Saturday, March 05, 2022

Travel Medic 101

Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, there’s been an increasing number of opportunities for EMS providers to take deployment or travel jobs, in some cases with significant financial incentives.

I’ve heard many people ask if they could be a travel medic, and what will the work be like?

Assignments typically range from 2-13 weeks. Some have “normal” work schedules, typically with some element of planned/expectedOT - working 5-6 8+ hour days, 3-5 10 or 12 hour shifts. Some are 24x7 duty with no official downtime.

Common roles:

~COVID Testing/Vaccination

~Infusion Center for Monoclonal Antibody Therapy

~ED/ICU Tech

~Ground Ambulance staffing:

~~~Upstaffing an existing company (IFT and/or 911)

~~~FEMA / GMR Ground Ambulance Deployment (Typically IFT, can be 911 as well)

Most commonly now, assignments are posted only a few days before they start. That means you may not have a ton of time to make a decision, or get required certifications taken care of. Some agencies or contracting authorities specifically want AHA classes - so if you can get AHA cards, it’ll open doors. Also work on making sure your affairs are in order so you can go - Do you have family responsibilities you are needed for - or can you disappear for weeks? Do you need a plan for pet care? Someone who can get the mail for you? An inexpensive place to park your car? Do you have appropriate luggage? (Plan on one checked bag, <50lbs, and a backpack)

Some things to make life easier? Get a folder together with all your carts. Have an electronic file as well - Most places are going to require you to upload these things online, and having a dedicated folder to quickly grab all your cards will make that easier.

When assessing compensation, look at what the employer is paying hourly, as well as per diem. Also look at what the total hours paid per week will be. Pay attention to what you’ll be responsible for paying for (hotel? Rental car?) and have a plan to ensure you can cover those costs within the allotted per diem. Per Diem is NOT taxable, so a contact that splits out a daily per diem may actually be better than one that has a higher hourly rate.

Common certification needs for contract positions:


~~~NREMT, CPR (preferably AHA).If on an ambulance: EVOC/CEVO, HazMat Awareness, and ICS/NIMS (IS-100.C,IS-200.C,IS-700.B,800.D)


~~~NR-Paramedic, CPR/ACLS/PALS (preferably AHA). PHTLS, and all the above

For ANY new job, expect to complete:

~Drug Screen

~I9 (DL + Social Security card, or Passport)

~Direct Deposit

~Physical (May be waived, especially if you have one in the last year)

~PPD/T-spot (May be waived, especially if you have one in the last year)

Almost all COVID-related roles will require a complete COVID vaccine, potentially with booster.

#Paramedic #EMT #TravelMedic #Advice

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Those of you who know me, know that I am active on several different EMS forums, including serving as admin staff over at and a few EMS-focused Facebook groups.

One of the things that makes me cringe on a regular basis is the grammar and spelling used by entry-level members of my profession. This has become clearer as I spend time reviewing PCR's at work and at volunteer agencies. Today, I was on a conference call for work, and an executive pointed out that word choice and PLACEMENT matter quite a bit.

For example, lets look at how one can open their narrative: 

"Arrived to find patient lying in bed w/ FD medics."
"Arrived to find patient lying in bed, with FD medics providing care."

 Which makes you sound intelligent, and which makes you laugh? Is grammar more important now?

And, now for some levity, I give you Weird Al, a guy who's built his life around playing with words:

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

John Hinds and #ResusWankers

For those who read my smaccUS Day 1 blog, you know how much of an impact Dr. John Hind's lecture on a resuscitative thoracotomy had on me.

I was beyond shocked when I woke up on Saturday morning to find out (through Twitter, how else) that he had died. One of the last things I did before walking out of McCormick Place on Friday, at the end of SMACC, was to get a chance to shake Dr. Hind's hand. I actually walked partially out of the building with him, and I explained how he had changed my opinion of a local EM Physician who did the same procedure in our local ED. I can't claim to have known him well, but I do know he will be sorely missed in the FOAMed community.

A few points.
#1: John had been campaigning for an Air Ambualnce for Northern Ireland. There is a petition to push for the same thing, as a fitting memorial to him. I know online petitions are mostly useless, but this one is a great cause, so go ahead and sign it HERE.

#2: EmCrit has a podcast up with some never-before-heard audio from Dr. Hinds. Great stuff.

#3: SMACC has put up the video for Dr. Hind's SMACC lecture on "Crack the Chest, Get Crucified". Go watch it.

#4: The RAGE Podcast (Resuscitationist's Awesome Guide to Everything) has re-posted John's 2014 smaccGOLD talk "Cases from the Races". Here is the audio combined with the slides in a video format. Fantastic lecture.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


My time at smaccUS is done. I flew home yesterday. Spent the day working today.

I've been to a LOT of EMS-focused conferences. I've never had more fun than I did in Chicago this week. The social network aspect was amazing, and I made a BUNCH of new friends. I had a fantastic time, and I've already booked my room for SMACC in Dublin next year. I would encourage all who are on the fence to come and join me in Dublin in June 2016.

Yesterday, I spent the day playing tourist. I saw the Field museum (which I hadn't seen during my previous visit to town). Yes, I'm a nerd, and I really enjoyed the exhibits. Even got a T-Rex Selfie!

One of the funniest moments was when I tweeted I was on the plane headed home. Several folks pointed out that my first name was spelled wrong on my name badge. My response? I didn't really care - they got my Twitter handle correct, that was the most important!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

smaccUS - Day 3

Day 3: The Last day.

Again, too many talks to sum up each one, and so many good talks going on at the same time. I can't wait for all the podcasts to come out so that I can catch up.

The most interesting lecture for me was Haney Mallemat's (@CriticalCareNow) discussion on fatigue and sleep schedules. It was discussed that commercial truck drivers have FAR greater restrcitions on their work hours than EMS providers do, yet us medics drive emergency vehicles, with greater risks than a long-haul trucker.

Of course, Simon Carley (@EMManchester) talked of Dunning-Kruger, and gave me an opportinity to insert one of my favorite memes into the #smaccUS discussion.


The afternoon continued with a musical interlude - Cups song and a Frozen parody. Can't find the video, but I'm sure it exists.

At the end, the SMACCFinale was amazing. Set up as a game of Family Feud, with 70's era costumes. I've never seen two teams more intent on NOT winning a game, though. And there was this bombshell from the folks behind the conference:

Finally, there was a last shot of the #EMSWolfpack roll call. I put the hashtag up on the board to see if anyone noticed. Notice it they did. 22 folks claimed membership in the group on the board, and I think a few more were around.