4 Tips for Managing the Locum Tenens Lifestyle

Having the ability to travel to myriad locations and work locum tenens in different settings—such as acute care facilities, group practices, teaching hospitals, and urgent care centers—is an attractive option for many physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and CRNAs. Practicing locum tenens affords autonomy and opportunities for adventure to healthcare professionals who want more control over their careers and personal lives.

For a truly rewarding and successful locum tenens experience, providers who are interested in being independent contractors should become proficient at swiftly adapting to new environments, take measures to avoid stress, and endeavor to maintain a healthy work-life balance. To help, here are several suggestions for managing the locum tenens lifestyle.

  1. Choose locations and practice settings that complement your goals. Perhaps you would like to sample different areas to find a permanent placement opportunity and put down roots. Or maybe you want to earn extra money to pay down loans or pad your nest egg. Then again, you may opt to simply sample new locales and/or the joys of semi-retirement. To get the greatest satisfaction, establish what you want and make decisions that will support your wishes. Of course, you should consider other factors, too, such as variances in staffing levels, facility size, and patient populations.
  2. If you want something that isn’t in the contract, consider negotiating for it. Locum tenens staffing firms and client facilities want the experience to be beneficial for all parties. They know your satisfaction is integral to that end and they could be open to compromise, if a request can realistically be fulfilled. Understand that certain elements, like compensation and caseload, may not be open for discussion. Also, you should be prepared to state why a request is particularly meaningful to you, and if applicable, how it might help you in your role. If you have a reasonable demand, it is prudent to ask about it prior to signing a contract instead of wondering what could have been done had you inquired at the start.
  3. Bring family, pets, and/or creature comforts with you, when possible. For some, this may be particularly important during long-term assignments. Having loved ones, furry friends, and/or things that contribute to your physical ease and well-being—such as photos, small décor items, good food, and favorite products—along for the adventure can help you feel at home. However, if you want family members and/or animals with you, communicate this to your recruiter from the onset, and let him or her know exactly whom you would like to accompany you. Because traveling with one or more people and pets can be a challenge in terms of arranging for appropriate housing, ensure early in the process that it is possible.
  4. Plan for time off just as you plan for assignments. One of the top benefits of accepting temporary opportunities is having the freedom to take vacations and mini-getaways whenever you like. You can fit locum tenens work around such respites and/or ask your recruiter to request certain days off during a long-term contract. After all, as an independent contractor you are able to arrange your own schedule. Penciling in breaks that will allow you to unwind, go home for a few days, enjoy favorite activities, and/or travel to see family or friends can help to prevent burnout and stress.

If you would like to make the most of practicing locum tenens, visit Medicus Healthcare Solutions, and call 855.301.0563 to speak with one of our experienced, knowledgeable recruiters today.

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