Considering van life as a traveling healthcare professional

Lots of people are intrigued by the nomadic aesthetic of van life and become interested in giving it a try themselves. Van life has grown in popularity recently, as living in a van gives you freedom unlike anything else. You’re able to travel freely, be in nature, live more simply, unplug from social media and even save money.

As a traveling healthcare professional, you’re always on the go traveling from one state to another. With all of your healthcare traveler jobs, you’re constantly finding new housing options, temporarily changing your mailing address and adjusting bills. Travel nurse van life might be something you consider when you’re in a new place after every 13-week contract.

How van life can work for your career

If you decide to take on living in a van, you’ll likely need to downsize and begin living a more minimalist lifestyle. It’s a big decision, but a major benefit is that your entire life and house will be with you for every assignment. As a healthcare traveler, you’re already diving into new places and building new friendships. In the same way, travel nurse van life will open up a plethora of opportunities for you.

Even if you have pets that you consider a part of your family, it’s possible to take them along on this wild ride with you. You and your pet will both have to adjust, but getting to explore the new sights together will be worth the while. It takes a bit of work upfront to convert a van into a home that can be lived in, but many find the benefits far outweigh the cons.

Pros and cons of van life as a healthcare traveler

The pros of van life include flexibility, fewer expenses, taking part in a minimalist lifestyle, enjoying nature right up front and in person,and less time spent scrolling meaninglessly through your phone. If you have a love for adventure and a traveling career, it can be a great way to let go of some of the things aren’t necessary and live a more free and open-minded life.

With all of the pros, come some cons as well. One thing about van life is that everything is smaller. Maybe you’ve lived in a studio apartment before, but van life can be even more confining than that. You will have to consider the amount of time you’ll be cleaning, using dump stations and public bathrooms a lot more than you do right now. You also need to find a safe site every time you park overnight. The final negative is that cell service and Wi-Fi can be hard to find sometimes.

Begin your traveling adventure with RTG Medical

Maybe you’re already comfortable in your traveling career and you’ve begun thinking about van life, or maybe the first step for you is to find your traveling partner and start searching for healthcare traveler jobs. RTG Medical has helped many nurses, therapists, physicians, lab techs and more find their perfect niche in the world of traveling healthcare. If you’re interested in working with us, reach out today to begin your adventure!

Useful tech for traveling healthcare professionals

It seems that everywhere we go, we are surrounded by an abundance of technology and it can sometimes be overwhelming. But with so much technology at your fingertips comes many perks for traveling healthcare professionals. There is a lot of travel-related technology available to you, and as your healthcare travel agency, we want to make sure our travelers are not only able to reap all the benefits of traveling and practicing healthcare, but also utilize the travel technology that’s available to them.

When you are packing for your next travel assignment, it’s easy to forget the items that would enhance your traveling experience. You may not have considered helpful apps that can make your life as a traveling nurse, therapist, pharmacist, CNA, or other healthcare professional easier. Most of these things are inexpensive, and you might already have them laying around your house. And, if you don’t already have these apps downloaded, they can quickly and easily be downloaded to your phone or electronic device.

Top tech for your healthcare travel agency

Among the usual essentials you’re packing, it can be easy to forget little things like noise-canceling headphones, an eBook, and even a chargeable cooler. Below are a few gadgets to have with you that will make you feel like a travel tech pro.

Noise-canceling headphones

First and foremost, flying can be a treacherous experience if you forget noise-canceling headphones. Sometimes you get stuck by the loudest part of the plane, next to a crying baby, or you have a long layover in a loud airport. Be completely able to zone into your favorite music or podcast. Even if you’re taking a train, you might want to be able to drown out the outside noise so you can hear your music better or take a nap.

Tablet or eBook

A tablet or eBook, such as a Kindle, gives you access to all your favorite books. Feel free to bring paper books, but this way you can bring several books with no added weight. 

Luggage tracker

If you’re flying, a luggage tracker is a must! Sometimes there is a mix up, and you cannot avoid your luggage getting misplaced. With a luggage tracker, if it does get lost while transferring planes, you can have a bit more peace of mind knowing where it is. 

GPS

It’s likely that your smartphone already has a built-in GPS, but if you plan to do an activity like hiking in your down time you may have limited service. Having a handheld GPS may be in your best interest, to ensure you always know where you are at and where you are going, especially when on an adventure in a new place.

