Our 2021 Travel Healthcare Predictions

It’s 2021! Last year sure took us for a spin, but we expect this year will get much better. Here’s what we’re predicting:


Facilities expect surges in COVID-19 patients early this year because of the holidays and are preparing for another a few weeks from the New Year’s holiday. For the next three to four months, the number of job openings and bill rates will stay high. Needs will move around regionally as some areas get hit harder than others with hospitalizations.

As the ORs and ERs return to normal, jobs may be closed and re-opened by facilities to fill at a lower rate. We could see cancellations of the high bill rate jobs. Be prepared financially—it is smart to have two to three months’ living expenses saved up in case of cancellations.

ICU needs should be abundant all year long. And over the next six months, we anticipate more home health and case management needs to open.


Post-COVID and post-surgical recovery patients will help therapy see a turnaround this year, including OT, as post-COVID patients are likely to receive OT services along with PT. Physical therapist and speech needs have increased, and respiratory openings will stay strong throughout the year. Contract opportunities for PTAs and COTAs come up infrequently, something likely to continue through much of 2021.


The COVID-19 vaccine will help curtail some of what we’ve experienced in skilled nursing facilities as residents and staff receive their vaccinations. With fewer nurses at risk of getting ill, this will be a huge relief. The vaccine availability is a highlight of 2021 already and will help our industry stabilize for all disciplines.

Facilities in the future may require proof of COVID-19 vaccination from travelers like they do for the flu. This should occur only after the time when it is made widely available to the general public and when we know more about how long the protection will last. We encourage travelers interested in vaccination to ask their facility directly about inclusion in the vaccination schedule.


Have questions for a recruiter about a specific discipline? Get in touch with our team!

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