New City Offers Renewal for Travel Occupational Therapist
By Jennifer Larson, contributor
Gail Locure is the kind of occupational therapist that everyone wants to hire. She’s experienced, professional and extremely dedicated. She has also discovered that travel therapy jobs are the perfect fit for this point in her career.
“I wish I could clone her,” said Cyndi Stamler, her Club Staffing recruiter.
After working in Chicago, Locure took on her first traveling occupational therapist job with Club Staffing in a Seattle-area school district last fall. Her assignment as a school occupational therapist covered the 2016-2017 academic year.
The job has offered a refreshing change and helped fulfill her passion for working with children.
FIND YOUR PASSION with occupational therapist jobs that pay you to travel.
Stepping up to a second career in OT
Occupational therapy is actually a second career for Locure, who first worked in the healthcare industry as a clerk. She spent some time accompanying occupational, physical and speech therapists on site visits and knew she wanted to make a career change.
After going back to school, she spent some time working in a hospital and a large public school system, as well as running her own business providing home-based occupational therapy for children. Then she returned to school once more and got her doctorate, enjoying the chance to do research and work with children with sensory processing disorders.
Taking a travel therapy job 2,000 miles away
Eventually, Locure got a little burned out. She felt buried in paperwork and wished for more one-on-one time with the children she served in a large school district in Chicago.
With her own children grown, she decided to try something new. A travel therapy assignment in a new part of the country was just the ticket.
“I had started questioning my profession, and I had to step back,” she said. “It wasn’t my profession. It was the setting I was in. So I stepped out on faith and decided to move to another state.”
Getting help for a busy caseload
Once she arrived in Seattle, Locure was assigned a larger-than-expected caseload of students; she knew it was more than one occupational therapist should handle. So she consulted with her recruiter, who intervened and helped her coordinate with the school district to arrange for an OT assistant to help her.
“They stepped up immediately when I told them I needed the support,” said Locure.
She has enjoyed working with students in three elementary schools and one high school this year.
“I feel I’m fulfilling my role as an occupational therapist to work with these children and help them become more independent and function better in their environment,” she said.
She has also appreciated the district’s efforts to help her do her job. “They are really supportive in the school district,” she added. “It makes me enjoy getting up and going to work again.”
RELATED ARTICLE: Occupational Therapist Finds Her Niche in School-Based Travel Jobs
Traveling back home
Next up on Locure’s to-do list? Summer vacation. (Well, sort of.)
While her students enjoy the break from school, she plans to travel back to Chicago, where she is looking forward to staying in her own home for a while and catching up with life in her hometown.
But she is planning to do some work while she’s there. In fact, she’s already talked to her recruiter about arranging a short-term assignment during her summer break—ideally, at a skilled nursing facility in the Chicago area.
At the end of summer, she’ll head back to Seattle for another academic-year assignment as a school occupational therapist, working for the same district where she is currently serving.
All travel jobs start with the recruiter relationship
Locure’s advice for future travel therapists: get to know your recruiter and stay in close contact with him or her.
Recruiters do a lot more than just find healthcare travel jobs. Their expertise can help you evaluate opportunities, be prepared for your assignment and solve any issues that may come up. They also work with a team of experts who can assist with assignment details—from getting new state licenses to arranging your free housing to processing your paychecks.
Plus, your recruiter can help you understand the details of individual contracts.
“Ask questions about how the benefits are included in your pay if you’re not sure,” she said. “Ask your recruiter to explain things to you if you don’t know.”
Her own experience with her recruiter has been extremely positive. “I really feel that she’s there for me, and I enjoy that,” she said.
READY FOR A CHANGE? Club Staffing has thousands of temporary travel jobs for travel therapists, lab techs and imaging professionals across the country.