Health and Medication Issues for Travel Nurses · The Gypsy Nurse

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By The Gypsy Nurse

January 24, 2018



Health and Medication Issues for the Full-Time Travel Nurse

For the full-time travel nurse (or healthcare professional), finding adequate insurance coverage, maintaining your medical appointments, and obtaining prescriptions can be quite difficult. And…let’s be honest, a bit daunting especially with everything else that you’re trying to figure out such as housing, tax-free stipends, contracts, etc.

Most insurance companies do business in a manner that is very unfriendly to those who don’t remain in a particular neighborhood or city, like the travel nurse.  One alternative option may be the up and coming ‘Concierge Medicine Companies’ like MDVIP and similar concierge medicine companies (This is not an endorsement for this company).

“This is a practice model where the patient will pay the physician an annual retainer in return for greater access and more personal attention from the physician.”

(To read more: Concierge Medicine Trend Continues and Creates New Clients for Clinical Pathology Laboratories | Dark Daily)

While it generally costs a bit more for these concierge services, your medical records are provided as a digital copy, and when you need an appointment, you simply go to the website and you can make an appointment with a local MD VIP / or similar company physician. MDVIP has 450 affiliated physicians in 38 states. This could possible be a growing healthcare model in the light of exorbitant insurance costs for those who’s employer isn’t covering a portion.

Tips for Prescriptions for Travel Nurses:

  • Have your PCP write 3 months worth of prescriptions (post-dated).
    • Many Pharmacies will allow a written script (even for narcotics), with a phone verification to the physician.
    • The PCP would just need to write the date it can be filled. Example: “Do not fill until…”
    • For non controlled medications, you can have the pharmacy that’s near to you call your previous pharmacy for a transfer of your script or get a 90 day supply if your insurance will cover.
  • Set up your prescriptions with a nationwide pharmacy and simply transfer the script to your current location:
    • Nationwide Pharmacies Include
      • CVS
      • Walgreens
      • Costco
      • Wal-Mart
      • Target
    • Mail Order
      • Many mail-order programs will supply 90 days of medications
    • Try seeking out a local ‘walk-in’ Clinic. Some will review your medical records and provide a prescription without issues.

TIPS for Healthcare Checkup’s

  • Take a complete copy of your medical records with you. This could be a digital or paper copy. Depending on your medical issues, it’s possible to get scheduled check-ups at a local PCP, urgent care, or Clinic.
  • Schedule your annual check-up with your home based Primary Care Physician. Some medications require more frequent visits/check-ups. If this is the case, plan your contract around these necessary visits, or plan to fly home from your contract to complete this very necessary item. If you are in need to fly home for medical check-ups, schedule your visit well in advance and have the time off written into your contract. Don’t forget to discuss any time-off needs in your interview with the hospital.

Ultimately, it can be a bit more difficult for the full-time traveler with ongoing health issues but this shouldn’t be a deterrent to traveling. With a little extra leg-work and pre-planning, it’s very possible to work around these minor complications.

If you have tips on this topic, please post in the comments. Help us learn from each other by sharing your experiences.

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