I loved the LTAC in Memphis. I was confident in my knowledge and abilities as a therapist. I went to the weekly interprofessional meetings to discuss patients as the face of the therapy department. And I loved the speech therapist. She was cool and very knowledgeable in both her field and diagnoses beyond her field. Definitely a positive professional influence. Every time I called my mom I would tell her stories about my day and what I saw. A majority of my family is in memphis (dad, brothers, step mom, grandma, aunt etc). I lived with my aunt during this time, actually was able to go to my brother’s football games and my other brother’s basketball games. I finally went and visited Graceland again (b/c I LOVE Elvis and you have to take advantage of being a tourist during your travels). The 4 weeks came and went in a blink. Then it was time for relocation. During this time PDPM changes had occured (though I did not realize this or what it meant for me. To this day, I still don’t fully understand it). During my 4 weeks; I took advantage of Compact Privileges and collected my Missouri license (my boyfriend lives in KC, MO so I thought why not try to end up closer to him. Who knew what a challenge that would actually become).
I received 2 interview calls. I will admit I was ill prepared for the first one. One downside is you are expected to have your phone on you at all times in case another assignment calls. Otherwise, you can miss the call and they move on with their options. The first call came in while I was trying to make my exit from a patient’s room and I saw it was from an area I had been submitted. I became very flustered trying to politely excuse myself and answer the call. This woman starts asking about my experience as a PT, in the SNF setting, and with their computer system. I was NOT good at selling my 4 weeks PT experience, 0 SNF experience, and 0 CASAMBA experience. Needless to say I did not get the offer.
Call #2: Again the SNF setting, however I did a little better at selling myself. She asked me questions about how I would redirect patients or manage patient who are trying to refuse therapy. She then told me about the job: In Gideon, MO (excuse me, WHERE?!) however there are 3 facilities you would be expected to float between that are 20-40 minutes from each other. However, it is rare you will have to go between the 3 facilities in one day. You will stay on the clock during travel time rather than being reimbursed for mileage. And hours vary but this week we are currently trying to keep our PT from overtime. After our phone call ended, all I could think was “there is no way.. No.” And of course I got the job offer, with a sign on bonus. I wanted to wait, there had to be more calls right? But no calls came. I became very anxious with my decision, but I remembered that part of this travel experience is putting a lot of this in God’s hands and trusting the reasoning/ lesson behind each assignment. I had to remind myself I might as well take what I can get with the slim experience I have, and I can’t wait around for the “perfect” assignment because I don’t know what that would entail. If I knew what the “perfect assignment” was then I would probably be working a perm job somewhere. With as much hesitation as possible, and the influence of cold meds I told my pushy recruiter “What the hell, I’m in.” So I set off for Gideon, Missouri, and THAT’S where I learned some hard lessons about the Travel therapy world.