Ep 20. Leaping into Travel Therapy as a New Graduate with Paige Rickman

Season #1

Show Summary:

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a travel occupational therapist? Well, in today’s episode I’m joined by Paige Rickman, OTR/L who is an occupational therapist that took the leap into travel therapy as a new graduate and has been absolutely thriving in her career. In this conversation, Paige shares what sparked her initial interest in travel therapy, how she’s navigated some of the initial challenges she faced, what the more rewarding aspects of being a travel therapist have been, and also gives an abundance of advice, practical tips and tricks for new grads interested in becoming a travel therapist.

This episode is jam packed with so many insightful tips from Paige and we really dive into this misconception that new graduates can’t or shouldn’t pursue travel therapy. She is a walking testament of someone who has decided to tune out the noise, trust her instincts, and pursue the OT path that lights her up. And I love that, I absolutely love that for her. So whether you’re interested in travel therapy or not, this conversation is a good one because Paige is an incredible reminder that you can achieve some amazing things in your career as an OT as long as you’ve got some tenacity, initiative, confidence, and of course, an open mind. 

In today’s show, we’re chatting about:

  • Paige’s initial spark for pursuing travel therapy as a new graduate
  • The misconception that new graduates shouldn’t pursue travel therapy 
  • Exploring the challenges and obstacles unique to the travel therapy setting
  • Navigating and managing the transition between assignments 
  • How travel therapy can help diversify your experience as an OT 
  • How the increased earning potential has helped Paige achieve her financial goals
  • Money talk! Paige shares her current and previous assignment rates 
  • Your questions answered: travel therapy Q&A with Paige! 
  • Paige’s biggest piece of advice for new graduates interested in travel therapy 

Guest Bio:

I graduated with my masters in OT from Indiana State University in December 2021 where I also got my undergrad degree in exercise science. I took some time off after taking my boards to live with my husband (then boyfriend) in Austria where he was playing basketball at the time. My situation is a little unique because of my husband's job, so currently we live in Japan during basketball season (roughly August-May), then in the summer I will be doing travel assignments until the season starts again in august. This year I came home early because I wanted to get some school experience so we are going back to long distance until May. All through school, travel OT was the LAST thing I wanted to do (also has NO idea what setting I wanted to be in) but with our lifestyle it really is just what was going to work out the best and i ended up LOVING it. I am currently in my 5th travel assignment and have worked with 2 different agencies in various settings (SNF, OP peds, EI, acute care, inpatient, OP/IP neuro with tons of TBI/behavior patients and now I am in a school setting). As of right now my end goal would be to work in a NICU setting (this could totally change lol, i want to try as many settings as I can), but for the way our life if right now travel is what works the best and it definitely helps that I love it. 

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