NATIONAL ASsociation of travel healthcare organizations

What is a travel healthcare professional?

Travel healthcare professionals generally meet these requirements:

      • A licensed healthcare professional.
      • Actively works on short-term travel healthcare assignments.

Usually coordinated by a traveling healthcare agency, travel healthcare professionals are matched with the staffing needs of various medical facilities. Individual assignments for travel healthcare professionals usually last between eight and twenty six weeks, but vary depending on the facility's needs.

Any licensed healthcare professional can work as a travel healthcare professional. No matter the specialty, both travel and permanent healthcare professionals receive the same education and training. However, some traveling healthcare agencies require that a person interested in becoming a travel healthcare professional have at least one year of experience.

Hiring a travel healthcare professional is ideal for many healthcare facilities. travel healthcare professionals can meet the seasonal demands for extra staff, or satisfy a temporary staffing need until a permanent position is filled.

Many people find that working as a travel healthcare professional has invaluable benefits. A travel healthcare professional gets to see many different places around the world while earning a significant income. Plus, it is left up to the travel healthcare professional to decide the distance and time frame of each assignment.

Travel expenses and housing are often supplied to travel healthcare professions for the duration of their assignment. Furthermore, family and pets are accommodated for a travel healthcare professional. Or, it is not uncommon to have travel healthcare professionals who are friends traveling together. 

A travel healthcare professional also benefits from not having to sign a contract with any particular healthcare facility. However, these same individuals will still receive benefits, such as retirement, health insurance, and monetary bonuses.

What should I look for in a travel healthcare company?

When choosing a staffing company, travel healthcare professionals and clients should look for the same qualities in a firm. From the staffing firm's perspective, the industry is a two way street. Both travel healthcare professionals and clients must be provided with the services they need in order for the company to be successful. To help you choose a firm you feel comfortable with here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Is the company a member of the NATHO (National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations)? NATHO is dedicated to establishing a set of service standards among Travel Healthcare companies. The members of NATHO are held to a strict code of ethics for your benefit. 
  • Is the company certified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)?
  • Does the company provide professional liability and workers compensation insurance for the travel healthcare professionals they place?
  • What is the company's history? Do they have the financial resources to pay their travel healthcare professionals regularly?
  • Does the company offer the services necessary to ensure all details are taken care of when the travel healthcare professionals arrive to work (i.e. credentialing, benefits, and housing arrangements)?

In addition to these guidelines, the firm you choose should place a high priority on quality service. This means: a professional staff to provide you with personal attention; comprehensive service offerings such as payroll, travel, and housing departments; qualified travel healthcare professionals who meet strict credentialing standards; and most importantly, enough assignments for travel healthcare professionals to choose from and enough travel healthcare professionals for clients to choose from.

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