Waterproof Bluetooth speaker

If you do plan on hiking, you might want to bring a waterproof bluetooth speaker with you. That way you’ll have access to music and podcasts to listen to while adventuring. It can also be nice to have access to a speaker in the place that you are staying during your assignment. 

A chargeable cooler

A chargeable cooler is amazing for long road trips, especially if you don’t want to stop for fast food. If you’re concerned about nutrition, you can also pack healthy snacks in it, without having to worry about ice or how to keep them cool. If you want to bring any fresh fruit, vegetables, or dairy products with you on your trip, they’ll store well in a chargeable cooler. 

Must have apps for healthcare professionals on the road

Among these items, there are several apps that you’ll want to check out. Medscape gives you access to immediate answers; use it to get the latest medical news and to learn about procedures and conditions. Code Happy can be used to connect with other traveling healthcare professionals and give and get support from those that may be experiencing the same or similar situations as you. Osito can keep you organized and connect with other apps on your phone to remind or notify you of certain things. Tripomatic enables you to explore must-sees in the new city you’re in. Pill Identifier is a helpful app for healthcare professionals. You can insert a description of a pill and it tells you what it could be.

Whether you’re new to the healthcare traveler life or have been a part of it for a while, these essential technology tools and apps are sure to assist you in all the ways you need. We would love to help you on your next travel adventure, contact us at RTG Medical today!

How to make the most out of your next assignment

It is always exciting when you get the traveling healthcare assignment you were hoping for. As your healthcare traveling company, we want to ensure you have the best experience possible, in the new city you will be visiting for 13 weeks. We have come up with a few infallible ways for you to make the most out of your assignment!

Do the research beforehand

First, you need to get the necessities done. Start by completing all your documents, finding housing, and deciding if you’re going to drive or fly. It’s also important to budget, so here are some tips on saving money while on assignment. Once you’ve gotten the less exciting parts of this trip done, you can move on to finding fun things to participate in while you’re there.

You can check local venues to see if there are any shows you’d enjoy seeing. There might also be a music or food festival you can attend. Search for National Parks or city-specific attractions you might only be able to find there. Finally, think about things you’re interested in and see what this city has to offer.

Utilize local apps and join a Facebook group

Whether it be joining a healthcare traveling company Facebook group in the new city, or a foodie or interest group on Facebook, there is no better way to get acquainted with where you’re traveling to. Facebook groups are also a neat way for you to find other healthcare professionals who might be in the area at the same time you are.

Apps such as Yelp, Tripadvisor, Meetup, and Untappd are great ways to get accumulated with the new city. You can use Yelp to get reviews on places in the city or near your assignment that you might want to visit . Use Tripadvisor to find cool places to eat and visit. Meetup allows you to meet people and make friends in the place you are visiting; it gives you the info on events that are happening so you are sure not to miss out on anything. Untapped is a cool app in which you can discover new places to grab a beer or cocktail.

Try venturing out on your own, and talking to some locals. They might be able to help you find the closest grocery store, or recommend a yummy local restaurant. They also know the best hidden gems of their city, and maybe, you’ll even find a cool bookstore or hangout spot. Don’t be afraid to push the limits of your comfort zone.

Try something new

You’re already changing the world by working in the healthcare field. If you find the time, volunteering while on your assignment could be a new and interesting way to feel good and make an impact. See if any organizations in your current city have locations where you are traveling. You can research animal shelters or food pantries and see if they need any volunteers.

Trying something new can absolutely change your life. Whether it be new food or a new hobby, you’ll learn something new about yourself. Check out local museums, spas, restaurants, bars, community events, local shows, live music, and places to shop. You’re sure to find something that sparks your interest.
We want to ensure you know how to get the most out of your assignments. RTG Medical is always looking to recruit traveling healthcare professionals. If you’re interested in letting us help you with your healthcare staffing needs and making your life and adventure, while doing the work you love, contact us today.

Healthcare Traveler Food Guide (Major Cities)

You’re in a new city and craving something delicious. What is great about being a traveling healthcare professional with medical staffing travel agencies is that you get to try new foods in different cities quite often. We want to offer some tips and tricks when it comes to finding good food while on your assignment. Here are seven major cities where travel nurses can find some great eats. 

