Full Time RV Life as a Traveling Doctor – Episode 8: RVing with Joe & Kait

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In this episode of the RVing with Joe & Kait podcast, we sit down with our friends Kenny and Sabrina of Moving Forward Adventures to get an in-depth look at what full time RV life is like for a traveling doctor. Dr. Sabrina Campbell, a pulmonary critical care physician, and Kenny Phillips, her supportive partner, open up about their motivations, experiences, and the practicalities of navigating work and life in an RV.

RV Life as a Traveling Doctor

traveling doctor rv life

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Episode Guests

Kenny and Sabrina of Moving Forward Adventures

Kenny and Sabrina, along with their small dog Belle, have been traveling in their Winnebago Class A Motorhome for more than seven years – five of those years were full-timing. Sabrina is a Pulmonary/Critical Care Physician and for those five years of full-timing, they were using the RV to travel from hospital to hospital going where she was needed most. Sabrina has a passion for learning and is currently learning Spanish with the goal of becoming fluent.

Kenny is co-creator and co-host of Beyond The Wheel Podcast which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the RV industry and highlights the people behind some of your favorite RV products, campgrounds, and services. He also enjoys the outdoors, and you can usually find him out on his bike or taking a hike with Belle. Together, Kenny and Sabrina are known on social media as Moving Forward Adventures, their YouTube Channel and Instagram documents their travels as they share fun RV destinations and tips.


Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Key Highlights

  • The Motivation Behind Full-Time RVing: Learn why Sabrina and Kenny chose the RV lifestyle amidst the demanding schedule of a traveling doctor.
  • The Transition to RV Life: Discover the initial challenges and learning curves they faced, including adapting to a smaller living space and managing work commitments on the go.
  • Work-Life Balance on Wheels: Gain insights into how Sabrina structured her locum tenens work and the reality of not being able to sightsee as much as anticipated.
  • Navigating the Logistics: From securing assignments to choosing the right RV for their needs, Sabrina and Kenny share practical tips for medical professionals considering this lifestyle.
  • Advice for Aspiring RVing Medical Professionals: Sabrina and Kenny offer valuable advice for medical professionals curious about embarking on a similar journey, from dealing with recruiters to managing expectations and preparing for the realities of RV life as a traveling doctor.
  • Reflections on RV Living: The episode concludes with reflections on their full time RV journey, the community they’ve built, and the lessons learned along the way.

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Joe Russo Welcome back to the RVing with Joe and Kait podcast. In this episode, we’re interviewing Sabrina, who is a traveling doctor, and Kenny, her husband. They are going to give us an in-depth look at what it was like to RV full time while Sabrina was going from hospital to hospital and Kenny was making sure that she and the RV got to each assignment in one piece and on time.

Kait and I have known Kenny and Sabrina for years now and until we did this interview, I didn’t realize how different their time on the road was as compared to ours. So let’s get right into it.

Kenny, Sabrina, great to have you guys on the podcast.

Sabrina Campbell Thanks so much for having us.

Kenny Phillips Yeah, super excited to be here.

Joe Russo Well, today we wanted to have you guys on to kind of hear what it’s like to travel full time as a medical professional. So Sabrina, you are a, would you say a traveling doctor?

Sabrina Campbell I’m a pulmonary critical care physician and I do travel and do locum work throughout the country.

Joe Russo The two of you were full time for how long?

Kenny Phillips Just about six years, just under six years.

Sabrina Campbell Part of the reason we actually got into full -time RVing was that we were looking for a way to spend more time together. So we just started traveling from my assignments from hospital to hospital, state to state. While I would cover the ICU, Kenny would drive me around and be my chauffeur and all of that good stuff.

Kenny Phillips Yeah, because the traditional work schedule for a doctor is very demanding hours. Sometimes they would even bleed into weekends. And even when she was home, she would be on call. So we didn’t really feel as if we were spending any quality time together whatsoever.

I was running a small business, she was doing more than full-time work at the hospital, and we were somewhat newly married at the time, and we just felt like, hey, we live in the same house, but we barely see each other. I think we need to make some changes.

Joe Russo How did you guys come up with the idea to do it out of an RV?

Kenny PhillipsPartially, that’s your fault. I mean, YouTube, I mean we didn’t know you guys at the time, but we were watching you guys on YouTube, we were watching other YouTubers talking about this lifestyle. It just looked like a lot of fun. We had zero experience of RVing in general. Sabrina, I don’t think

Sabrina Campbells I’ve never even camped.

Kenny Phillips even camped. I had at least camped. But you know what, we watched videos of people making it not just work, but they were making it work and it looked enjoyable and they were able to see things along the way, learn and have these experiences, what looked like together.

It looked like, you know, these people, you guys are spending a lot of time together and we’re like, oh, couldn’t we do something? Like, could we do something like this? I mean, it’s very out of our wheel house, but yeah, why couldn’t we?

I mean, no offense. We looked at you guys and we said, they look almost normal. I mean, couldn’t, couldn’t we do it too? I mean, they don’t seem that crazy.

Joe Russo So once you hit the road, did the reality of the situation kind of meet your expectations that you had of getting to spend more time together?

Kenny Phillips I would say yes and no. We definitely spent a lot more time together because every time we needed to go to a new destination, we were now traveling together as a family, even got our small little dog with us.

