The Onboarding and Credentialing Process for a Travel Dietitian

travel dietitian

The Onboarding and Credentialing Process for a Travel Dietitian

If you are reading this blog, you have probably already secured your role as a travel dietitian. Your journey as a healthcare professional has reached a new and exciting chapter. After accepting this opportunity, you have probably noticed that several essential tasks are awaiting your attention. However, don’t worry. In this blog, we will guide you through the post-acceptance phase of your travel contract by focusing on all things related to the travel dietitian onboarding and credentialing process. 

What is Travel Dietitian Credentialing?

Before we delve into the details, let’s clarify what we mean by “credentialing.” Credentialing, in the context of travel dietitians, is the process of verifying and documenting your qualifications, certifications, and other prerequisites to ensure you’re fully prepared and authorized to work at your travel assignment. It often involves multiple components, which include but are not limited to the following: 

  1. Paperwork: Travel dietitian credentialing requires gathering various documents. These documents may include your academic transcripts, certifications, licenses, and other professional credentials. This step ensures that your qualifications meet the requirements of the facility where you’ll be working.
  2. Online Assessments: Expect to complete online assessments as part of the credentialing process. These assessments may cover a range of topics relevant to your field of dietetics and ensure you possess the knowledge and skills necessary for your assignment.
  3. Drug Screens: Similar to other healthcare professionals, travel dietitians are typically required to undergo drug screens. This is a standard procedure to maintain patient safety and the integrity of healthcare environments.
  4. Medical Records: Your medical records play a role in credentialing. Facilities need assurance that you are in good health and can provide care without limitations. This may include verifying immunizations, health screenings, and more.
  5. Background Check: Background checks are essential to confirm that healthcare professionals have the skills, experience, and ethical standards necessary to provide quality care.

It’s important to note that the credentialing process can vary in complexity from one facility to another. Some facilities have streamlined and straightforward procedures, while others might require more extensive documentation and assessments. As a travel dietitian, adaptability and organization are your best allies in navigating these waters.

Onboarding as a Travel Dietitian 

Onboarding is an integral component of the travel dietitian credentialing process. It serves as the bridge between accepting your assignment and becoming fully prepared for your role. Onboarding encompasses several crucial elements that will set you up for success. Let’s take a look at an overview below. 

  1. Collecting Documentation: During onboarding, you’ll be asked to compile and submit essential documents. These documents can include identification, proof of qualifications, and any additional paperwork the facility deems necessary.
  2. Signing Contracts: Part of onboarding will involve signing employment contracts. Ensure you thoroughly review these documents to understand the terms and conditions of your assignment.
  3. Payroll and Company Website: You’ll also gain access to company-specific resources and systems during onboarding. This includes online portals where you can manage your schedule, submit timesheets, and access payroll information.

As a reminder, you can always reach out to your recruiter to ask about the specifics of onboarding through the agency.

Commonly Required Onboarding Documents 

As a travel dietitian, it’s vital to ensure that you have your medical documents in order. These documents are a standard part of the credentialing process and are essential for ensuring your health and safety in the workplace. Here are the key medical documents you’ll need to provide:

  • Immunization Records 
  • Tuberculin Skin/Blood Test
  • Flu Vaccine
  • Physical Exam

In addition to medical documents, you’ll also need to provide specific work-related documents as part of your travel dietitian onboarding process. These documents are essential for standard employment procedures:

  • Tax Paperwork (e.g. 1099, W2, etc.) 
  • Two Forms of ID (e.g. passport, driver’s license, social security card, etc.) 

Additionally, as a dietitian, you likely hold various certifications that prove your expertise and qualifications. You may want to have these certifications readily available in case your assignment requires filing of these records:

  • Registered Dietitian (RD)
  • Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC)
  • Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)
  • Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition (CSP)
  • Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition (CSR)

Furthermore, one of the standard requirements in healthcare is the mandatory urine drug screen. This test is a routine procedure that ensures you are not under the influence of illegal substances or medications that may impair your ability to provide safe and effective care. You can expect to undergo urine drug screening before each job assignment, as it is a requirement that is consistent across the industry.

Payment Process for Credentialing

Understanding the payment processes for travel dietitian credentialing is essential, as these practices can differ significantly among staffing agencies. Each agency may have its own policies and approaches to handling these expenses. It’s crucial to be aware of these practices so as to know what to be mindful of. 

Let’s take a look at some of the common items that agencies may cover as part of your credentialing process:

  • Drug Screens
  • Physical Examinations
  • Learning Modules

One of the key considerations in travel dietitian credentialing is how the payment is handled. Some agencies may cover the expenses upfront, meaning they take care of all costs directly. In contrast, others may require you to pay certain fees and then reimburse you later. It’s important to clarify the payment method with your agency to ensure you’re aware of your financial responsibilities.

For items that you may need to pay for initially, it’s essential to keep detailed records and receipts. These receipts will serve as proof of your expenses, allowing you to seek reimbursement from your staffing agency. Being organized and diligent in record-keeping will save you from financial headaches later on.

Facility Designated Learning Modules

When it comes to learning modules, healthcare facilities may use a variety of resources. Some facilities provide learning modules through their in-house computer systems, while others may use third-party sources or educational platforms. These modules are designed to enhance your knowledge and skills in specific areas, ensuring you’re well-prepared for your role.

Computer-Based Learning (CBL) modules are a common form of online education used by healthcare facilities. These modules are self-paced, interactive, and cover various topics relevant to your field. They offer a flexible way to acquire or refresh your knowledge and skills, and they often include assessments to measure your understanding of the material.

Examples of CBL modules you may encounter during your travel dietitian credentialing process include:

  • Restraints
  • Workplace Violence
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Nutrition Support Guidelines
  • Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition

CBL modules can vary in content and complexity, depending on the facility’s requirements and your specialization. Completing these modules is a vital part of ensuring you’re prepared to provide safe and effective care during your assignment.

Key Takeaways from the Travel Dietitian Onboarding and Credentialing Process

As you start your journey as a travel dietitian, remember that the credentialing and onboarding process is a vital part of your adventure. While it may seem complex and daunting up front, being well-prepared and organized will ensure a smooth transition into your new role. 

Stay positive and embrace the opportunity to expand your skills, make a difference, and explore new places and cultures. Your dedication to your profession and your willingness to adapt to various environments make you a valuable asset to the healthcare community.

If you want to learn about the specific onboarding and credentialing process at Novo Connections, get in touch with one of our recruiters today. They will guide you through what to expect from the moment you sign your contract to when you arrive on-site.