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Travel therapy community, I wanted to check in and let you know that I am thinking of you. It has been a really difficult week for our community and things are changing by the day. I wish I could tell you what to do or what to expect in the future, but I cannot. This is the true “wait and see” time that nobody can predict that will happen.
Bright News: Pay From Agencies
To be completely honest, as sub-contractors we have little to no long-term job security or benefits. I talk a lot in my course about how you need to be prepared for the unexpected before you start to travel, and that means having an emergency fund to cover 3-6 months of unemployment for an emergency situation.
I was shocked with delight when I saw so many staffing agencies come forward and say that they will cover 14 days of COVID-19 quarantine if travelers got exposed or sick while on the job. This is so much more than I expected and I’m thrilled that so many agencies out there have our back. It makes me really happy!
Again, there’s a lot of “wait and see” out there. So please contact your agency and recruiter directly about your contract and pay if you have any questions. I’ve seen a lot of people crowdsourcing specific questions about their situation in groups online. I would really recommend reaching out directly to the source (your recruiter) to get answers to your direct situation. There is no precedence on how to act at this time. We are all trying to figure it out. Please be patient and kind, despite the craziness.
I’m Cancelled, Now What?
Many travel therapy contracts are being canceled because hospitals and clinics are trying to avoid any non-essential contact. Some cities and states are in “shelter in place” modes, which is forcing more contract cancellations.
Of course, you can look for another contract and be flexible, but the job market is in a state of shock and hold at the moment.
If you have an emergency fund of money, this could be a good time to go home and wait things out. You could catch up on CEUs, do those chores around the house that you have been putting off, or completely binge on TV for the next couple of weeks. If you don’t, you could explore some other avenues for income.
Other Income Sources To Pursue:
- Telehealth. SLPs have been using telehealth for children’s services for quite some time. Currently, CMS is proposing that Medicare may allow for enhanced coverage of telepractice services during this emergency period. Although, at the time of writing we do not know if therapy services are included in this waiver. For info from ASHA on telepractice, please review this document. ASHA Telepractice Guidelines Also, this Facebook group is a wonderful place for SLPs to get started: SLP Telepractice Facebook Group
- Writing. Everything you read was written by somebody, making writing a big component in our digital lives. Personally, I’ve made some decent side-income doing professional writing jobs. The Non-Clinical PT has a great blog here about how to get started as a healthcare writer. How To Get Started In Healthcare Writing.
- Triage staffing at local hospitals. Hospitals are overwhelmed by the number of people coming for COVID-19 testing and services. Some have opened up positions to screen and triage incoming patients and the requirements are pretty basic. Here’s an example of a job posting from HCA in Kansas City: Patient Safety Attendant Job. Perhaps you can find something similar in your area
- Child and pet care. There are nationwide school closures. Thus, child care is a growing concern for parents that need to work. You can reach out to your local friends or coworkers to see if they need childcare and if you can assist. Similarly, people who are quarantined may not be able to walk their pets. You can utilize apps like rover.com to find pet sitting and walking jobs.
- Delivery Jobs. Many restaurants and stores are closing their doors to the public, but are still continuing delivery service. You can check with local eateries to see if they need drivers, Uber Eats, Grub Hub, Bite Squad, or Amazon.
Tips for staying healthy:
Finally, I wanted to leave you with some tips for staying healthy.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or things that you want to chat about during this time. Thinking of all of you and wishing you the best during this challenging time.
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