And then when we were going to the hospitals, the work shift with what she does now called locum is more structural. It’s seven in, seven out, and you’re done with no call and no really, I wouldn’t say red tape, but there’s no extras on top of it.

You know, you do your shift and you’re done, which was completely different than working at a hospital where you have a contract. They kind of, I don’t want to, they kind of own you and you’re always getting extra work. You’re always getting more and more piled on.

This at least, we knew when she was working, she got time off. So that way we got to spend more time together and the RV did allow that part of it. But I would say the downside to that was that we weren’t living the traditional RV lifestyle in a sense that we weren’t traveling from location to location in these beautiful locations and sightseeing and doing stuff.

Like we literally, you had a job for seven days and then we’d move to another hospital that could be across the country. She was either working or we were traveling to the next destination. We weren’t exploring.

Sabrina Campbell Yeah, so I would say that it actually exceeded my expectations. I would say we got to spend a lot of time together, which was what I wanted. And I kind of already knew the setup for the job because before we got on the road, I had already started working in this way and I knew what it was like and how to structure my schedule.

But I would say we got to spend more time together than I expected. Being in the RV was more enjoyable than I expected. I was a little hesitant, afraid of it a little, just because I didn’t know anything about it. And I thought the whole experience exceeded my expectations. But I would agree with Kenny in the fact that we didn’t do very much sightseeing. And part of it was the way I set up my schedule.

In the beginning, of course, I had a ton of student loans. So I had to work on paying those off. So I did structure my schedule where I was working about 18 to 20 shifts a month in the beginning just to help work on those.

Kenny Phillips But not at one location.

Sabrina Campbell Not at one location. So I would be five days here, three days there, seven days there. So we really didn’t see much in between. A lot of people would say, oh my gosh, it’s so great. You get to travel. You get to see things.

I saw nothing. I saw the inside of the hospital and the inside of the RV. Kenny would send me pictures from cookie shops he’d go to and things he would visit and tell me how wonderful this bakery was. And I would be like, oh, that’s great. That’s great.

Kenny Phillips So I, in that sense, I did get to sightsee, but I’ll say, you know, we weren’t always in the most desirable locations. You know, the hospitals that needed to help most are not Hawaii. They’re not near a national park. They’re Iri P.A. in the wintertime. They’re Chicago in the wintertime. They’re Florida in the summertime. It’s where the people don’t want to be. And that’s where like we were going.

So, but you know, every once in a we would be in a cool location and I did, I mean, I did have the time to go out and explore and I would take all these photos and then send them to her. Be like, look what me and Belle did today.

Kait Russo So for people who are currently medical professionals and maybe have a more traditional job, if they’re interested in doing this travel type of thing in an RV, what’s that transition or what should they be looking for?

Sabrina Campbell I think first they probably need to reach out to some of the companies, the recruiting companies, and kind of find out what in their specialty is available. Because every specialty is different. The way you work is different. Is it in the hospital? Is it in a clinic? What kind of shifts are you going to have? Are you going to have set 12 -hour shifts? Are you going to have eight -hour shifts plus call? And I think you’ve got to look into that first and what areas are most popular.

Like Kenny was saying, maybe not the most popular areas will come up frequently. So you’re like, Ok, I know I need a such and such license, or this license, or this state’s really popular and continually has jobs. And so I would probably want to know what state licenses I have and what states are the popular ones. I wouldn’t go out and get a bunch of licenses because the companies that you work for will pay for those licenses initially. But just kind of keeping your eye on the market and what that looks like.

And then just being aware of the fact that you need to look into what you’re gonna do for health insurance, how are you gonna set up retirement, how are you gonna set up disability insurance, all of those other insurances that your hospital would normally pay for, your job would normally pay for, those aren’t paid for when you do it like this, when you travel this way.

Kenny Phillips The other great pro to it though is negotiating power. You really switch the power. You’re going from working at a hospital that wants you to sign a three year contract, to now a place that’s desperately looking for help and is willing to pay you just for that week. So that puts a lot of negotiating power into the physician or the nurse. Nursing has the same potential as well, like power switch as well.

Sabrina Campbell The nurses, the doctors that come in as contract, because you’re willing to travel, because you’re coming to a new place and just, they’re not paying any benefits for you, you definitely make more than you were going to make if you were a full-timer.

And I know that was a big problem during the pandemic because people were like, you know, I actually care about this institution. I’ve been here for years. I care what happens to it. I’m invested in it. And this person’s coming in and making more than I make. And it it drove out a lot of people out of the industry to go and travel and to do other things because they were like, I can go down the street and make more than staying at this hospital that I’ve been at for however many years.

Kait Russo So based on the schedule that you described, it sounds like there was a lot of driving and maybe Kenny has become a professional driver at this point, would you do this as a solo traveling physician? Like, could you do this type of schedule or the type of RV travel that you did do by yourself?

Sabrina Campbell I think it would be too much. I think it would be too much with the way I was working before, because I think it would be a lot to keep track of. First, I’d be tired from the driving and then starting my shifts the next day. And then if there were any maintenance things.

Our running joke for the years that I did it was, I just live here. So I didn’t have any other responsibilities really and Kenny would essentially take care of pretty much everything. And so I don’t think I would want to do it with having to drive and then work and then leave and then drive again.

