Traveler Spotlight – Patty Barlow, Medical Technologist
For a Career Med Tech, Allied Travel Has Opened a World of Possibility
Travel medical technologist Patty Barlow is no stranger to the profession, having worked for 24 years across multiple departments and clinical settings since earning her laboratory technologist certification in 1997. In 2018, Patty discovered the world of allied travel and began to make her mark as a technologist on the move.
Her hard work has paid off tremendously in a few short years of traveling and this August, she is recognized through our AMN Healthcare Traveler Spotlight—a testament to the care and effort she puts into her work every day, no matter where in the country she happens to be.
To help illustrate Patty’s standout travel career, we wanted to rewind back to the beginning.
Making the Leap
Patty’s decision to transition toward allied travel was born from some difficult moments. Having considered a change for a few years, her permanent laboratory manager position was eliminated in a healthcare system reshuffle, and she had a career-changing decision to make. Stay put in her new permanent position, or take a chance on a new path?
“I struggled with the decision,” Patty said of her initial hesitation to make such a big change. But she did her due diligence and “made a list of "pros" and "cons," talked with several acquaintances who had already taken the leap, and asked Club Staffing recruiter, Melissa Dingee, a thousand and one questions.”
After careful deliberation, Patty “took a deep breath and jumped in”—putting in her two weeks’ notice at work and accepting her first travel assignment in Louisville, Kentucky.
“I credit that one decision for allowing me to live the life I have always dreamed of.”
A New Beginning with AMN Healthcare
After working in a permanent laboratory management position for years that required 24/7 availability with less than favorable compensation, allied travel was a breath of new life. No longer were long, stressful weeks going to take a toll.
“Working as a travel tech for AMN Healthcare provided me a substantial boost in income while also allowing me to choose when, and where I worked.” As someone who wanted to make a difference while getting out to see more of the country, Patty “finally understood what true "work-life" balance meant.”
Time to Expand the Bucket List
Before beginning her travel career, Patty had never been able to take a trip out of the country—a hurdle she has left behind in a big way. So, what exactly has the travel lifestyle allowed her to do?
“I have skydived over the ocean in Nags Head, NC, gone whitewater rafting on the 1989 Olympic course in Georgia, hiked multiple sections of the AT, soared above Lookout Mountain, Tennessee in a hang glider, snorkeled in Costa Rica, and scuba dove in Roatan, Honduras.”
As if that wasn’t enough to fill her memoirs…
“I've explored historical sites and wineries, attended theatrical performances and concerts, visited botanical gardens and museums. I have hiked to the base of beautiful waterfalls, gone whale watching, and kayaked in pristine nature preserves.”
We are officially jealous. With all these experiences in her wake, Patty isn’t close to quenching her thirst for adventure. What’s next on the list?
“I am going to Peru this September with my former shift supervisor from an assignment in Georgia. We are hiking Macchu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and ziplining.”
To encapsulate what these trips and the new lifestyle that travel have provided, Patty put it simply.
“Every assignment is a new adventure, a chance to meet new people, to visit, explore and learn about new places, to try new things—and best of all, to share those experiences with family and friends.”
A message for other allied healthcare professionals who, like Patty, have reservations about making a change in their lives:
“Above all, I would like for people to understand that this is something they can do. I'm not an adrenaline junkie or a crazy, fit athlete. I'm a 50-year-old mother of 3 who is simply, finally, getting to live her best life. I credit God, Melissa Dingee, and Club Staffing for giving me that opportunity.”
We want to thank Patty for taking the time to share her allied travel story with us and the rest of the healthcare community—and, most importantly, congratulate her again for her hard work and dedication as a medical technologist, showcased in this spotlight.