The word seems so crazy right now, especially healthcare. How do you reconcile when your calling is out there serving your patients, but you also have a calling at home? At home your kid has wet the bed again and needs to get ready for school. Breakfast isn’t done and neither is their homework.
Well, I’m here to give you good news that traveling with your family as a healthcare professional is not only doable, but enjoyable and exhilarating! Like anything else that is worth doing, it has challenging moments. Also requires you to take on an additional area of compliance when you are traveling with school-aged children. However, the freedom you feel is worth more than I can express through a blog.
Let’s just say for simplicity terms, it equates to life unlocked!
Top three tips for traveling with a family as a healthcare professional
When you’re ready to make moves, know that everything can’t be perfect,. There’s only so much research you can do. And there is a 0% chance of you being prepared for everything that life has in store for you whether you’re living a nomadic or static lifestyle.
Here are my top three tips for traveling with families and homeschooling. These are broken down into additional lettered bullet points. I’m a homeschooling healthcare provider who can’t help herself!
1. Figure out your COVID-19 situation.
- This is essential to your comfort. You need to be really clear on where you stand in this pandemic and how it is going to affect you and your family while in motion. Are they of age to be vaccinated? Do you want them vaccinated? Is there a requirement for vaccination? Is the state you’re traveling to or through conducive for you to be comfortable and stay there or you just pass through?
- Either have a card that proves vaccinated status, get a reason in writing on why you cannot, or have appropriate documentation to discuss why this is not applicable. Be sure to do the research on each facility and state you will consider “living” in. It’s your job to be informed. Easy access to other immunizations or declinations that your family may need (TB, flu, Hep B).
2. Be sure to have a true and legal tax home if you are receiving stipends for an assignment.
- No you will not receive stipends for everyone in your family. So please make sure that you assess their income needs. For example, if your agency is paying for your plane trip to the assignment, the cost for the rest of your family members is on you. Remember that in order to keep your stipends, you have to return to your tax home for at least 30 days in one calendar year, or 60 in two. Returning with your family is not a prerequisite! We’re just kidding of course, but seriously. You can learn more about maintaining a tax home at www.traveltax.com and by attending sessions at TravCon.
3. Consider mode of transportation, housing preference, and family dependents/responsibilities
- This is such a BIG one for traveling with a family as a healthcare professional!
- Consider the size and evolution of your family when thinking of your mode of transportation. What is feasible to do continuously versus what’s a one and done trip? Does anyone need a kennel or car seat? Wi-Fi access?
- Consider where you and your family members will live while in motion. Do you need more than one room? Do you need easy access to a grocery store, a library, or particular place of employment or education?
- Consider your family, dependents, and responsibilities. Are they in grade school? What laws should you follow if you choose to homeschool, and in which state?
Another area of compliance
As a human, all of these questions and considerations being thrown at you can be overwhelming. The good news is, as healthcare providers, and traveling healthcare providers, we’re already equipped with all the Type A organizational powers that we need to travel with our families and get all these questions answered with the greatest of ease. Are you ready for the secret sauce? It’s simply another area of compliance!
As travelers we have to keep up with our housing, our mode of transportation, our credentials, skills checklists, licensure, training, policies, protocols, lions, tigers, bears… We’re already keeping up with everything and we do because it’s worth it. Living a nomadic lifestyle, if that’s what you feel called to do, is worth it! When you do it with your family, you simply just have to make sure they’re also being compliant. Homeschooling is keeping up with another skills checklist for each of your students and making sure that the law in your school is consistent in your compliance.
Always remember that the most successful way to travel with your family, no matter what the structure is or who the members are, is that you travel together. Meaning you’re listening to each other’s experiences, ideas, and needs for growth and happiness. No one person in a family travels alone. It’s important to consider everyone’s perspective so that everyone can be successful in the experience.
This is the only plan that you can have in families and in healthcare that will stand the test of time, through temper tantrums and through pandemics. Remember to consider others’ perspectives so that, collectively, we can be a positive experience, and remember that you’re never alone in this life. Your family needs you, your patients need you, but first and foremost, you need to show up for yourself. So, before you go putting on your scrubs and before you go cleaning up that mess, remember this:
You are excellently made to do all that is before you; so breathe and know that you got this!
Meet the Author
Joanna Hall, A.A.S., RDMS, RVT is the CEO of Ultrasafe Ultrasound Diagnostic Services, LLC. She is an avid traveler with her family.