I think if I was setting it up more the way I have it now where it’s a little bit more relaxed, where I’m leaving once or twice a month, it would be more feasible. But I think the way we were doing it before, it would be too much.

Kenny Phillips Yeah, we were doing 25 to almost 30, about 25,000 miles a year on the Class A, which is a lot for a Class A. It’s probably not much for you guys with the van life going on, but for a Class A, 25 ,000 miles on a Class A per year is a decent amount. You can only travel so much in a day with a Class A and we’re towing a car, so it is tiring to be driving 10 hours a day. So we would spread them out during days. So it would take us a lot of times five days in between jobs to go from one job to the next.

So I think it would be difficult for a solo, the way we were going anyway. Towards the end, we started slowing down. Student loans got paid off. Sabrina didn’t have to work as much or we were able to separate the jobs a little bit further apart from each other and we were able to slow down our travels.

Joe Russo Over the course of the six years, the two of you were full -time RVers. Can you kind of expand on how things changed and how you learned kind of to live the RV lifestyle and be efficient with what you were doing?

Kenny Phillips I would say that we were super efficient. I mean, just setting up camp, I mean, most of our full timing was in campgrounds, because we weren’t really boondocking a lot. It was really, we were in the RV for that work scenario. So I mean, even for us to like pull into a campsite, Sabrina doesn’t even help me back in the rig or nothing. I mean, I need no help anymore.

Sabrina Campbell He calls me pockets.

Kenny Phillips Because when we first started even and she would help me back the RV in she would have her hands in her pockets and just giving me nods yes or no as I was backing in so she gained the nickname pockets. And then eventually I was just like you know what you might as well just stay in here because you’re not really doing much back there anyway.

So yeah we were quick to you know back into a site we had our routine of setting up the RV the way we wanted Sabrina would put our MagnaShade up and that was that’s her job, MagnaShade, and she got the propane and I did everything else.

And then I maintained the RV while she’s at work. I’m maintaining, I’m doing inspections on the RV that week that she’s at work to make sure that we’re not going to have any issues driving, say, from Florida to California. I just want to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. So we definitely had a routine down.

When traveling in between that, that distance to each location. We’re stopping at Flying Js, casinos, Cracker Barrels, no campground stays, nothing like that because we didn’t want to try to book a reservation, have to be somewhere at the end of the day. We just wanted to be able to stop wherever we felt like stopping for that night.

Sabrina Campbell Yeah. And then over the course, as far as my scheduling from the beginning to the end of the six years, I started to kind of lighten up my schedule a bit more.

And then I also started to try to schedule if I was scheduling between maybe two states, so it’d be Pennsylvania and Virginia, just to make it so that we weren’t traveling all the way across the country. Maybe we were doing 700 miles to get from one assignment to the other. So then just making that a little more efficient and I think it helped when we started to slow down a little bit more.

Joe Russo Do you have any seniority within this system that allows you to book things that other people might not be able to get? No, not particularly. No sort of seniority.

Sabrina Campbell The only thing I would say is that if you’re good at what you do and you treat people with respect and kindness and you’re not harming patients, your recruiter is more likely to call you first if you’re easier to work with. So it’s not really a seniority thing, but more like a, oh, I know Dr. So and so is super nice, super smart. Everybody loves this person where they go. So then I’m going to offer them the assignments quickly when they come up.

So I would say it’s more of a personality and how you work thing rather than the time you’ve been doing it.

Kenny Phillips But Joe, to that point, she is, I feel, the top choice. Whenever these hospitals are looking for somebody, they ask for her by name. And before she got into this, a lot of her colleagues said, you know, this is going to be career suicide. You’ll never be able to get a standard job again if this doesn’t go well. And it’s been the absolute opposite because every hospital she goes to by the time her seven days are up, they are offering her a full-time job. They’re like, what do we need to do to keep you here forever.

Kait Russo Do you have a tip for someone who’s looking to kind of do what you did for getting in an RV and traveling as a medical professional?

Sabrina Campbell I would say my tip is that nothing is permanent. So if it doesn’t work out, you can always change. It’s not a big deal to give something a try and then backtrack if it doesn’t work out for you.

And then I would just say research, research, look into your options as far as areas you want to be in, hospitals, what are the companies you’re looking into. And then also always have an emergency fund because something to keep in mind is that sometimes assignments can cancel. So you have 30 days notice that you can give an assignment, they can give you 30 days notice.

And sometimes there might not be something in an area you want or a particular practice style that you want to work in and you might not have a job for a month or two. And so it’s just something to be aware of before you get into it.

Kenny Phillips I would also add, think about the type of personality you have or maybe if you don’t realize the type of personality that you have maybe ask people around you in the fact are you okay with being the new person on a job weekly?

You’re starting at a new location, it’s a new computer program. You’re the new guy, you’re the new girl. Every place you go and you’re going to do that maybe 30 times in a single year. Would you be okay with that? Being thrown almost into the fire, I guess.

Sabrina Campbell That’s definitely a good point and I always forget that because I don’t mind change and I don’t mind being around new things and walking in and someone saying, Dr. Campbell, you’re here and the patient in bed seven needs to be intubated and you’re like, who is bed seven? I don’t have a badge yet. I don’t even have computer access, but let’s do this kind of thing. And just being okay with that.

And I have friends that I trained with and they’re not okay with like not knowing who their respiratory therapist is, who their nurse is, who everybody is or what equipment they have. And so just knowing your personality and is that something you’re okay with is a really good point.

