We believe that being a traveling health professional should be filled with inspiration, memories and unbelievable pictures! Meet Maddy. Maddy began her journey as an SLP-Assistant in 2013 and transitioned to a fully licensed Speech Language Pathologist in the spring of 2020. She has been working with MAS since November, 2021 and is here to share her experiences and advice with you.
How long have you been an SLP?
I began as an SLP-Assistant in 2013 and transitioned to a fully licensed SLP in the Spring of 2020. I have a combined 8 years of experience working with children and adults in acute care, inpatient rehab, outpatient clinics, and home healthcare.
What made you decide to travel?
I was laid off from my dream job at an autism center due to reduction in force at the beginning of the pandemic.
How long have you been working with MAS?
My first contract with MAS began in November of 2021.
What do you like about working with your recruiter?
My recruiter is fantastic. I highly recommend him, but I wish he would take more time for himself. He is available whenever you need him and fully supportive in all circumstances.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy taking my son and dog hiking or exploring local areas. Southeast Alaska, especially, has breathtaking hiking trails that are family friendly.
Where has been your favorite place to travel?
Southern Oregon has been my favorite destination so far. The seasons are mild, the views are stunning, and the communities are very welcoming. There is an “All in this together” mentality.
What is the best advice for new travelers?
Don’t accept administrative bullying when you know what is ethical and your legal obligation as a caregiver. Often rural contracts will tell you to work with the resources they provide even if they don’t meet industry standards. If you’ve ever been told to complete a videoflouroscopic swallow study using 7 frames per second, you know what I’m talking about. BLEH! It’s your responsibility to present the administrators with industry standards, up-to-date research, billing requirements, and licensing regulations to ensure the safety of your patients and your license. Stand your ground, Spartans! Too often I have been the newest locem in a long succession of professionals who yielded for a hefty paycheck. The healthcare industry needs to see healthcare providers as united and not to be bullied. Do not increase industry profits at the expense of quality of care. Travel therapy provides you with constant opportunities to educate your colleagues and administrators. You are the expert! Always practice at the top of your license.
Any funny stories so far to share?
I don’t have many funny stories, because the pandemic has been such a sobering year. I will say that coworkers, patients, and families have honored me with thanks and gratitude at every contract and I will never forget them. The quality time we have spent encouraging them both mentally, physically, and emotionally, while these individuals are working through their worst health crises and challenges is breathtaking.
Anything else you would like to add?
It’s really hard to find housing that allows pets. I have made it work but I probably won’t be getting any additional pets while I am a traveler.
What inspires you, as a travel health professional?
I am always energized by the many hats that a traveling health professional wears. There’s never time to get bored and you are always pushed to learn more and improve the care you provide.