The holidays are often a time for people to take a break from their professional lives and spend quality time with family. Hospitals often need additional coverage during this season to account for increased census and staff shortages, presenting opportunities for locum tenens providers.
Maybe you have often reserved the season for your loved ones, but you’re taking this year to practice medicine instead. Or, perhaps you have a tradition of working throughout the holidays. Although accepting assignments during this season might not be something you do each year, there are significant advantages to accepting contracts that take place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Since many permanent staff members want time off during the holidays, you may find a wider array of locum tenens opportunities from which to choose. This is especially beneficial if you are interested in practicing at a specific facility or want an assignment in a highly desirable destination.
No matter your motivation for practicing, it can be challenging to be away from family and traditions. Here, we offer some suggestions to bolster holiday cheer when you’re working locum tenens during this season.
- Bring along your traditions. If you have always enjoyed making Christmas cookies, stick your favorite cookie cutters and recipe in your suitcase and set aside some time to make cookies while you’re on assignment. If you typically light a treasured menorah, pack it with care and take it with you. Maintaining small traditions while you’re away from home can keep you in the holiday spirit. Adding some simple decorations in your apartment or hotel room can help the space feel warm and cheerful.
- Local festivities. Being in a new place during the holiday season means you have an opportunity to take part in new activities and meet new people. Check to see how your assignment community celebrates. You may enjoy local festivals, concerts, or religious services. Reach out to your fellow medical professionals as this could be a great reason to connect with your colleagues.
- Volunteer at a shelter or food bank. By providing locum tenens services during this time of the year, you have already helped improve many people’s holidays. Thanks to you, another provider is getting to be with his or her family while sick or injured patients continue to receive quality care. If you want to take it a step further, consider volunteering at a local shelter or food bank. This experience could become one of your most cherished holiday memories.
- Reunite with distant family and friends. When choosing where to practice during the holidays, you may want to explore the possibility of reconnecting with friends or family. Pick a location you may never travel to on your own! Even though you will likely be busy on the actual holiday, your downtime could still be spent with loved ones.
- Make it a vacation. Other things to consider when choosing an assignment location include climate and geography. Perhaps you live in the Northeast but would prefer to spend your holiday soaking up the sun. Or, maybe you live in the South and long for a white Christmas. Locum tenens contracts offer you the option to be wherever you want to be—from the beach to the ski slopes—during the holiday season.
- Bring your family along. Providers with young families may want to consider bringing their loved ones with them on assignment, especially if their children are not yet school-aged or school vacation matches the contract dates. Though you will likely spend a lot of your time working, your family may enjoy the local activities. Your children will likely see this as an adventure, and you can still carve out time for a holiday meal!
If you leave loved ones at home, consider celebrating the holiday on a different date. It’s never too late (or early) to spend time with one another.
Choice—the greatest gift of all
Illnesses and accidents do not pause for seasonal celebrations, so most healthcare providers have worked their share of holidays. As a locum tenens provider, you get something that tops many a permanent staff member’s wish list—control over your schedule, allowing you to choose between spending the holidays at home or on assignment.
If you have not yet enjoyed a locum tenens opportunity, contact a reputable staffing company like Medicus Healthcare Solutions to explore your options today. Or call us at 855.301.0563 to explore locum tenens opportunities with one of our experienced recruiters.