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Speech Pathologist Paves a Path Through California

 Traveling Speech Pathologist

Speech Pathologist Paves a Path Through California

Ruth Miller, MA, CCC-SLP, points to her globe-trotting childhood as to why she became a traveling speech-language pathologist. At an early age, she spent ample time overseas as the daughter of a missionary and was struck early on by the importance of being able to communicate in foreign environments.

“I lived in the Philippines and South Korea as a child, and that's where my fascination and passion came for the importance of communication,” Ruth said. “I was well aware of the fact that we were not fluent in the primary language. Even though the people were incredibly welcoming, communication barriers were challenging.”

Ruth looks back on these formative years and recognizes similarities between being visitors in a foreign land and how patients with impaired communication skills must feel in an unfamiliar medical environment.

Traveling is in her blood

After graduate school, Ruth settled into a full-time job in her home state of California, purposely staying close to her large family. After almost seven years at the same rehabilitation facility, she said she enjoyed the workplace and her coworkers, but it was time to expand to embrace new opportunities.

Ruth befriended a traveling nurse from Boston who also worked at the rehab facility. Ruth accompanied her on "massive road trips" — as a friend and as a tour guide — throughout the many wondrous sites peppering the Golden State. Then Ruth's colleague headed back to Boston, and their roles reversed. Ruth would visit the East Coast, and her friend would take her on sightseeing adventures.

Then it hit Ruth: “Maybe I should travel myself,” she said.

Ruth put her organizational and interviewing skills to task, doing in-depth research on traveling companies and eventually dwindling her choices down to three, which included Med Travelers. This process took her about a year.

Med Travelers offered her Loma Linda University Medical Center in Southern California, an institution Ruth was intrigued by because of its renowned research institute and medical school. What Ruth said truly motivated her to pursue employment with Med Travelers was recruiter Marissa Revland.

"Marissa and I had so much in common," said Ruth. "She was very approachable, extremely welcoming and did not place any pressure on me. She was candid about the pros and cons of traveling. She's an incredible problem solver and thinks outside the box."

Staying close to home

Having a tightknit family has kept Ruth relatively close to her California hometown. She started her traveling career in Loma Linda in 2013 and she took a full time position following her traveling assignment. Ruth then returned to traveling in 2015. She’s taken multiple assignments since, some as far away as Washington State.

“Right now I'm in Santa Barbara, and I always enjoy visiting here,” she said. “This region has so much to offer. It is regarded as America’s Riviera and it does not disappoint. It is a very popular travel destination, and here I am, living in paradise. When I get off work I can catch a stroll on the beach or a hike in the nearby mountains. My favorite hike is Inspiration Point at sunset; it provides a beautiful view of the city, the entire coastline and the Channel Islands. Even people who reside further inland have access to the coastline and mountains with a short drive. Everything is readily accessible in California with sunshine to accompany it.”

One of the most significant benefits of traveling has been her ability to be flexible.

People often reference the approach of “work hard, play harder,” which can be seen in this traveler’s lifestyle. “We work hard during contract time, and then we find relief in between assignments. The flexibility of being able to have time off with family or for vacation is a huge benefit for me that most permanent employers just can’t compete with.” Ruth’s next vacation is planned for August. She will be exploring Spain.

Ruth has always put family first and has taken leave from traveling to help with her many nephews, nieces and family members. Although she still has pursuits in California, Ruth obtained multiple state licensures for future traveling assignments. She would like to travel to Massachusetts and her birth state of Hawaii.

READY to start expanding your career choices as Ruth has? Just apply online, and our recruitment team will help get you on your way!


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