August’s New Grad of The Month: Robert Armstrong
Robert Armstrong is August’s New Grad of the Month! Robert has been on three travel assignments with Advanced since he graduated in December of 2016. He is already making a name for himself as an incredible clinician and a true traveler.
He had his heart set on working in the Pacific Northwest after living most of his life in Florida. He’s an avid outdoorsman and was looking forward to hiking and camping out on the West Coast. With the help of his Advanced Recruiter, Amanda, he was able to make those dreams come true. He put his faith in Advanced and his recruiter, and took an assignment in Oregon.
He did such a great job on his first assignment, when another opportunity popped up in OR, his DOR called to give a personal recommendation for him. Everyone who has worked with Robert has spoken highly of him. His Advanced OT Mentor, Tiffany Simmons, OTR/L, applauds him for his ability to hit the ground running from day one.
He is eager to learn, and dedicated to his patients and to expanding his OT toolbox. We are honored to have Robert on our new grad team. He has acquired two more licenses in other states and we are excited to help him carve out his own career path.
“He’s kind, flexible, and makes a big impact on each person that he meets. I love having him on my team!” – Advanced Recruiter, Amanda Meyer
Get to Know Robert
What drew you to pursuing occupational therapy as a career? I was immediately drawn to Occupational Therapy because it embodies much of my personal philosophy. I believe we ought to make the most of our abilities and lives regardless of the situations we find ourselves in. While others help us along the way in this journey, the greatest agent of personal change ultimately comes from within ourselves. As an occupational therapist, I don’t see myself as “fixing” my patients or solving their problems for them, but rather, giving them the tools, training, and empowerment they need to take the reins to reach their full potential.
Why did you decide on travel therapy as a new grad? I almost didn’t. It had interested me but the prospect of leaving home and taking off into the unknown was intimidating and way outside my comfort zone. I told myself travel OT was something I’d do down the road. But after much contemplation and encouragement from friends, I came to the realization that like most things in life, if you keep telling yourself “maybe someday,” it will never happen. So, I decided to just bite the bullet and embark on this amazing journey.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish as a traveling OT? To continue challenging and pushing myself both as an OT and a person. I want to experience different clinical settings and learn new skills, as well as experience different areas and lifestyles within the country.
What is the number one place you hope to travel to and why? Alaska. I’ve lived in Florida almost my entire life and need a break from sunburn.
What has the biggest surprise been so far? Honestly, my biggest surprise has been my success with being a travel OT. While I was enthusiastic to begin travel OT, part of me still believed that I was in over my head. At first, it felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but all my schooling and clinical training seemed to subconsciously kick in. I managed to not only survive, but thrive in my work environment. Since I started, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in myself as a practitioner which I had previously been sorely lacking.
What’s a fun fact about yourself? One of my favorite hobbies is kickboxing. A lot of people don’t believe me because it doesn’t seem to fit with my laid-back and reserved demeanor. I often incorporate it into treatment with my patients when we’re working on gross motor strength and coordination. A lot of them have a blast with it and like to show off their new skills to their family and friends!
Like Robert’s story? Check out our New Grad Program to learn more about how he got here with Advanced Travel Therapy!