Joe Russo Does it bring up any other challenges when you as a doctor go into a situation like that and you don’t know who your respiratory therapist is? How does that make your job, how does that change your job as compared to if you were in a place full-time?

Sabrina Campbell One thing is just never assuming, never assuming what someone else knows or doesn’t know. So then just learning to always clearly explain what you need, what you need somebody to do. You don’t know anything about them.

So if I need you to get this particular medication, just clarifying what’s the dose? Do you have this medication in this hospital? Do you have this particular equipment? And just looking around and asking questions and being okay with asking questions and being okay with repeating things and clarifying before you do things.

And so that’s a challenge because of course, like you’re pointing out, you can run into situations where you assume somebody knows how to do something and they don’t, but you’ve never met them before so you don’t know. So just being very clear with your communication I think is helpful.

Joe Russo Are there things that you do miss now that you’ve been doing this for so long that you would consider going back to a full \-time position?

Sabrina Campbell No. No.

Kenny Phillips So she did try. We did try in this time period. It’s been seven years that you’ve been doing the locum and the traveling doctor. There was one period that she’s like, you know what, let’s…

Let’s try going back to a standard contract, normal hospital job, and she lasted three months.

Sabrina Campbell And then gave my three months notice.

Joe Russo What was it about the two different lifestyles that kind of drew you back to traveling?

Sabrina Campbell My time and having control of my time and my schedule. And just, I know everybody talks about this and quote, work life balance. And when I feel like when you’re in a regular fixed position, there’s just work work balance. There’s no life. And just getting back to being able to make my own schedule, being able to work in the manner I want to work in, just take care of patients and not have to worry about all the ancillary things, insurance, administration, schedule, just, just being able to have control of my time was the main thing.

Kait Russo So you’ve been assigned a project, let’s say in Pennsylvania, once that happens, could you kind of walk through who’s planning the route to get out there, how much time you have, if you’re gonna be there for seven days, are you booking a campground ahead of time? Like what is that travel process and everything look like.

Kenny Phillips I come up with how long it’ll take us to get there. Especially I just have a better idea of like what’s actually possible as far as how many miles that we can do in a day, even taking consideration, traffic and stuff like that.

Sabrina typically books the campground because she has a better understanding of like where the hospital is and how far away she wants to be from that. So you do the campground part of it. And we usually have what we would have at least 60 days notice. I feel like almost.

Sabrina Campbell Not always. Not always.We had one night to the next morning.

Kenny Phillips That’s true, and that was a tough one, but we made it.

Sabrina Campbell So once my recruiter would contact me with a location, I would look up what campgrounds are within 30 minutes of this hospital. If I found an acceptable campground within 30 minutes of this hospital, and it was like the details I wanted for the hospital, I would accept the assignment. And then I would contact them, book it, and then I would let Kenny know, hey, we need to be in this location February 13th. And then he’d let me know, okay, this is how many days we need to get there and kind of go from there. And then it was all in his hands after that.

Kait Russo What do you consider an acceptable campground?

Kenny Phillips We’re bougie.

Sabrina Campbell We’re a little bougie, but.

Kenny Phillips Not terribly bougie.

Sabrina Campbell I definitely wanted full hookups. So full hookups was pretty important to me. And then by like hospital bylaws, I had to be within 30 minutes of the hospital if I was taking call. So that would be something that was important to me. And it didn’t have 1 .5 star reviews.

Kenny Phillips We found ourselves in a lot of KOAs just because they were consistently good and they were easy to book.

Kait Russo And when you’re traveling and booking these contracts with the hospitals, are they covering your campground fees and your travel expenses or are you negotiating that rate into your contract?

Sabrina Campbell No, they’re covering the fees. So normally if you weren’t in an RV, they would cover hotel flights or mileage and rental car. And so then with the campgrounds, I would book them myself because it got when I tried to do it in the beginning to have them, it just got so confusing because they don’t know what we need. And so I would book it and then I submit the receipt for reimbursement and they’ll cover the campground fees.

And then I would also submit mileage and obviously IRS rate of mileage does not cover the fuel in an RV. So there was a loss on that, but just being able to travel in the RV, have my own bathroom, bedroom, have Kenny and Belle with me was worth it for that.

Kenny Phillips Hey, I made the list.

Joe Russo Well, now that you two are back to having a home base, how have things changed?

Sabrina Campbell I fly a lot. I fly a lot and I do not enjoy flying. Let me first say that I do not enjoy flying, but I fly a lot because it’s kind of difficult to be again, the job in the winter are up north. And so it’s kind of difficult. For example, I’m up near Chicago right now and it’s difficult to be up there with the RV in the winter. The campgrounds are all closed. Then I end up flying back and forth. So I think that’s changed it a lot.

And then before we kind of tried to coordinate where we were and move in the vicinity of those states, now it kind of opened it up. Since I am going to fly, I can go pretty much anywhere.

Kait Russo Has the way you use your RV changed from being full-time RVers to now part-time?

Kenny Phillips Absolutely.

Sabrina Campbell Kenny hates it.

Kenny Phillips I don’t like being part timers. I don’t like the house per se. I don’t really enjoy having a home base. But I will say when we get in the RV now, which is still quite often, it’s now a true vacation. Now, instead of 90% of our time in the RV being work and 10% of it being vacation. When we’re in the RV, now 90% of that time is vacation.

