Travel Therapy: The Mentorship Dilemma

Mentorship during travel therapy contracts is a topic consistently brought up during conversations at national shows and career fairs. We specialize in introducing new graduates to the world of travel therapy. And if mentorship is a concern of a potential traveler, then it’s a main concern for the Cariant recruiter. Here are some of the more common situations we get asked about, and answers that will hopefully qualm many concerns on the topic of mentorship.

I don’t want to be the only therapist in the facility

Yes, it’s true that facilities requesting a 13-week travel therapist are in need of help, often because they are short-staffed. Confidence is key for travel therapists. But even if you were 75 percent likely to be the sole PT or OT at a facility, it’s not as likely that you will be the sole therapist of any discipline. There is usually still a team lead, rehab director or at the very least a therapist of another discipline who will be available to answer questions and act as a mentor.

I need a formalized mentorship program

It’s important to remember that the facility who needs a traveler may be willing to put extra accommodations in place to attract a traveler. Even new graduates. The facility may have a mentorship program in which you could enroll. Or they may negotiate four weeks of training into your travel contract. In our 15 years of helping therapists find travel therapy contracts, we find more often that it’s “individualized mentorship” new travelers seek. What works for some doesn’t work for others. Communicate openly with your recruiter so you identify the type of mentorship you require. Cariant and the facility will work together to decide if it’s something that can be made available to you.

I’m afraid there won’t be any mentorship available

The great news here is if you are a new graduate and express to your recruiter that you need mentorship, we’ll never put you in a situation where there is none. Expectations of mentorship should be set prior to starting a contract. The facility will be aware of their limitations or freedom to accommodate a short-term employee who needs extra training or access to someone who is readily available to answer questions or bounce around treatment ideas. If a potential contract does not specify years of experience required, we are your advocate for determining if the facility is willing to take a new graduate and provide that initial mentorship.

And don’t forget about these mentorship boosters

Virtual mentorship can be found via peers on social media. There are tons of helpful therapists out on Twitter or in LinkedIn groups who are happy to answer a question or two from a new graduate.

If your concern is mainly the general experience of a new grad, we have therapists available in all disciplines who we’d be happy to connect you with so you can ask questions directly to an experienced traveler.

Lastly, we’re confident in our ability to connect new graduates with the mentorship they require because our parent company is owned and managed by therapists. We have direct access to experienced therapists who can answer any question from billing or compliance to ethics and treatment questions. Additionally, many of our first-time travelers start out in a facility managed by our parent company–and we know they have great teams and leadership in place who are familiar with Cariant and the mentorship requirements of a new traveler.


The most important thing when it comes to mentorship is to ask in advance for what you need. Your recruiter will handle the logistics.

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