Being a traveling Physical Therapist requires frequent, and constant change. Week 13 or whatever is the last week of your contract will inevitably be your busiest. Hopefully work slows down a little bit that last week as you discharge a bunch of your clients and transition others to different therapists, but life outside of work gets busy. That last week is full of organizing, packing, working on logistics for travel to the next assignment, and often time actually interviewing for and nailing down your next job (and, if you’re really dense, you’ll try to write a blog this week… brutal).
All the chores outside of work on the last week of an assignment make it a stressful week. I’m currently 3 days from my next move and finding myself relatively relaxed. Clearly I’ve learned something over time about making the transition from work to road trip to work. But what is it? Here’s my reflection on the things you can do to take the crazy out of your next job change.
Accept it! This week is going to suck. At work you’re doing a ton to discharges and transitioning patients to other therapists. Embrace it, every waking hour this week you will be working or packing or planning. The only way everything gets done is by finishing one single task at a time, start chipping away.
If you can identify one group of things you have to accomplish each day, you will break up the burden. To take everything on in one day is too much. Today, I wanted to take the recycling to the dump, get the tail light on the car replaced before the drive out west, and get out one last blog before disappearing on vacation. Boom! Done! I got stuff done today, I feel accomplished, and I’m a few steps closer to being ready to jump in the car and be on my merry little way.
Say Goodbye Efficiently
Yeah, it’s very unsentimental of me. Get over it. You will get requests from friends, co-workers, and mysterious others for one last hoorah, a chance to say goodbye. The more saying “goodbye” you can do the week before your last week, the better. Get out ahead of your friends and start inviting people to dinner before it’s your last week. You’ll have a blast, you’ll get to spend some good time with friends, and it won’t take precious hours out of the time you need to be packing. If you get stuck in the last couple days tight for time, invite friends over to hang out at your place while you putter around packing and cleaning – if they can drink your wine and eat your food, you don’t have to move it.
Everyone knows you’re busy, but do take the time to do the right things. Wrap up all your paperwork at your job. Close cases that have been left inactive. Clean up your work space – effectively tie up all your loose ends and make it seem like you were never there. They say the best referees in football are the ones you that you don’t notice are even there, same goes for travel therapists.
A Time for Rest
When the opportunity arrives, take a break. I very frequently find I reach a point where I have done what I need to do for a day, and rather than stopping, I press on. You’re a traveler. Hopefully you’re living this lifestyle to experience different places and cultures. When break time comes, get out to that restaurant you meant to go to one more time, or go enjoy one last sunset at your favorite vista. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the town you’ve lived and worked in for thew last few weeks, take one last chance to soak it in.
I think that’s all I have tonight, folks. Most of my bags are packed, but I’m doing home care, so the car has a lot of work stuff in it. I need to finish work before I can start packing the car.
From here, on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, we’ll make trips to Maine, Florida, and Italy – for family time and fun – before driving out to Colorado for the next assignment. I’ll post pictures on the travels as I go, but you may not here much from me for a few weeks.
Enjoy where ever you are!