Locum Tenens Can Enhance These 8 Things Physicians Do to Stay Happy
As a healthcare professional, you are in a remarkable position to impact people’s lives by providing quality care and compassion when patients and their families are most in need. However, that does not immunize you from feeling the effects of stress or needing an outlet away from the job to refresh your spirit.
According to Medscape’s 2022 Physician Lifestyle & Happiness Report, doctors find the following activities to be affirming and effective at beating burnout and finding happiness. We also share information from Healthgrades for Physicians as to how each activity can benefit physicians, along with a note about how working locum tenens can empower individuals in their pursuits to find happiness.
1. Spend time with loved ones.
Healthgrades: “Positive feelings about relationships indicate that spending time with partners and loved ones is a big factor in physician happiness.”
The locum tenens advantage: The benefit of determining your own schedule isn’t just about deciding which days you want to work. Perhaps even more important is the power to choose which days you do not work. This flexibility allows you to fit in more quality, uninterrupted time with family between assignments. There’s also the option to bring partners or loved ones along to locum tenens locations, or even use the opportunity to live and work near extended family for a while.
2. Make time for hobbies.
Healthgrades: “Gardening, cooking, and reading [are] popular hobbies that can easily be worked into a daily routine.“
The locum tenens advantage: If your favorite pastimes are a bit more action-packed, then doing locum tenens can be your gateway to adventures. Share with your All Star Healthcare Solutions consultant your ideal type of locations, such as mountains for skiing, deserts for offroad vehicles, the coasts for surfing. Whatever your hobby, there are likely locum tenens opportunities to match it.
3. Exercise a few days a week.
Healthgrades: “Experts say exercising after a shift can help you transition from work to your personal life. Taking a break for fitness is also a great way to unplug from technology, enjoy the outdoors, and take a break from your thoughts.”
The locum tenens advantage: Being away from home for days or weeks at a time offers a break from daily routines, and more freedom in how to fill your downtime. After shifts or on days off during assignments is a great time to kickstart an exercise regimen — try something new that’s related to the area or focus on training for an event if you have a competitive streak.
4. Get enough sleep.
Healthgrades: “[With sleep,] stress levels can normalize and your glymphatic system can clean your brain to keep your cognitive abilities sharp.”
The locum tenens advantage: To get the best quality sleep while staying in temporary housing accommodations, start with a little relaxation. As a locum tenens provider, your day isn’t prolonged by a slew of administrative tasks after treating patients, which frees up more hours to leisurely dine, unwind with a movie or book, and encourage a state of relaxation before closing your eyes.
5. Eat a healthy diet.
Healthgrades: “Taking time to prepare good-for-you meals to eat at home or on the go is an excellent self-care routine that can keep you happy and feeling your best.”
The locum tenens advantage: Periodically living in various communities cooks up a food-lover’s ideal menu. In addition to eating healthy, you can taste regional fare, check out local growers, and treat yourself to locally owned restaurants.
6. Make time for mental health care.
Healthgrades: “Mental wellness is vital to a physician’s work, no matter how you go about it. If therapy isn’t your thing, you can try other calming practices like meditation, yoga, or tai chi.”
The locum tenens advantage: Many locum tenens professionals state that short-term contracts empower them to devote their focus toward patient care and interactions. That distinction oftentimes leaves individuals refreshed and revived within their careers for greater personal and professional satisfaction and a renewed attitude.
7. Give back.
Healthgrades: “If helping others was the reason you became a doctor, volunteering will give you even more of the happy vibes you thrive on.”
The locum tenens advantage: The flexible nature of locum tenens easily complements the time commitments required to fulfill medical missions. Individuals can construct their work calendars around these trips. Plus, many assignments take you to communities where, without your services, patients may not receive the high-quality care otherwise, which is another way to give back.
8. Take a vacation.
Healthgrades: “Why does vacation make physicians happy? A change of scenery removes everyday stressors and provides more time and space to relax.”
The locum tenens advantage: You don’t have to wait for a vacation to experience a change of scenery. Working locum tenens offers that benefit with each new position. That said, you can turn assignments into vacations by sticking in town for extra days after the contract wraps, or use the opportunity to take daytrips to neighboring cities. You can even invite family to join the fun.