Respiratory Therapist Travel Jobs: High Needs Flu Season Just Ahead
By Ed Lamb, Contributor
Opportunities for respiratory therapist travel job openings increase each year in the U.S. during flu season. From late fall to early spring, infants, seniors, and all people with cardiopulmonary deficiencies need specialized care from trained and licensed healthcare providers who are skilled in designing and delivering treatment to prevent and relieve life-threatening influenza-induced pneumonia.
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The need to fill respiratory travel jobs does not arise uniformly across the country, however. You will improve your chances of finding the best fit between location, practice site, career goals, and credentials by doing your homework on the geographic prevalence of the flu, the state-specific scope of practice, and the differences among licensing requirements for respiratory therapists across states.
Where to Find Respiratory Therapist Travel Jobs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains this interactive online map of weekly flu activity in each state. Each state is color-coded to indicate widespread, regional, local, and sporadic activity. Respiratory therapist travel jobs will be more common in states with widespread and regional flu infections, but you should not automatically rule out other possible destinations for respiratory travel jobs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) regularly updates another invaluable web-based resource for respiratory therapist looking for a change of scenery. The bureau’s report on state-by-state employment of respiratory therapists allows individuals seeking respiratory travel jobs to identify shortages needing to be filled. When a major flu outbreak occurs in a state that is underserved by respiratory therapists, you can bank on travel jobs.
Checking the BLS site will let you learn which practice sites may be in need of respiratory therapists. In a series of tables, the bureau breaks down employment numbers and salary ranges for the following sites:
- - General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
- - Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals
- - Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)
- - Offices of Physicians
- - Offices of Other Health Practitioners
- - Consumer Goods Rental
- - Outpatient Care Centers
- - Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools
- - Local Government
- - Employment Services
Look for the Most Challenging Respiratory Travel Jobs
If you want to use your full range of skills and training after taking a respiratory therapist travel job, target states that will allow you to administer flu vaccines. For example, the California Respiratory Care Board allows respiratory care providers to administer flu vaccines to their patients as a preventative and restorative method.
New York and Tennessee also offer respiratory travel jobs in which, with the appropriate training, you will have chances to give flu shots and administer a range of other injectable vaccines.
Information You Need to Pursue Respiratory Therapist Travel Jobs
A final consideration you need to take before applying for any respiratory travel job is that each state imposes its own licensing standards. The National Board of Respiratory Care offers this list of links to each state’s licensing agency. These groups are great places to start looking for details on whether you need additional or updated education and credentials to move to a new position in a new location.