This is still new. And we’ve all got questions. Our tenured recruiters offer advice for these new FAQs:
Will I have to treat COVID patients?
We understand this has been a struggle for some travelers. Recruiter Lisa Willert makes it a point to remind her concerned candidates of this, “If you don’t now, you will work with COVID patients at some point.” It’s increasingly important to manage your expectations around this because a COVID-free assignment isn’t something any agency can promise.
You can have a conversation with your recruiter about whether you’re comfortable going to current hotspots or trying to steer clear, what COVID-related language will be in your contract, quarantine pay, etc.
What should I ask during phone interviews?
“Do not assume anything,” says Lisa. To prepare yourself for the situations you may walk into, Lisa recommends at a minimum that travelers cover schedule confirmations/dates off, floating, call-off potential, weekend rotations, on-call, expected patient caseload, and what other staff you’ll be working with during your contract.
Generally, travelers who avoid COVID-related questions have better interview outcomes. Team Lead Becky Sullivan says, “Hiring managers can sense apprehension in these questions.” Asking many questions about COVID could end up raising red flags for the hiring manager or make them wary of your commitment to the job. Becky recommends, “If you feel the need to ask, make sure you’re positively phrasing your question. ‘How can I help if this becomes an issue?’, for example.”
Will I need to take a COVID test pre-contract?
Yes, that is increasingly likely. “More and more facilities are going to require a negative COVID test before travelers can start,” says Division Manager Tracey Duke. If required for your contract, you can register using state testing websites for a free COVID test. It is also more common for travelers who test positive during a contract to provide negative tests to return to work. Proof of two negative test results, usually taken within 24 hours of each other, is often requested.
Are there more jobs? If so, where are they?
Recruiter Kim Neubauer is starting to see more therapy opportunities spread out across the country but says they are coming and going very quickly. “The key is being prepared and flexible. If they can open up to a location or setting they weren’t previously interested in, it could turn into a great opportunity.
In recent weeks we’ve certainly seen an increase in the number of opportunities available for speech-language pathologists. For travel nurses, there is consistency across ICU/Tele and Med/Surg, and a decent amount of growth in LTC openings.
We’ve all had unique experiences and are constantly having to learn on the fly due to “all this.” Use your recruiter as a resource. They’ve likely had similar conversations with others who share your concerns and questions about COVID and travel contracts.