Seattle, Washington

Seattle has a vibrant food scene not many are aware of. Located in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll find tons of locally sourced food in restaurants coming from forests, waters, and even fresh produce from Pike’s Place Market.Have you ever tried a hotdog smothered in cream cheese and grilled onions? Try one at Pike’s Place or Capitol Hill. Geoduck is another Seattle staple, you can find this giant clam at Taylor Shellfish and Lam’s Seafood. Teriyaki from Toshi’s Teriyaki Grill and Grillbird Teryaki is a must if you love this speciality. Are you a sushi lover? You’ll want to hit Shiro Kashiba for fresh edomae-style sushi. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new in Seattle.

Portland, Oregon

Feeling homesick? If you’re ever thinking about home while out on your traveling assignment in Portland, luckily you are in the capital  of genuine home-cooking. If you’re in the mood for locally brewed beers, coffee, salmon, or ice cream, Portland will happily dine you. If you’ve been craving barbecue, don’t miss out on Eem, where you’ll find burnt-end brisket curry and baby-back ribs with a Thai twist. Need a glass of wine after a long day? Try OK Omens, a local favorite for wine. Nostrana is a must if you want an amazing slice of pizza. The Portland food scene will make you feel right at home.

Chicago, Illinois

Everyone knows that Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza and hotdogs. But where do you go to get the best ones? How about trying a few on this list, 20 best places to find a hot dog in the city, or a few of these, 25 pizza restaurants you must try. Along with the chic locations in the city, you’ll find some Michelin-starred restaurants if you’re looking for something a bit fancier. These Midwest food jives are sure to warm your heart up.

New York, New York

You will find just about every type of food in New York City, including Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Chinese, Vegan, Mexican, and Sushi. If you need a quick bite, grab a hot dog at a street stand, or a $1 slice of New York Style pizza around just about every corner of the city. If you’re hungry for a super yummy sandwich, be sure to visit Katz Deli. If you’re hungry for something a bit more upscale, try Los Mariscos in the Chelsea Market or Wildare in the Lower East Side. You are  sure to find the best foodie spots in New York by just taking a walk around the city.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is home to local crawfish, beignets, gumbo, and Po-Boys. Food is the culture behind New Orleans, and although you’re here because of your medical staffing travel agency, you can let your inner foodie out. You’ll need to try one of the 18 restaurants serving the best gumbo. Domilise’s located in Uptown is your go-to place for Po-Boys. If you’re hungry for crawfish, definitely try Barrow’s. You are sure to find something delicious with the Creole inspired cuisine New Orleans has to offer. 

Austin, TX

Austin is known for its Tex-Mex and barbecue, but you can also find burgers, pizzas, and cocktails. Franklin’s Barbeque is a must if you love barbecue. Salty Sow in East Austin is a great place if you’re in the mood for American Gastro Pub food. Indulge in a great take on tapas at Barlata on South Lamar. If you’re going for more of a bar vibe, Parkside on 6th Street is sure to please you. Whatever you’re craving, Austin’s restaurant scene will leave you with a full and satisfyed stomach.

San Francisco, California

In San Francisco, you’ll find the use of local ingredients feeding into chef’s passions. It’s hard to find something that is not farm-to-table in San Fran. You’ll find fresh salads, mission-style burritos, and soup dumplings. You’ll also find amazing sandwiches at Lucca Delicatessen, and seafood at Sotto Mare. You’ll find no better way to take part in this interesting food scene than to adventure in your free time in San Francisco.

Let your inner foodie out while traveling with medical staffing travel agencies

We hope you’ll be able to take a seat, settle down, and experience some great food cultures while on your traveling assignment. Being a traveling healthcare professional can be exhausting, but also rewarding. You deserve to take a little break and enjoy trying some new food, or maybe a new twist on a classic you already love. 

If the perks of being a traveling professional aren’t already exciting enough, indulging in different food in new cities is sure to spark an interest. If you’ve been wanting to travel, choose RTG Medical. We’ll pair you with a recruiter to find the perfect assignment for you. Contact us today.

One Step at a Time to Travel Nursing

Meet Kim! She’s an LPN from Tennessee whose life has changed in every way — by, you guessed it — one step at a time.

Travel Nurse Adventures

Let’s learn how she did it!

Step 1: Learn About Travel Nursing

Kim first worked in a pediatric clinic where she learned a lot! But, she said she felt like she could learn more. So, she started working in a family clinic. She loved it — but same story. With another routine down cold, she craved a constant learning environment!

That’s when travel nursing popped in her head. Before she knew it, a RTG Medical post appeared on her Facebook feed.

“I was at the point that my son graduated high school… I could do it!”

Kim said she initially wanted to go to Hawaii but opted out.

“I would never get back home,” she laughed.

