little homework ahead of time makes it possible to identify everything from knitting circles and book clubs to volunteer EMT opportunities. Local newspaper websites, online city government directories and even web searches will point to all sorts of special interest groups seeking new members and organizations happy to welcome a helping hand.

Stay Fit on the Road

Most allied health professionals are into fitness, so following Revland’s advice to “meet people of like mind” at a gym or yoga studio rarely proves difficult. The presence of YMCAs, JCCs and chains like Gold’s, Shapes and YogaWorks in nearly all mid-sized and large cities even takes the guesswork out of finding a place to exercise.

Join Fellow Fans and Alumni Chapters

Last, to really get away from work and focus on having fun among people with shared interests, Revland recommends seeking out fan clubs. Pro or college, a simple web search will reveal the bars where Dallas Cowboy fans meet in Chicago or the places in Orlando where Alabama alums and natives safely gather to shout “Roll Tide!”

For those seeking more sedate experiences, putting a school’s name and “alumni association” into a search engine will also let them find local chapters, reconnect with classmates and schedule in-person networking opportunities.

Remember: A stranger is just a friend you have never met. Following these five tips will reduce the number of strangers in the places you visit as a traveling allied health professional.

Expand your horizon with allied travel jobs in a variety of locations. Let our recruiters help you grow your allied career and assist you in meeting new colleagues and friends. It’s just what we do best.

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