In case you haven’t noticed, times are a-changin’. The life expectancy of Americans has increased and doubled the aging population, the rate of obesity has dropped, plus the event of infant mortality has fallen in countries across the world. With talented and passionate allied health professionals on our side, the U.S. prepares for a major shift in medical demand.
Allied Medical Travelers Are In Demand
If you’ve seen any popular medical TV show—you know, like “Scrubs,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Mindy Project,” etc.—then you’re already wildly familiar with physicians and nurses. But have you ever stopped to consider what other background characters play a real-life role in medical care?
Vital members to the medical community, these behind-the-scenes medical players have taken the spotlight to show you what they’re all about. Ready or not, here come allied health travelers.
I want to be forever young
“Allied health professionals” is a fancy term for medical workers who don’t quite fit under the typical doctor and nurse umbrella. These medical travelers are responsible for assessing, diagnosing, treating, discharging, and/or referring patients to alternative services, as well as teaching, training, and mentoring fellow clinicians, med students, patients, and other caregivers.
Within the past few years, the demand for allied medical travelers has skyrocketed in the U.S., which has resulted in a shortage of specialized medical professionals. There are three main causes to the unbalance:
- People are living longer than before
- Healthcare technology has advanced
- There’s a shortage of medical physicians
Since most Americans are now living to the age of 78 or older, the elderly population remains stagnant, and provides an influx in patients requiring allied health services. Plus, more good news—deaths from various cancers have dropped and more and more people live to tell the tale of their chronic illnesses or other medical conditions like strokes and seizures.
Not only are we staying alive longer, but we’re also living smarter. Extraordinary technical advancements have completely redefined medical processes and procedures to make things easier on you, you sweet medical worker, you. For example, you might be familiar with electronic medical records (EMRs), online patient portals, or even robotic surgery—these are all impressive healthcare technology advancements that improve caretaker mobility, ease of access to sensitive health information, plus increases overall access to medical attention.
The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates a scarcity of doctors, including primary and specialty care physicians, within the next 10 years. With a nationwide shortage of physicians inevitably comes an intensified need for physician’s assistants (PAs).
While medical professionals predict an insufficient number of medical doctors in the field, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects all allied health professions to grow by 18 percent over the next 5 years, which is significantly larger than the average 7 percent growth rate. In fact, allied health is on track to more than double the growth of all other occupations, so now’s the perfect time to take the leap!
The many faces of allied health workers
Allied medical travelers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes—cardiopulmonary experts, travel therapy workers, laboratory technicians, radiologists, and believe it or not, even more! Seriously, there’s a ton of allied medical career options, it’s almost hard to keep track. So, to help, peep this handy dandy list of the hottest allied medical traveler careers:Certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA). What is Batman without his Robin? Or Timon without his Pumbaa? Just like Thor and his hammer, occupational therapy (OT) travelers need an extra boost every now and then, and that’s where COTAs come in! COTAs work alongside OTs to help patients relearn and master tasks of daily living. Within the next few years, the BLS forecasts a whopping 31 percent growth in this medical field—holy smokes, Batman! Find out what it takes to be an occupational therapy professional and live your best allied health life improving the lives of others.
Search for COTA travel jobs.
Physical therapy assistant (PTA). Have you ever heard of Bonnie without Clyde? Or Laverne with no Shirley? Honestly, I could go on and on with these metaphors, but I feel like you get it. What I’m trying to say is PTAs are the peanut butter to the jelly of professional physical therapists (PTs). Like the relationship between COTAs and OTs, PTAs and PTs are another iconic dynamic duo. This team helps patients enhance the movement of their bodies following an injury or illness such as sports-related injuries or stroke. Spoiler alert: this profession is also booming and expected to continue with an upward swing for the next decade because even though we’re aging like fine wine, we’re still getting older and with age comes a higher susceptibility to chronic conditions. Stay tuned for a 26 percent increase in PTA employment within the next 10 years, says the BLS. [Imagine a sound bit of a live audience gasping for dramatic effect.]
Search for PTA travel jobs.
Speech-language pathologist (SLP). Not to sound like a broken record, but more of the population are receiving post cards and other advertisements from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), if you catch my drift. SLP travelers assess, diagnose, treat, and help prevent communication and swallowing issues in children and adults. As the population ages, the instances of health conditions that can cause speech and language impairments (like dementia) unfortunately grows, as well. Luckily, SLPs are experts who are here to help! And even better news—this career path is projected to climb at least 27 percent this decade. Can I get a “Hell yeah”? Hell yeah!
Search for SLP travel jobs.
Dietician. Listen, I think we can all agree that it’s easier said than done to accomplish well-balanced, healthy eating habits. And that is precisely the reason dieticians exist! Over the past several years, we’ve placed a higher value on the role that food plays in disease prevention and treatment. These food specialists help clients change their eating habits, plus help them accept this major life change. The future career path for travel dieticians is in your hands—not only does the BLS expect an 8 percent rise in employment by 2029, but they also foresee dieticians in grocery stores and other public sectors to sway consumers towards healthy food choices. Can you imagine traveling from grocery store to grocery store advising shoppers on what’s in their carts? Kind of sounds like a dream come true if you ask me.
Search for dietician travel jobs.
Medical lab technician (MLT). Have you ever had your blood drawn? Chances are probably. When your blood is drawn, the sample is sent to the medical lab where a medical lab tech will receive and analyze the specimen to spot any abnormalities and connect the dots to uncover patient diagnosis, treatments, and management techniques. Although they may work primarily behind the scenes, MLTs are a vital piece to the medical community because without them, who would run the tests and report results to the patient’s medical team? Buckle in to make a dent in the lab shortage because we’re on the way towards a 7 percent increase by 2029—or in other words, 24,700 new jobs—in this technical lab field. Can you hear a travel job calling your name?
Search for MLT travel jobs.
Radiation therapist. An underrated group of medical professionals, radiation therapists help remove cancers or tumors in patients by using concentrated radiation therapy to the area of concern—you could say they’re kind of a big deal. There have been significant advances in radiation techniques that have escalated the demand for these med workers, not to mention (again) the whole aging situation. Hop aboard the radiology train and get ready for a wave of new rad jobs (LOL! See what I did there?) at a 7 percent career expansion by 2029. Assist patients as they fight to ring the bell that marks the end of treatment and then take lots of pictures when the day finally becomes reality.
Search for radiation therapy jobs.
There are dozens of other allied health career paths to choose from outside of this brief list, but as different as allied jobs are, they all have one thing in common—a passion for people.
A match made in heaven
Fusion and allied health sitting on a plane T-R-A-V-E-L-I-N-G. First comes the job, then comes adventure, and then come the benefits that you’ve always wanted.
It goes without saying that Fusion Med Staffing + allied health professionals = a match made in Heaven. With a variety of allied health job opportunities located in destinations across the U.S., Fusion helps efficiently get you where you want to go, no matter your allied health division or specialty.
Fun fact: Fusion specializes in several traveling allied health fields, in addition to nursing, home health, and long-term care:
- Medical laboratory
- Cath lab
The travel process at Fusion Med Staffing is completely centered around you! Afterall, you are the backbone of our company. With an experienced recruiter, compliance specialist, clinical adviser, and others, your Fusion support team has your back every step of the way. Plus, you can’t beat the financial, insurance, and housing/travel perks that Fusion has to offer.
The struggle is real for the medical community as the demand for highly qualified allied health workers continues to climb. In addition to doctors and nurses, allied professionals work their tails off and wrack their brains to come up with a creative solution that will help patients better live the lives they’ve always dreamed of. The truth is, there is no healthcare without allied medical workers.