This year should see normal growth for traveling healthcare professionals, with therapy jobs (especially physical therapy) still very much in demand. We’ve also seen a steady increase in general interest about travel therapy as a first-career option. It’s wonderful there are so many resources available for students and recently graduated therapists to learn about the industry—either through podcasts, Facebook groups, blogs or speakers at national conferences.
We’re eagerly awaiting the official go-live date for the PT Licensure Compact (PTLC). Assuming the commission continues to move forward and establish bylaws and rules upon which they will operate, by late summer 2018 physical therapist and physical therapist assistant travelers should have the option to apply for compact privilege. That is great news for both spring 2018 graduates and facilities in the compact states. Compact states will see their job needs fill faster once travelers can acquire a compact license.
Last year we saw a slowdown in the number of available physical therapist assistant and occupational therapy assistant travel positions. In 2018, assistants who embrace a flexible attitude around the combination of pay, location and setting will be more apt to find consistent contracts.
The big unknown is of course how changes in the healthcare system will affect the industry. Predictions that millions of Americans will no longer have coverage could mean less rehabilitation visits. The majority of contracts are not cancelled for low censuses, and we don’t expect to see that trending down the road.