2010 Survey of Temporary Therapist Staffing Trends

November 14, 2012

2010 Survey of Temporary Therapist Staffing Trends

This survey suggests that a shortage of therapists available to fill permanent positions may be causing an increase in the use of temporary therapists, even during the ongoing economic recession. In 2007, the first year AMN conducted this survey, 67% of department managers surveyed indicated that they has used traveling therapists in the last 12 months. In the latest survey, by contrast, 85% of those surveyed said they had used travelers in the last 12 months, an increase of 18 percentage points. In 2007, 40% of those surveyed said that in a typical month they did not use a travel therapist. In the latest survey, only 25% of those surveyed said that in a typical month they did not use a travel therapist, a decrease of 15 percentage points. The intent of this survey is to provide data regarding the current use of and demand for temporary physical and occupational therapists as well as to provide information regarding therapists who work on a temporary basis.

Introduction

Med Travelers, an AMN Healthcare company, is the leading national allied healthcare professional staffing firm specializing in the temporary staffing of therapists, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, speech therapists and radiation therapists. Med Travelers also specializes in the temporary staffing of diagnostic imaging technologists and other allied healthcare professionals. This report, based on 2009 data, summarizes results of Med Travelers’ second survey examining trends in the temporary staffing of physical and occupational therapists. The intent of the survey is to provide data regarding the current use of and demand for temporary physical and occupational therapists as well as to provide information regarding therapists who work on a temporary basis. The survey examines trends and opinions among hospital therapy department managers, administrators and others who use temporary therapists. The survey also examines the opinions and work patterns of physical and occupational therapists who work on a temporary basis.

Overview

Part one of the survey examines trends among the users of temporary therapist services: Why they use temporary therapists, how they view the skill levels of temporary therapists, and related topics. It is based on interviews with 92 managers of hospital therapy departments.

The second part examines how temporary or “traveling” physical and occupational therapists view working on a temporary basis, why they choose to work as travelers, and related issues. It is based on interviews with 256 temporary physical and occupational therapists.

And the third part provides a quick overview of the types of temporary therapist staffing assignments Med Travelers conducted in calendar year 2009, highlighting which types of temporary therapists are in demand.