The Benefits and Drawbacks of Being a Med Traveler

med travelers


Hello, Sobat Hitunggaji! Are you looking for a new adventure in your medical career? If so, you might want to consider becoming a “med traveler.” As a med traveler, you’ll work in various healthcare facilities across the country or even around the world, taking temporary assignments that typically last anywhere from three months to a year.

Med travelers are in high demand due to the shortage of healthcare professionals in many places. However, the perks and downsides of being a med traveler need to be weighed so that aspiring med travelers can make an informed decision about whether or not this career path is right for them.

In this article, we’ll explore the strengths and weaknesses of being a med traveler, the requirements for becoming one, as well as the FAQ about this profession.

Strengths of Being a Med Traveler

1. Opportunity to Travel and Explore New Places 🌍

One of the most significant aspects of being a med traveler is the opportunity to travel and explore new cities and states or even countries. This is particularly exciting for those who love to travel and want to experience diverse cultures while working in their profession. Being a med traveler means being able to take advantage of a flexible schedule, enjoy sightseeing during your days off, and discover new perspectives.

2. Higher Earning Potential πŸ’°

As a med traveler, you’re often paid a higher rate than staff employees since you’re providing temporary services to healthcare facilities that have a staffing shortage. Travelers can earn as much as 20-40% more than what they would make at a permanent staff position. In addition, travelers are often offered non-taxable benefits like housing, meals, and travel reimbursements, making the compensation package even more attractive.

3. Professional Growth and Development πŸ“ˆ

As a med traveler, you’re exposed to a variety of facilities and hospitals with different types of patients, procedures, and technologies. This experience allows you to expand your skills, knowledge, and your network. It also demonstrates a level of adaptability and flexibility which is highly valued in the healthcare system. Med travelers learn how to work with different teams, healthcare policies, and cultures, which can be valuable for their future career growth and advancement.

4. Flexibility and Autonomy ⏰

Med travelers have more control over their schedules, and they can choose which assignment or location they want to take based on their preferences. This flexibility allows them to balance their professional and personal life better. Since they’re not restricted to one location or employer, med travelers can take more extended breaks or pursue volunteer opportunities in between assignments. They also have more autonomy when it comes to taking days off when they need them, which contributes to better work-life balance.

5. Novelty and Excitement πŸŽ‰

Finally, being a med traveler can offer a refreshing change of pace from regular staff positions. Every assignment brings new challenges, new coworkers, and new patients. The constantly changing setting of working in different facilities, locations, and with new patients can stave off boredom and burnout, making the work exciting and fresh.

Weaknesses of Being a Med Traveler

1. Lack of Job Security 🚫

Traveling positions are indeed unstable since they are temporary. Once your contract expires, you’ll need to find your next assignment at a new location, healthcare environment, and with new colleagues. The industry vertical and healthcare policies may change as well, making it challenging to keep up, particularly for those who take breaks between assignments.

2. Homesickness and Social Isolation ☹️

Traveling is exciting, as we mentioned earlier, but it can also mean being away from home and loved ones for extended periods, making med travel a challenging option for some. It can be difficult to build deep connections in a new city if you’re only there for three months, given that you’re moving frequently, and new colleagues can make creating a social group more complicated.

3. More Responsibility on the Traveler πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ

As a traveler, you’ll expect to hit the ground running, which means you’ll need to learn new systems, procedures, and work with new colleagues. There’s hardly any time to get acquainted with what is expected of you at the facility before starting patient care. This requires a high level of flexibility and adaptability, which can be stressful initially.

4. Shorter Orientation Period ⏰

Frequently, travelers are given limited or no orientation to facilities than staff employees. The orientation period may be shorter, giving the traveler less time to get accustomed to the facility, the processes, policies, and the job’s responsibilities. This can cause travelers difficulties as they try to hit the ground running.

5. More Work Expectations 😰

Since managers expect you to provide high-quality work, they may ask you to work in different areas of the facility to provide coverage if staffing levels are low. Often this means working overtime to satisfy patient satisfaction and the facility’s needs, which can be stressful.

6. Lack of Benefits 🚫

Because you aren’t a permanent employee, you typically don’t qualify for benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, or paid time off. Travelers must independently fund much of their medical expenses and other benefits that an enduring employee enjoys.

