Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance with Locum Tenens Practice
Physicians and advanced practitioners often put in long hours, juggling a wide range of responsibilities that include everything from patient care and charting to administrative tasks, meetings, and even learning new technology. Add in the pressure that comes from the life-and-death nature of their work, and this can result in an unhealthy work-life balance with wide-reaching consequences, including anxiety, depression, and burnout.
August is National Wellness Month, an appropriate time to reflect on how you take care of yourself, manage stress, and what you can do to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
According to a 2021 Medscape survey, 42 percent of physicians said they are experiencing burnout, and that number increased to more than 50 percent in some specialties. When asked, “Which workplace issues concern you most?” the number-one response was “work-life balance.”
Fortunately, locum tenens practice sets the stage for harmony between home and work. Locums providers can set their own schedule, deciding how often they want to work and how much time they want off in between assignments. They can let their recruiter know which shifts they prefer; how they feel about being on call; and specific dates, weeks, or months they need open for personal commitments.
That flexibility—which can be hard to find in regular permanent positions—allows locum tenens providers to employ the following self-care practices:
Schedule personal time. Locums doctors, NPs, PAs, and CRNAs have autonomy over their work schedule, so they are able to prioritize personal time to attend to their physical, mental, and emotional health. By putting “personal time” on your calendar, you are more likely to honor that commitment as you would any other appointment. How you spend that time is up to you and might include anything from getting a massage or reading a non-work-related book to having dinner with friends or spending time with family.
Adjust your hours as needed. While changing or cutting back on your hours in a permanent position can be easier said than done, those adjustments are painless for locums providers. In busy times or times of stress, you can choose to leave more space between assignments. Conversely, when you have less going on in your personal life, you can ramp up your hours and earn extra income as desired.
Mix it up. Doing locum tenens allows you to choose different practice settings, patient populations, and geographical areas. Switching things up from where you work, who you work with, and who you treat can help keep things new and interesting.
Stay present wherever you are. Providers on short-term assignments are not expected to shoulder a facility’s administrative issues. Instead, locums clinicians can focus on their patients. In between locum tenens jobs, they can focus on their family, friends, and personal interests.
Reignite your passion for medicine. When physicians and advanced practitioners can carve out time for themselves, get a change of pace, and focus on patient care, they often find a renewed pleasure in their work. Take a few moments each day to remind yourself why you went into healthcare and how much you are helping the patients you see, who might otherwise go without the care they need.
If you are ready to restore your work-life balance through locum tenens opportunities, call 800-928-0229 to speak with one of our dedicated consultants or contact us online.