We’re lucky to have relationships with travelers that span years, not just 13 weeks. That’s part of what we enjoy so much about this industry! The longer we work with our therapists and nurses, the better we can meet their needs and support them on their travel journey.
One such traveler is Candace S., SLP. We interviewed Candace back in 2014, and she recently obliged us with a follow-up.
How long have you been with Cariant?
I started with Cariant in June of 2013, right after grad school, on a contract in Dickinson, North Dakota. I worked on several other contracts over three to four years, and then I went perm. I started contracting again this past February 2020, so I’ve been with Cariant off and on for about 7 ½ years.
What do you like about traveling? What keeps you going?
I have always loved the flexibility that comes with travel work. And getting paid to travel doesn’t hurt either! I’m kind of a gypsy at heart and being stationary for too long drives me a bit crazy. Travel work provides me with the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. It constantly pushes me to hone my craft and be the best SLP I can be for my patients.
What is a “typical” shift like for you?
It depends on the setting, but most of the time, I can get to work whenever I want so long as my patients get seen. That is nice for me because I’m not a morning person! Typically I average 8-10 patients a day, but since the pandemic has hit, I’ve been slower. Maybe 5-8 patients a day. I’ve found that more SNFs and LTACHs have a lower census during this crazy time.
Favorite travel experience/contract so far?
Honestly, they have all been pretty great experiences minus the occasional “it’s only 13 weeks” scenario. I loved being on the west side of Washington during a couple of contracts because the scenery is just stunning! I’ve gotten to explore the Olympic Peninsula, hang out on the beach, take a trip down the Pacific Coast, had Mt. Rainier as my backdrop every day, and was close enough to the Canadian border that I was able to take a road trip to Vancouver for the Women’s World Cup Championship back in 2014. The Pacific Northwest has my heart for sure. However, this year will always be extra special to me as I’ve gotten to take my better half, best friend and now fiancé on the road with me! We’ve gotten to explore four National Parks, spend time with family, and made countless memories with our fur kid Harper!
Any traveler advice?
I can’t stress this enough, BE FLEXIBLE! That is so important, now more than ever. Prior to this pandemic year, I was used to having my pick of pretty much anywhere I wanted to go. Contract times were rarely cut short of the 13 weeks, but times are changing. I’ve had to remind myself to really soak up the new surroundings, explore as much as possible, and be open-minded to wherever this crazy life may lead you.
Stay ahead of the game when it comes to getting licensed in the next state you may want to travel to. For a few states it’s quick and painless, but for most others, it’s taking extended time (especially those in COVID-19 hot spots). And if you’re lucky enough to have Kim N. by your side through this process like I am, she’s a rockstar and will help you with whatever you need no matter what day of the week or time of the day!