7. State Licensure Limitations πŸ“œ

Each state has different licensure requirements making it difficult for med travelers to work freely across state lines. It may also cost more to acquire several state licenses which could eat into workers’ earnings.

The Requirements of Being a Med Traveler

To qualify as a med traveler, you’ll typically need to meet the following requirements:

  • Active registered nurse or Allied Health professional
  • Minimum of one or two years of clinical experience in an acute care setting
  • Valid licenses and certifications required by the state where you are practicing
  • Current CPR certification
  • Clinical references from 1-2 professional supervisors

Other qualifications may depend on the requirements of individual healthcare facilities. Most healthcare facilities offering traveler programs require a rigorous credentialing process that includes background checks, drug screenings, and more.

FAQ About Med Travelers

1. Is it expensive to become a med traveler?

Traveling healthcare workers must fund their initial expenses, such as travel to their assignments, so it is an important factor to consider. However, the increase in pay can offset these costs significantly.

2. What types of assignments are available for med travelers?

There are various assignments available for med travelers, ranging from short-term to long-term contracts. These jobs can include various healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, and more.

3. How long are typical assignments for med travelers?

Assignments usually last anywhere from three months to a year, but the length of travel assignments may differ based on the hospital’s needs and the healthcare professional’s preferences.

4. How does pay differ for med travelers compared to a permanent position?

Med travelers are often paid more than permanent employees to entice them to take a traveling position. The pay can vary based on the hospital’s location and healthcare qualifications and experience of the traveler.

5. What kind of healthcare professionals can be a med traveler?

Primarily, med travelers includes Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Respiratory Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Diagnostic Imaging professionals.

6. Do med travelers need to secure their lodging accommodations?

Many travel contracts offer free or affordable housing. This varies depending on facilities and locations, but most travel companies provide the search accommodations as part of their recruitment package.

7. Can med travelers work outside of the country or internationally?

Yes, but licensure requirements and the availability of healthcare professionals’ jobs could affect the ability to work abroad as a med traveler.

8. How do managers assess the competence of traveling healthcare workers?

Generally, traveling healthcare workers are carefully screened and are usually more experienced than workers in permaent positions. These healthcare professionals undergo a skills assessment as part of the credentialing process before being presented to a facility, and travelers must have excellent references from previous employers such as other hospitals and clinical settings.

9. Will med travelers get health coverage?

Permanent employees typically receive health insurance as part of their employee benefits package, while med travelers are self-funded and must pay for their benefits and their family’s medical insurance. However, many travel companies have compensation and subsidy packages to cover some of these costs.

10. Can med travelers keep their permanent job if they choose to become a med traveler?

It’s possible, but not practical. Since you need to devote time to med traveling, it will be challenging to work in your permanent job and take on travel assignments. The constant moving around makes it impossible to work a steady schedule.

11. Are there any requirements to qualify as a med traveler?

Yes. Specific details vary based on the travel company or hospital, but you must have an active state license or certification in the healthcare field, a minimum of 1-2 years experience, and certification in CPR.

12. Are there opportunities to extend travel assignments?

If you had a great experience working in a particular hospital or location, you can express interest in extending the contract. However, It depends on the facility’s staffing needs, so it’s not guaranteed.

13. How long are breaks between travel assignments for med travelers?

The length of breaks between med travel assignments varies depending on the traveler’s preferences. However, most travel workers take at least a few weeks in-between assignments to rest, recharge and find their next traveling job location.


If you’re considering a career as a med traveler, you must weigh the strengths and weaknesses of this profession. While being a med traveler can bring excellent benefits, including traveling to new places, earning higher salaries, flexible schedules, and opportunities to expand professional and personal networks. It presents challenges such as job insecurity, homesickness, a lack of long-term benefits, and the need for adapting to new environments and colleagues continuously.

However, if you’re looking to experience a new adventure, grow professionally, and develop your personal life, becoming a med traveler is an excellent opportunity for healthcare professionals with a thirst for new challenges and unique opportunities.

So, if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone, take a chance on med traveling and experience the wonders of a vibrant, ever-changing career in the healthcare industry.


While the information in this article is accurate to the best of our knowledge, it is not exhaustive and may not apply to every traveler’s situation. We encourage you to conduct your research and consult with your recruitment agency before starting your travel career.

Learn more about the benefits of business travel from Selamatpagibali’s informative article.

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