Patrick became a CT technologist because he enjoys the work itself. In his own words, he describes what he does as “fascinating”, but wages in his state were becoming stagnant and health insurance premiums were through the roof. Becoming a traveling medical imaging tech offered him a way to continue doing what he loves to do, afford health insurance, and make the money his family needs – without having to uproot and move permanently. In our interview with him, he talks more about his decision to go from “CT tech” to traveling CT tech.
What triggered your decision to consider becoming a traveler?
The higher wages offered by travel positions is why I started this journey as a traveler. There’s tax-free housing money, housing reimbursement and you get to keep most of what you earn. The wages in my home state have sort of flat-lined, so traveling allows me to provide more for my family.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a traveling CT tech?
The extra money. I’m able to make a really great living, which allows my wife to stay home with our two children. It’s also rewarding to travel the country and see beautiful places like California.
Describe a typical day in the life of a travel CT tech. Does it usually take you a while to sync into a rhythm of work/play in a new city?
What’s usually difficult for travelers getting transitioned into their new assignment is having their documentation prepared on their start date. My recruiter, Lori Herzenberg, and the entire Cirrus Credentialing team helps make sure my paperwork is done ahead-of-time so my transition is fluid and seamless. Different states have different paperwork requirements, but she’s always on the ball, following up with any questions I have really quickly (sometimes answering emails at 4 a.m.!). Usually, people are surprised that I already have everything prepared – I’ve never had to spend half a day finding out where I got my chicken pox vaccine when I was three-years-old – the paperwork is always right there at the hospital. This allows me to focus on the job at hand, and get right into orientation.
What advice do you wish someone had given you before your first assignment? What advice would you give someone else?
You have to be flexible, especially in CAT scan and radiology because certain things are done differently from facility to facility, even a patient’s positioning on the table can be different. Go with the flow. If a hospital tells you how they do something, follow protocol and stay as low maintenance as possible.
How did you get connected with Lori at Cirrus Medical Staffing? What made you want to work with Lori once you became connected?
She called me with a job I might be interested in. I had always wanted to work for Cirrus Medical Staffing because of the health care benefits, so when she called with an assignment and took the time to answer my questions, I knew I wanted to work with her. She’s really on the ball and is always looking out for me to help me make as much money as possible.
What will be your advice to other CT technologists who are evaluating their next steps in their careers or just life, in general?
I would recommend it if they’re willing to be flexible, travel to an assignment anywhere in the country. The financial aspect definitely makes it worth it. I highly recommend traveling!