And we get to enjoy the RV lifestyle the way that we saw it on YouTube. We’re taking it and driving it down to Mexico. We’re bringing it to the national parks. We’re about to do a Disneyland trip with my parents in it. We’re going to do a Disney World trip later this year. We’re going to Moab.

Like now, the RV has not become a tool for work. Now the RV has become our vacation home, which is awesome, but I still don’t feel like we spend enough time in it. I miss the full time traveling in the RV. I was very cozy in the RV. It’s a Class A, but it’s a small Class A. We’re only 28 feet long. And I felt like we had everything we need.

I feel like the house is very excessive and just kind of like double duty now. Like now I feel like I do you know, maintenance and make sure everything’s okay on the house. And I’m making sure everything’s okay on the URV. So I feel like it’s a little repetitive. I feel like the RV already has everything we need. We didn’t need the house.

Sabrina Campbell And I still just live here in both places.

Kenny Phillips In both places. Man, I just miss that full time travel. I just miss waking up and saying, oh, I wonder where we’re going today. I wonder where we’re stopping today. I wonder what we’re gonna see today.

The house is like Groundhog Day. I know everything that’s going to happen in this day by 7:05 in the morning.

Joe Russo I want to go back to something Kenny that you said, or both of you said in the beginning, which was the reason you chose to do this was so you could get to spend more time together. It sounds like you’re back to kind of the old way, which is Sabrina, you fly off for X amount of time and Kenny is alone in the home that he doesn’t want. So what is that like?

Kenny Phillips The good thing is now because the student loans are paid off, she doesn’t have to work crazy, crazy hours. So you are home 15, 16 days a month.

Sabrina Campbell At least.

Kenny Phillips At least. With no work at all. That is a lot of quality time for us to spend together. It’s just the 10 days, 12 days that she’s now gone that we’re not spending that time together. So in the grand scheme of things, we are still spending more time together in this scenario than when you had the full contracted job, I guess you could say.

But, if we were back in the RV

Sabrina Campbell I know, I know.

Kenny Phillips and just traveling still, we would be spending every day.

Sabrina Campbell It definitely crossed my mind actually earlier when we were talking, so I’m glad you asked that. But definitely we are spending less time together now that we aren’t full-time because I do go away to the hotel 10 days, 11 days or so and then I fly back home but when I’m home I’m home. I would say it’s more quality time.

Kenny Phillips So the takeaway is that the RV affords more quality time together and it’s just the better option.

Sabrina Campbell Is that the takeaway? That’s the takeaway.

Kait Russo When Sabrina is flying to her contract for the next 10 days have you thought about joining her and living the hotel life for a little bit or maybe when she’s away taking the RV and going on an adventure with Belle?

Kenny Phillips So yes and yes, but the problem with the hotel life is Belle. Belle doesn’t do well in hotel settings. In fact, when we were looking into this lifestyle before the RV, because the hospitals pay for your travel and pay for your hotel, we were entertaining the idea that, well, we’ll just live from hotel to hotel before the idea of the RV came around, but Belle just doesn’t do well.

We really bought an RV for our dog. She’s gotta be 70% of the reason why we even started looking into RV and be like, oh, wait, she could go to every campground with us and they’re pet friendly. We don’t have to worry about her in a hotel where she barks and gets upset if somebody walks past the door.

I would like us to use the RV more to travel to her work destinations a little bit more. And yeah, I would do some trips with just Belle and I, especially now that we got the Jeep.

Joe Russo You touched on this earlier about how someone who’s interested in living this lifestyle and being a traveling medical professional can kind of get into it, but can you go into detail of, if they’re interested, like where do you find these recruiters? How do you find all of this stuff? What should people be looking for? And if they are still in school, but interested in living this lifestyle, what are some things they should be focusing on that might make them more appealing to recruiters or hospitals or that type of thing?

Sabrina Campbell As far as starting out, the first thing you’d probably want to do is go online and look up. So the actual profession is locum, and it’s basically just means filling in for another doctor.

And so then you would just want to go online and Google locum companies, and a whole list of companies are going to come up. But you’d want to look into the bigger companies. I’ve heard issues with some of the smaller companies. A lot of companies popped up during the pandemic because it’s a money making business for them. It’s a business.

And so you just want to make sure you’re going with bigger companies that are established so that you’re sure you’re actually going to get paid. You can contact one of the companies. The recruiters are almost like headhunters. They’ll be happy to work with you, happy to talk with you, spend time with you, become your best friend, I’ll put in quotes and find out more information about your training and all of this stuff and then they’ll send you a list of jobs.

You have to do credentialing through them first and get references and all of this stuff. And then they’ll send you this list of jobs that you can pick from. And if there’s something that piques your interest, they’ll help you apply for licenses and credentialing and all of that stuff and set you up.

Kenny Phillips But also be careful. I don’t know if this is such a thing anymore, but I remember in the beginning, the recruiters would be telling Sabrina, oh, they only want you for X amount of hours. This is what your staff looks like. And then you would get there.

Sabrina Campbell And it’s different.

Kenny Phillips And it’s different.

Sabrina Campbell So it’s a good idea to, if they’re, if you can, when you’re talking to the recruiter having them, oh hey, you know, I’m interested in this assignment, but I would like to speak with a doctor that’s already at this hospital that’s already on staff to find out what it’s actually like.