It wasn’t until she was offered a travel assignment in Nebraska from RTG that she finally decided to take… the next step!

Step 2: Become a Travel Nurse

“I loved it.”

Kim had never worked 12 house before, but she said “it started to have positive effects on her.”

“Instead of eating, I started walking everywhere I went.”

Step 3: Become Healthier

She walked to work (which was a mile and a half) and would walk constantly. Then, she would take her patients in wheelchairs outside and walk up and down the road. She pushed up to five people a day, going on walks, and losing weight.

“It added up!”

It was a snowball effect, and before she knew it, Kim had dropped 75 pounds!

Step 4: Find Love

A month later, she answered a personal ad on a whim.

“I knew it was something special,” she said.

Kim said her new relationship was just another reason to continue on her weight loss journey.

“I have a boyfriend… and now I’m engaged!”

Step 4: Find New Roads

Because of the transformative journey while traveling, she’s going back to school! She found a program in Arkansas, and Kim is planning to become an RN.

“I have learned so much about travel nursing. It has been the best thing ever! RTG Medical is definitely the best travel agency to be with.”

Ready to take the next step? Find travel jobs across the country here: rtgmedical.com/jobsearch

Work Your Dream Job + Travel

Is it possible?

According to traveling healthcare professionals… YES!

Let’s break it down.

Meet Dave! He’s one of our traveling physical therapists. We asked him what it’s like working his dream job while traveling.

David South Lake Tahoe

Q: What are the benefits of traveling?

A: “Two of the main benefits of traveling are flexibility and variety.”

Flexibility

Dave said he enjoys the different lengths of time off between assignments. There are also flexible work locations and durations for his assignments.

Variety 

As far as variety goes, there’s a lot of it! Dave said the practice setting, patient populations, staff/co-workers, department policies, and overall work experience make each assignment unique and exciting! After and between shifts, the adventures are just as diverse. Dave said he loves getting to experience different communities, restaurants, breweries/wineries, and entertainment. The outdoor adventures aren’t too shabby either!

David South Lake Tahoe 2

Q: What do you get to explore on time off?

A: ​Dave said he loves regional outdoor adventures of his choosing! This ranges from local entertainment to weekend getaways tot he coast, mountains, or river valleys. Not to mention, the drive between each assignment destination can be its own adventure!

Q: Any volunteer opportunities?

A: “​Communities often embrace any volunteer work you or your traveling partner wish to provide. Local animal shelters are always looking for help walking and taking care of those wonderful adoptable pooches and kitties.”

David South Lake Tahoe 3

Q: Why is traveling the dream job?

A: “Honestly, I will echo my statements from above [regarding] variety, flexibility, and variability.”

Dave also added he loves, “having an opportunity to experience differences in communities that you may want to call home for the long run someday.”

David Mendocino County (Willits), CA

Q: Any advice to future traveling healthcare professionals?

A: “Don’t be afraid to be happy where you are. If you find yourself having a good work/community/living experience and the facility is offering to extend your contract, stick around. That next great destination will always be there in the future.”

Inspired? Let’s start planning your #adventureswithRTG here.

How To Choose Your Medical Staffing Agency

If you’re new to the healthcare staffing industry or you’re in search of your first recruiter, it may be a bit overwhelming.

After all, there’s a lot of us!

But, RTG Medical is in your corner, and we’re here to make the decision process easier.

We spoke with our team, and we boiled it down to two major steps! Read on to find the best fit for your traveling career.

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1. Find a recruiter you connect with.

Don’t get us wrong. You’re definitely looking for a staffing agency; but in the end, you’re going to be talking with your recruiter the most.

Find someone who will truly listen to your plans, your desires, and your priorities. This will help your recruiter help you find the best assignments and adventures.

Once you do find a great fit, tell that recruiter! This will get the ball rolling and ensure your traveler-recruiter relationship has a solid foundation for your traveling future.

Dani_Traveler_South_Lake_Tahoe

2. Choose a company you can trust.

This is very important.

Choose an established company that has been around long enough to experience all of the changes in the industry. Working with a trusted agency gives you a great resource for anything you may encounter down the road. Choose your RECRUITER just as much as you’re choosing your AGENCY!

RTG office new

Interested in us? 

RTG Medical has been a trusted healthcare staffing agency for nearly 20 years. Headquartered in Fremont, Nebraska, we connect healthcare professionals to assignments in all 50 states. Learn more here or give us a call at 866.784.2329. 

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