How to Make the Leap to Travel Social Work
Did you know you can take your skills and experience on the road as a travel social worker? While nursing and Allied Health travel opportunities have been among the healthcare staffing options for years, travel social worker jobs are relatively new. The high demand for social workers stems from hospitals struggling to fill positions as turnover increases and more current social workers retire.
Travel social work is a unique way to see the U.S., while still using your care and experience to help people. It can also expand your skills and strengthen a resume by showing employers more diverse settings and flexibility.
What are the Major Hurdles for Travel Social Work?
The TaleMed team can help you find the best fit for your skills and background.
“Sometimes hospitals want you to have earned a master’s degree in social work,” says TaleMed team member Amy Ward, who has a background in social work. “Being certified as an LCSW is the more common requirement, but there isn’t state reciprocity. You do have to apply for the license from state to state.”
Licensure and certification are major hurdles to make the leap into travel social work. “Every jurisdiction and state have their own requirements and every hospital’s accreditation may have licensure or certification requirements written into their guidelines,” according to Amy, who guides social workers through the process of getting additional licenses as part of her job.
Some states, like Alaska, have temporary licenses. License processing times also vary wildly — sometimes taking up to six months. Popular destinations, like California and New York, have the strictest clinical licensing standards in the country.
Licensure means more than just filling out paperwork every few years. Sometimes the requirements can include CEUs that help can expand your understanding of familiar subjects and explore new topics.
“The most important thing hospitals are looking for is some prior clinical background,” says Amy. “Even if you haven’t worked for a hospital, it helps to have worked with a hospital on a case or had practicum or intern experience.”
TaleMed Supports Your Education and Placement
TaleMed understands the importance of education to your travel social work licensure. “Our recruiters can help make it easy for you to earn new credits,” says Allan San Diego, TaleMed Staffing Team Manager. “We reimburse for the costs of getting state licenses and hospitals’ specific certifications.”
Recruiters are always available to answer your questions about how to earn credits or to provide help planning and tracking them. “TaleMed also asks that all social workers have an American Heart Association BLS certification,” explains Allan. “Of course, we reimburse for that, too!”
How do you find a travel social worker job? TaleMed is here to help. “California, Washington and Massachusetts have consistently needed travel social workers for the last few years,” says Allan. “But social workers are needed everywhere. We can place you where you want to be.”
Start your next adventure!
If you haven’t traveled with TaleMed before, you can take your first step today. Contact a TaleMed recruiter by calling 1-800-494-0087 or completing our Quick Application.