Mo is an SLP that has been traveling with Delta Healthcare Providers for several years. Her passion for life and her profession is obvious in any discussion you have with her. She is great at finding the ‘fun’ anywhere she is. And has truly made an impact at every facility she has worked at. Don’t miss out on seeing some of her adventures by viewing the pictures below!
What would you say to traveling therapists that are location-specific? I heard your first assignment was in Petoskey, Michigan in the middle of the winter!
Hahaha, yes! I did spend a 5 month assignment in Petoskey MI during the winter! If you’ve never been to Petoskey, it’s got a population of just under 6,000 and is a tourist town… in the summer. The winter that I was there they got record setting snowfall and I sometimes worried that I would never be warm again. It was also one of my favorite assignments in my 4 years as a traveler. They were so happy and amazed that someone was willing to come up in the middle of winter that they treated me like a celebrity when I got there! It was the warmest welcome that I’ve ever gotten at a new assignment.
I’ve gone on a lot of assignments to places that aren’t really popular locations and they’ve been some of my favorites. I’ve also been on assignments to very highly sought-after locations and was really glad when the assignment was over. I guess the old adage that you can’t judge a book by its cover really is true here, you can’t judge an assignment by its location. I would encourage location specific travelers to try out an assignment that normally wouldn’t be on your radar. Ask your recruiter to find something a little new for you, or to hook you up with a facility that gets great reviews from other travelers. You might end up having a better time than you thought you would, and if not then it’s only 3 months! And if there are any positions up in Petoskey MI (even in the winter) then you’ll have to fight me for them!
You’ve been an avid boxer since your teens, how have you been able to keep that up as you travel?
I’ve been a boxer/kickboxer since I was 14 years old and that kind of training can be hard to maintain while traveling, especially since MMA gyms (mixed martial arts) can’t be found everywhere. It’s certainly easier when I’m in a bigger city or an area of the country where MMA is more popular, but I’ve been able to keep up with it pretty much everywhere I go. Sometimes I’m driving 30-40 minutes to get the gym, but for me it’s worth it.
So far all of the MMA gyms that I’ve found are more than happy to work out a deal for me so that I don’t have to sign any 1 year contracts or anything like that. Sometimes I actually get discounts because the owners feel bad that I won’t be able to train there for long! Also, it doesn’t hurt to say that you’re only in town temporarily because you’re “helping out at a local medical facility until they can get through a staffing shortage.”
It definitely takes a little more research ahead of time to find out what my options are once I get to my new location, but I feel like if you seriously participate in any sort of special training then that group or organization will probably be happy to work something out with you. I also feel like I’ve gotten a better idea of what I like out of my training because I’ve experienced how so many other places handle their training programs. I’ve never run into the situation where I absolutely can’t find anywhere to train, sometimes the training programs are pretty new, but even then I can be an asset to their program for the short time that I’m there and help train the newer folks, which also challenges me to take my training to the next level in a different way.
We hear you love breweries as much as your recruiter loves wineries! Which is your favorite brewery you have visited while on an assignment?
I can’t pick a favorite brewery! Okay, one of my favorites is definitely the Petoskey Brewery, it’s a small town but the beer was always solid! Actually, it still is, I was up there just last weekend visiting friends that I made while I was there on my first assignment and they’re still serving fantastic brews!
I also have a special place in my heart for New Belgium (now with 2 locations, one in Fort Collins CO and one in Asheville NC, I’ve visited both). I love the beer, but I also love the culture. New Belgium is 100% employee owned and if you’ve ever been to one of their breweries you can tell that everyone loves working there. If you like beer and you’ve never been to one of their locations, I highly recommend that you stop by! Even if you don’t care for their beer, they have some of the best brewery tours that I’ve ever been on and the atmosphere is always fun and welcoming!
What is the best adventures you have been on while on an assignment?
I love adventure! Traveling is such an amazing way to try new things, and sometimes get a little adrenaline rush in the process! One of my favorite mini-adventures was going to the Luge Track in Muskegon, MI. Muskegon boasts one of only 3 luge tracks in the United States and I think it’s the only one that beginners are allowed to use. If you’re not familiar with luging, it’s like a one-person sled that you ride down a track. It was a very unique experience and one that I don’t think I would have ever gotten to have if I hadn’t been traveling for work in the area.
I have also gotten to stay overnight in a haunted hotel during Halloween, hiked the Rockies, soaked in a couple natural hot springs, ridden in a glider plane, kayaked the Channel Islands, and had cupcakes from an award winning cupcake bakery (they were even on Cupcake Wars!)
All of that stuff is great, but to be honest (and a little cheesy) one of the best parts about traveling is getting to spend time with my family and friends. My family is a little spread out, and I made a lot of friends over the years (prior to my time as a traveler) that live in all corners of the USA. Being a traveler has afforded me the opportunity to visit these family members and friends that I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to see otherwise. I’ve gotten to spend quality time with my cousin in California, stopped for overnight trips to see friends in Wichita, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, and Texas that I wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance to see but I just happened to be on assignment nearby or traveling through.
What kind of impact can you make at a facility as a traveling therapist?
You can actually make a really big impact on facilities that you’re traveling to even if you’re not there for long. One of the benefits of being a traveler is that you get a lot of opportunities to visit new places and see how they manage things, which can be very valuable information. I’ve helped a number of different facilities modify how they approach certain aspects of what they do because I have so many other places to compare it to. I’ve helped prove to companies that they’re understaffed and need to hire new permanent employees; I’ve helped create policies and procedures at facilities where they didn’t have any (or enough), and I’ve helped improve processes that I’ve been able to recognize as inefficient. It makes me feel good when I help improve on an existing system and I’ve gotten very positive feedback from the facilities that I’ve been able to help in that way.
Interested in experiencing similar adventures as Mo being a travel therapist? Reach out to Mo’s recruiter, Renee Degele, for information regarding current openings!