Traveler Stories October 1, 2021

By Sam MacKay

PT Month Spotlight: Daniel Dowdy, PT

We have reached October—and in the travel therapy world, that means it’s officially PT Month! PT Month is an opportunity for the healthcare community to celebrate the immense impact that PTs everywhere have on their patients and the hard work they put into their careers every day. To kick off the festivities, we wanted to showcase the career of one of our own—meet Daniel Dowdy, a Club Staffing traveler who knows how to get people moving.

Daniel graduated from the University of St. Augustine in Florida and wasted no time diving into his travel PT career. After making his move, Daniel has worked as a travel PT for almost 10 years—taking assignments in Florida, Virginia, California, Hawaii, and Washington along the way. So, how did Daniel find his way to a long PT career?

Getting His Start

Looking back on his pursuit of physical therapy, Daniel “always enjoyed living a healthy life and learning more about the human body.” It was during his undergrad, however, that he fully bought in. As a part of his program, each student was required to observe a medical profession. It’s no surprise that Daniel chose to shadow a PT and “after seeing what physical therapists do, I knew that was what I wanted to pursue.”

His journey took him next to PT school and once he reached graduation, he knew what he wanted to do next:

“I decided to do start traveling as a PT out of grad school because I wanted an adventure, the ability to travel the US, and to learn from all the PTs I would meet along the way.”

Overcoming Obstacles

As with any adventure, Daniel’s hasn’t been without its challenges, specifically when jumping into a new facility. For him, “one thing that is always difficult starting a new contract is learning the EMR system they use and learning how the company operates.”

Adjusting to a fresh workplace as a temporary employee can be challenging for any travel therapist—but Daniel has incorporated some best practices to help him and other therapists succeed:

“To get through this process, the best advice I can give is to ask a lot of questions during the orientation phase and write down important information so you can go back to it later for reference.”

Special Patient Moments

The positive impact of healthcare professionals goes without saying, but it is further emphasized by the moments they share with their patients. For Daniel, one specific moment stuck out from his PT career:

“During one of my contracts, I was treating an older Spanish-speaking lady who was having a lot of pain and difficulty with simple daily activities. After 4 weeks of treatment, her pain was completely gone, and she had no problem with her daily activities [anymore].”

If the result of his services wasn’t special enough, during the woman’s discharge visit, “she grabbed my hands and started crying, thanking me in Spanish for helping her—I also teared up. No translation was needed for the gratitude we both felt for each other.”

What an incredibly moving moment—did it just get dusty in here?

Staying in Motion

In a profession that gets other people moving, it’s equally important for PTs to stay in motion themselves. Thankfully, travel therapy has allowed Daniel to move around the country a whole lot. In his own words, the best part of the travel therapy lifestyle is “by far being able to travel around the US, seeing all the beauty it has to offer—from the landscapes to the cities to the people.”

How does he stay moving outside of work?

“I hit the gym after work 4-5 days a week. On the weekends, I’m either hiking, surfing, free diving, or out taking photos.”

Keep moving, Daniel!

We want to thank Daniel for taking the time to share his PT story with us and extend another hearty “thank you” this PT Month, to all the PTs out there who continue helping people get moving.

Are you interested in pursuing a life of adventure like Daniel's? Learn more about the exciting PT opportunities Club Staffing has to offer.