Because a lot of times the recruiters don’t know the details of what you do at work and what is normal for you. And so it helps to actually speak with somebody that’s there, that’s actually practicing there.

Kenny Phillips Something that was really common is they might tell you, oh, you’re only going to see eight to 10 patients a day. You get there and you’re actually seeing 25 patients a day.

And like you said, it wasn’t necessarily that the recruiter is trying to steer you in the wrong direction. They’re not there, they just don’t really know.

Sabrina Campbell Or they would say things like, oh, you’re going to go to a hospital with residents and fellows, so you’re going to see 35 patients, but you don’t actually need to see them unless it’s above the amount the residency. And you’re like, that’s not how residency works. So these docs are in training. It’s not that they’re just left to the wild and going to see all the patients unless it’s too many. So they don’t really understand some of the things that go on with that.

I would say if you’re in school separately, if you’re in school, I can’t really think of anything that makes you more appealing, just getting a license and finishing.

Kenny Phillips I have a question. Are you allowed to go right from school, like right from residency, right into locum, or do you have to show that you’ve worked in a hospital for X amount of years before you start doing locum?

Sabrina Campbell No, there’s no requirement for X amount of years. So you could go directly, well, after residency, you could go directly from residency and go into locum work. You can go directly. And actually some of them will even start contacting you about six months before you finish and you can look into some assignments, some assignments with them.

They, of course, most places want you to be board certified, only some of like the smaller rural hospitals, you can not be board certified, but any hospital of size will want you to be board certified. So just doing your regular, like doing well on your boards, taking your boards, getting your licenses.

They want you to usually have a clean record. So they’re going to ask you about malpractice, ask you about like DEA violations, medicare violations and all of those things. So as long as you keep your record clean, everybody’s happy to work with you and happy to place you. Because there’s this like standard, I don’t know if it’s like eight or nine questions that they ask you about like substance abuse and malpractice and all of those things that if you have no’s for all of those, everybody’s happy to happy to work with you and take you.

So some of the companies I work with, I work a lot with MPLT Healthcare is one of the ones I’ve been working with them for the last two and a half years or so and I’ve enjoyed working with my recruiter there. Whether it be healthcare, Comp Health are the main ones I’ve worked with. I’ve worked with a few others in the past. I’m not going to bad mouth anybody, but I’ve worked with a few others in the past, but those have been the main ones that I’ve really enjoyed working with.

Joe Russo If someone is in the nursing profession, is that different from what different process from what you do? If you know.

Sabrina Campbell I think it’s a little bit different. Some of the travel nurses I’ve spoken to at work, their assignments are actually different from ours. So their assignments are usually 13 weeks and they can extend them. While for us, an assignment can be as little as one day. If the hospital one day or two days, if a hospital just needs July 3rd and 4th, you might just be contracted to go there for two days.

With nursing, I believe it’s 13 weeks is their contracts and you can extend them longer. And then with nursing, what I’m hearing is that their travel is more of a stipend. So then when they’re negotiating their rate for the assignment, they’re getting a stipend and they’re getting paid that stipend and then paying for their housing and all of those things. That’s just what I’ve heard.

And so I’ve even met a couple nurses that are in their RVs and they do that because it’s cheaper than actually staying at a hotel for the 13 weeks, being in an RV in a campground. Or some people will even find roommates and the two of them if they’re on an assignment for 13 weeks, we’ll rent an apartment together for the 13 weeks just to defray some of the costs. And so that’s definitely something different with their contracts.

I don’t really know about, like as far as like insurance, like malpractice and health insurance and stuff like that, how that works for them. I know we don’t have any, we have to get that all marketplace. Malpractice is covered, but health insurance isn’t. So all the locum companies for doctors will cover malpractice, but they don’t cover like health insurance or anything like that.

Kenny Phillips Should also mention too, that you have a state license. For every state that she works in, she needs a state license. You also need a DEA license, but the DEA license is transferable. So you only have three of them and you kind of rotate them around.

Sabrina Campbell Yes. Yeah. So you need a state license for every state. There is a compact for nursing and a compact for doctors now where you can get one state license and it facilitates others, but not every state is part of the compact. So I have a bunch of licenses that aren’t part of any compact states. So I didn’t do the compact because I didn’t want to pay the fees because I already had all these licenses before the compact became a thing. But you need a state license unless you work at the VA. The VA’s one state license will work at any VA.

Kenny Phillips And the computer system at a VA is the same across the country. So it makes your first day at every location a little bit better compared to hospitals you would think all shared a similar program for putting in meds and things like that. And that’s apparently not the case.

Sabrina Campbell Nope, it’s not the case. So I have a couple systems that I enjoy working with and I’m very familiar with and they’re not painful. And so when I’m asking my recruiters, I will ask them what medical record system does this hospital have? And there’s a couple of them that I will flat out refuse an assignment just because of the medical record system. I’m like, I almost shed a tear the last time I was at a hospital with this system. I’m never going back to another hospital with it. So there’s a few systems that I enjoy working with and I will eliminate people if they don’t have the right one.

So I would say some things consider one be flexible and understand that every hospital is different and every situation has its every hospital has its own culture. So there are things that are normal there you’re not going to go in and change anything in a week that you’re there so just being flexible and working with the equipment you have the people you have and yeah that’s what I would say for one of the tips.

