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