Tips for Embracing the Country Life on Rural Locum Tenens Assignments

Tips for Embracing the Country Life on Rural Locum Tenens Assignments

Did you know 35 percent of hospitals nationwide are located in rural regions? They serve more than 46 million Americans who call these small towns home. It’s also true that a significant number of these facilities, along with other healthcare facilities based in small towns, rely on locum tenens professionals to make sure their citizens have access to high-quality care.

Rural assignments offer locum tenens physicians and advanced practice providers based in metropolitan areas a change of scenery and pace. They are opportunities to care for different patient populations and witness how regional cultural norms may affect healthcare. If you like the idea of temporarily leaving the hustle and bustle of city life for a slower-paced country existence, check out these tips to help you embrace the different landscape and have an enjoyable locum tenens experience.

Broadband Boundaries
Thanks to extensive Wi-Fi networks that relay huge data loads, clear communication in cities is almost guaranteed. Rural communities don’t necessarily boast the same connections. A 2021 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Broadband Deployment Report stated as many as one-quarter to one-half of rural residents have poor access to broadband. For locum tenens providers, reliable access to communications—video calls, for example—makes it easier to stay connected with friends and family back home.

To beef up your personal broadband quality, invest in a cellular internet hotspot. The portable router taps into cellular signals to more reliably link your laptop or tablet to the internet. Check your cellphone plan for any applicable charges.

Nighttime Awareness
If you are accustomed to being serenaded by a lullaby of city soundscapes, falling asleep to a countryside composition may take a little adjustment. Sticking to a regular sleep routine is key for a good night’s rest, but there are tricks to make your temporary home sound a bit more familiar. Turn on apps that play white noise or city sounds. Then again, you may discover the natural noises outside induce a peaceful slumber.

Dinner Planning
Grabbing meals on the go from local eateries or ordering from food delivery services are conveniences found in large cities and suburbs from coast to coast. However, small or remote towns do not always have similar amenities. Instead, treat your taste buds to offerings at local restaurants that cook up the town’s traditional recipes, or use the circumstances to test out your culinary chops. Depending on location and time of year, you may have access to farm-to-table products for the freshest produce and locally crafted food items. Note: Making runs to a big grocery store may require a bit more planning than in cities, especially if it demands driving to a larger, neighboring community.

Regional Exploration
Small town life may not offer the same variety of nightclubs or performing arts venues as metropolitan centers, but these communities present their own unique recreational and cultural outlets. Use locum tenens experiences to try something out of the ordinary. Take advantage of the natural landscapes to fish, whitewater raft, camp, bird-watch or do whatever intrigues you about the rural existence.

What’s more, many small towns take great pride in celebrating traditions, like holiday parades and fairs. Local gatherings grant newcomers a view into the community’s personality. Of course, you can always explore nearby cities on days off, too.

Business Hours
Many businesses in small towns close up shop earlier than you might expect in large cities, including shuttering for Sundays in some cases. This may be a non-factor for some providers, but if shifts end during off-business hours, late at night or early in the morning, for example, it could mean scheduling errands instead of spontaneously stopping at a store after work.

Also, there’s a chance smaller communities do not host the same big-box stores common to cities. Rather, you may find convenience stores carry most of the basics if you need to go shopping while on assignment.

All Star Healthcare Solutions matches physicians and advanced practice providers to locum tenens jobs in hospitals, clinics, private practice groups, and other healthcare organizations across the country, in all types of communities. If you are curious about a country assignment (or one in a larger city), call All Star Healthcare Solutions today at 800-928-0229, or contact us online.