The other tips. Your rate, negotiable which I didn’t know in the beginning so your rate is negotiable and it may be greatly negotiable or not so much, but it’s negotiable. So at least try to negotiate. If the worst they can say is no. So at least try to negotiate.

I’ve had companies that are saying that will say to me, what are you looking to get paid? And then they’re like, oh, we don’t pay that. And I’m like, oh, I bet you don’t. And then there’s other companies that they’ll just flat out tell you some rate that’s ridiculous. And you’re like, no, that’s not the going rate because I just spoke with company X yesterday that was offering twice that. So it just depends. But.

Kenny Phillips Or some hospitals will say, well, we pay in sunshine.

Sabrina Campbell Oh, yes. California and Florida, they’ve told me they pay in sunshine. And I’m like, well, sunshine doesn’t pay bills. So just knowing your rate is negotiable and you can probably move the needle a little bit, which I didn’t know when I, for the first three months I started, I had no idea.

Joe Russo And Kenny, what tips or advice would you have for a partner, spouse that’s traveling with a nurse, a doctor?

Kenny Phillips It’s easy for me because I’m a very patient person. Their jobs are incredibly, incredibly stressful. So you got to think of the day that they’re having, like, and especially for Sabrina.

Sabrina is a pulmonary critical care physician. She is honestly seeing death on a daily to weekly basis. And, you know, you just want to give them a little bit of space when they get done their shift. You don’t want to pounce on them and ask them, hey, you know, you want to make a video, you want to do this, you want to go out for dinner.

A lot of times even dinner to Sabrina will be like, oh, I just really want to sit down and decompress and relax for at least 24 to 48 hours. So I would say, you know, learn to give the person their space, which isn’t always easy in an RV, but it’s possible, you know, got outdoor space, you have indoor space.

So give them their space, be patient, and just try to understand like, you know, their jobs are highly, highly stressful.

Joe Russo Do you have tricks that you two used in an RV since it is such a small space to give each other space?

Kenny Phillips I don’t know if there are tips and tricks. And we learned this from friends of ours to you let the person, if somebody’s in the kitchen, they own that kitchen while they’re there. Don’t be going in there trying to do something else, try to make something else. Don’t even go in there to grab silverware or a cup or anything. They have that space, that’s their space. Let them own that space until they’re done with it. And then they sit down and then you move into that space. Don’t try to keep on occupying the same space.

Even just, you know, let one person walk by before you walk by. And we’re even in a Class A where we do have room. We could walk by each other at the same time, but Sabrina’s clumsy and she will knock me over. Just let the person have the space as they need it.

We’re also fortunate to have a solid door in our bedroom, which was, I mean, we purposely were looking for that, but we didn’t realize just how important that would be when she’s working, especially on night shift and she’s trying to sleep during the day and I’m out in the living space of our class A and she’s back in the bedroom. That solid door really came in handy.

So if you’re looking, if you’re going to be traveling and you too need privacy, I’m not putting privacy in quotes in an RV. I mean, there’s not much. I mean, you hear everything, smell everything, you see everything, but a solid door does make a difference.

Sabrina Campbell The world is very big. So I definitely enjoy like podcasts and audiobooks. So if I’m feeling like extra stressed and I’m just like I don’t even want to be around anybody. Sorry Kenny. I don’t want to be around anybody right now. I just want to relax I will even just leave the RV either walk our dog Belle outside or just listen to a podcast while I walk and I find that that very enjoyable.

And so sometimes just just getting outside the RV fresh air sunshine and just being away isn’t that bad of a thing?

Kenny Phillips Yeah, and that helps too with the campgrounds that we pick. We try to pick areas that have a nice walk around spot or maybe we stayed at a lot of campgrounds that even had like little cafes or a restaurant or a bar. Again, going back to like bougie campgrounds. But, you know, having that additional space outside of the RV made a huge difference.

Kait Russo You did mention that you have a class A. Could you kind of walk through, give the listeners a visual, maybe like tour of your camper?

Kenny Phillips Sure, so we have what would be considered like a mid -entry where the door is right behind the passenger seat. So when you come into our RV and it’s set up, we’ll have our two captain’s chairs that are turned and facing our 48 inch TV that we have on a wall.

We have a dinette that is right in front of you. Now because we are 28 feet, we’re on the smaller side, we don’t have a sofa. We only have the dinette. It was like either or that came in our floor plan. If we were just slightly larger, you’d probably get a sofa as well. So we have our dinette, our two captain’s chairs, and that’s our seating situation.

Then in our kitchen, which was super important because we knew that we were going to be making a lot of our own meals, we have an L-shaped countertop, and that just allowed us to have plenty of room to prep for food. We have a residential size microwave, but we have a RV size refrigerator.

We have a bathroom that’s a full bath. So shower, toilet and sink all in one room, but the bath, the shower and the toilet are separated from one another, but they are in the same room together. We also have a sink in there. And then we move into the bedroom, which is in the rear of the RV, a residential queen size bed in the back.

The reason for the Class A for us was that it did give us a little bit of space, even though it was small. We wanted to be under 30 feet to get into all the national parks.

