As a travel pathologists' assistant or histotech, you have the unique opportunity to combine your passion for what you do with a love for exploration. At Nicklas Medical Staffing, we know firsthand the many perks that come with being a travel PA or HT/HTL; however, we also know that life on the road demands meticulous organization, professionalism and the ability to adapt to the often unpredictable nature of travel.
Navigate Life on the Road as a Travel PA or HT/HTL
The good news is that success on the road as a travel pathologists’ assistant or histotech is easily attainable with just a few simple tips and suggestions. At Nicklas, we’ve spent the last decade placing PAs and HT/HTLs at labs across the country — here are some of our essential tips and insight to help ensure you master the art of travel as a pathologists’ assistant or histotech:
Find an Agency With a Personalized Touch One of the first, and most important steps in a successful travel engagement starts with finding the right staffing agency. Working with smaller agencies that specialize in PA and HT/HTL placements means you’ll get the care, attention, and expertise needed to find the right fit for your career. Additionally, partnering with a staffing agency founded by a pathologists’ assistant can offer a unique advantage during your time on contract. Working with a PA—founded agency means you’re entrusting your search to someone who genuinely understands your specific job requirements and the realities of life in the lab. They can use their industry knowledge to anticipate your needs and provide an elevated level of service that makes your time on the road as seamless and convenient as possible.
Stay Organized Traveling can become chaotic without proper organization. Be sure to keep your travel bookings and first day instruction emails handy. Use digital tools like Nicklas’s Egencia app, so you have your travel itinerary and a phone number to 24/7 travel support.
Be Adaptable & Flexible As a temporary or traveling professional, your presence at the lab is highly valued by the staff, who often work long hours. It’s important to adapt to the lab’s culture and environment, respecting their established processes and adhering to their methods of performing the work.
Explore Your New Region Familiarize yourself with local customs and cultures during your time away. Take the time to learn about the traditions of the places to connect with locals and experience something new! Meetup.com is a great way to connect with like-minded people.
Maintain a Positive & Professional Attitude Not only do you represent your staffing agency, you represent yourself. It's important to uphold a positive and professional attitude throughout the length of your contract. Self-care practices, such as going for a walk, meditating, and journaling can help maintain the balance needed for a positive and professional attitude. Professionalism will help you to be requested over and over by the same lab, so you can mix it up; sometimes you want a new temp job, and sometimes it’s nice to be somewhere familiar.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate Effective communication is vital in any profession, but can prove especially crucial for travel PAs and HTs/HTLs. Hone your communication skills to build positive relationships with not only lab leaders and coworkers, but also your recruiter. Always keep the lines of communication open with your recruiter to help them understand your schedule availability and find the best possible match for you. Remember that they are working hard behind the scenes to get you a great job that you will love.
Achieve Work-Life Balance Attaining a healthy work-life balance when traveling is essential to avoid burnout and promote productivity. During your time on the road, look for ways to relax, have fun, meet new people, and explore your home-away-from-home to strike a balance between having a personal life and a professional one.
Be Open to Learning New Things and Gain New Skills As a pathologists’ assistant or histotech, you already know that every lab has its own practices and protocols. Use your time on the road as an opportunity to use different technology and tools to learn new ways of doing your job.
Practice Time Management Good time management is essential when juggling work responsibilities and travel. Prioritize tasks and set realistic deadlines to ensure you meet your commitments while on contract. One of the first things to check off your to-do list is to enroll in health, dental, and vision plans that start on day one of the contract. Some leading agencies will also offer a 401K plan and Roth IRA with a match that you can enroll in during your contract.
Get Your Timesheets (and Miles) In Always submit your electronic timesheets when they are due. Prompt timesheets are crucial for travel pathologists’ assistants and histotechs to ensure accurate payroll processing, and timely pay deposits.
Have Fun! Yes, it’s a professional endeavor, but nothing says you can’t have fun on your contract — in fact, you should. Invite loved ones to visit, send local gifts to people missing you back home, and make new friends. Give yourself permission to fully embrace the adventure and make the most of your time on the road!
Contact Nicklas Medical Staffing Today
For over 10 years, Nicklas Medical Staffing has specialized in connecting travel PA and HTs/HTLs at labs across the country. Schedule a call with a member of our recruiting team today to learn how we can help you find success on the road as a travel lab professional!