But we wanted that solid door. We also wanted the cargo space that Class A has. So we have a lot of cargo bays on the outside to carry our entire lives with us from location to location. And we also wanted the Class A for the larger water tanks. Even though we weren’t doing a lot of boondocking, we knew, you know, all right, well, a trip from Florida to California is a lot of days on the road and we’re not stopping at campgrounds in between. We want that water and cargo water capacity to make it for a five day drive.

Kait Russo You all have had the same RV since the beginning. Have you ever considered switching in those six years, especially when you were full time?

Kenny Phillips No, no. We’ve thought about adding on, but never switching.

Kait Russo Adding on, explain.

Sabrina Campbell To the fleet.

Kenny Phillips Yeah, we’d like to get a van now. Now that we have the home base so. We would like to get a van, Belle’s getting older, she’s like 10 years old now, so that if we were to do like a day trip and we were hitting maybe different wineries, not that I’m promoting drinking and driving or anything like that, but if you were to go, say you were to go explore a little town, then you were going to maybe have lunch and then maybe hit a winery and then head home for the day, it’s a long day to be out. And our idea is, well, if we had a small, I mean, small little camper van, Belle could go with us for that whole entire day and be comfortable in the van and we wouldn’t have to constantly worry about her back at the house.

So just like we bought an RV for Belle, there may be a small camper van in Belle’s future as well.

But we also thought it would be great for like little weekend trips because we do live in an area that we’re like, we got a lot of national parks, a lot of state parks and stuff like that. And if maybe instead of just like loading up the entire Class A, because that’s something that is, well, you guys might know now too. I mean, when you have a home base and your RV.

Sabrina Campbell It’s a project.

Kenny Phillips It’s a project to move all your stuff into the RV and then after the trip you unload it. So we’re thinking like a little van, it’d be fun for little weekend trips and stuff like that too.

Joe Russo All right, I think it’s time to ask our last question.

Kait Russo Okay, go for it. So what is one thing that you wish you knew before you started RVing?

Kenny Phillips I wish I knew the community, the people that we were gonna meet were gonna be this awesome. I would have jumped into RVing so much faster. I had no idea that we would have more friends now by traveling in an RV than we did living in a stationary area. Which I guess kind of makes sense because you’re only going to run into the same people in a stationary location.

But honestly, I didn’t think people would be this friendly. Like the RV community would be this friendly where we’re making, where we’re making like lifelong friends. I wouldn’t have waited until I was in my 40s to start RVing. I would have done it at a much younger age.

Sabrina Campbell I was going to say that anything can break at any time.

Kenny Phillips But I fix it.

Sabrina Campbell I know. But it’s just I wasn’t I was expecting it to be more like a vehicle in the fact that you’re not having to bring your car to the shop all the time or something’s not falling off all the time. But in the RV, something is always falling apart and needing fix. And I wasn’t expecting, even when we first got it, I wasn’t expecting that.

Joe Russo Someone said to us, I think it was in an RV dealer where it was a woman. She came out to look at something and she looks at me and she said, listen, if 80% of the RV is working 100% of the time, you’re doing really good.

Kenny Phillips And I will say like, you know, seven years later, 131 ,000 miles, everything that we have works 100%. We don’t have one.

Sabrina Campbell Don’t jinx us.

Kenny Phillips But I’m saying, I mean, that’s, but that takes a lot of maintenance. That takes a lot of time. I mean, something that you got to really work at to kind of keep it going, I think, if you, if you really want it to be in like that, that tip top shape to make it.

But I will also say one thing I wish we knew before we got into RVing, because we didn’t realize it, um, like when watching YouTubers and we were kind of guilty of this too, is everybody talks about winter package, cold package.

We have found that it is way easier to keep RV warm in the winter time than it is to keep it cool in the summertime. If we were to buy this RV again, we would have definitely gone for the same floor plan, same size and everything, but we would have gotten two AC units instead of just one.

Because man, like Arizona, a hundred degrees outside, we are not cooling off the AC. We’re just not cooling off the RV inside with one AC.

Yeah, I wish we knew it wasn’t the other way around because when we were like doing research and stuff, we were like, we were like, oh, it’s got to have a really good furnace. It’s got to have the insulation for the cold. Heat pump, this, that, and then man, we were so backwards on it. We really needed to be looking for something that was able to keep cool in the summertime.

Joe Russo Well, you two have been awesome. Thank you so much for joining us. And Kenny, I know you’re part of a podcast as well. You guys have a YouTube channel. So do you want to tell the audience where they can find you?

Kenny Phillips So we’re Moving Forward Adventures. You can find us on YouTube and Instagram under that name. I’m also the co-creator and co-host of Beyond the Wheel podcast. And you can find that on every major podcast platform. We’re taking a look at the RV industry and yeah, come check us out. We’d love to have you listening, watch us, laugh at us. Whatever you’d like to do is fine with us.

Joe Russo Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode of RVing with Joe and Kait. As always, you can find the links to resources that we mentioned down in the show notes below along with a link to an article we wrote about ways to make money while full timing on the road. You’ll also find links to both of my books Take Risks and Tales from the Open Road.

If you happen to have a suggestion for an episode of RVing with Joe and Kait, submit feedback on our website and let us know what you want to hear. Well, that is it for today’s episode.

Thank you again for listening. And please, if you have a moment, leave us a review, rating or just follow us on whatever podcast app you’re using.

We’ll talk to you next time. Bye!

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