Working Locum Tenens Leads to a Well-Rounded Lifestyle
“What do you do?” That’s one of the first questions we ask upon meeting someone new. In addition to being a polite pleasantry, the query’s response invokes a potential profile of the person based on commonly held ideals of a given profession. For example, healthcare providers typically are regarded as compassionate professionals who aid the ill and injured, and who give so much to their patients, especially over the past few years.
However, a professional identity only describes one aspect of who we are. Doctors, nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) fulfill a variety of roles in addition to clinician: family member, community volunteer, mentor, entrepreneur, and more. Indeed, nurturing these other elements of life is key for healthcare professionals to prevent career enmeshment (i.e., defining one’s identity primarily by what one does for a living) and/or burnout. Fortunately, the locum tenens alternative is an invaluable tool for creating room for all the roles you want to play in life.
Being a locum tenens professional and a family member
Providers who pursue locum tenens full time have the option to take prolonged breaks between contracts, which allows more quality time to engage with family members unencumbered by work commitments, such as call duty. Confer with your All Star Healthcare Solutions’ consultant to arrange work schedules around meaningful occasions, like being home to send kids off on the first day of a new school year. There’s also flexibility to be available for everyday tasks, like taking children or aging parents to doctors’ appointments without asking colleagues to cover patients. If locum tenens jobs are close enough to home, it may be feasible to drive back on days off during an assignment.
Even while on locum tenens contracts, providers find there’s more “me time.” Duties are defined by patient care during scheduled shifts and not extended with extra administrative functions. That freedom opens a larger window to unwind and reconnect with loved ones at the end of the workday via phone or video.
Being a locum tenens professional and a travel enthusiast
Every contract offers an opportunity to experience a new community, which attracts many individuals to the career alternative. Being in control of your schedule also can help carve out periods to venture off to dream destinations, or medical missions, without the worry of arranging for another provider to care for patients in your absence. In fact, how many vacations you schedule (and for how long) is up to you, not restricted to a certain number of paid-time-off hours or personal days earned each year of employment.
Being a locum tenens professional and a volunteer/mentor
Giving back to organizations or mentoring individuals can be a prescription for living a well-rounded life. When you are not on assignment, your days are free to fill with other activities. Plus, locum tenens also puts providers in the position to share their skills and knowledge with other clinicians they meet on the job. In fact, it’s a benefit that works both ways—you, too, can pick up new skills or incorporate new techniques.
Being a locum tenens professional and a student
Of course, providers must find the hours to fulfill continuing medical education requirements, and a locums schedule can accommodate that necessity. It also can support enrolling in online classes that you can attend from home or away on assignment. If you always wanted to learn another language, how to write fiction, or learn more about another specialty, locums can make returning to school on your terms a reality.
Being a locum tenens professional and a competitor
Nearly half of the physicians responding to the Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2022 by Medscape say staying physically active is vital to staving off burnout. Some people have a competitive streak, though, and they like to push beyond a daily exercise regimen by signing up for marathons, triathlons, and other competitive sports. The locum tenens lifestyle helps find the hours to train for and participate in these types of events. As a competition approaches, providers can opt to focus on training by taking a break from work. Or ask your All Star consultant to identify short-term contracts near the event’s host city so you can acclimate to the environment ahead of schedule.
Being a locum tenens professional and an entrepreneur
According to the Medscape 2022 Physician Side Gigs survey, 37 percent of doctors incorporate a second job or entrepreneurial venture into their professional lives, such as moonlighting with locum tenens. Other activities cited in the survey include expert witness, consulting, podcasting, real estate, and investments/financial advisor. However, nearly half of the respondents said there is not enough time to devote to a non-clinical job to make it more successful. Regardless of the nature of one’s entrepreneurial endeavor, locum tenens may enhance it. If you want to write a travel blog or host an adventure video channel, for instance, temporary opportunities take you to interesting locales. Of course, locums offers the flexibility to take time off from practicing medicine to put on your businessperson’s hat if needed.
If you are interested in being able to introduce yourself as a physician, NP, PA, or CRNA, as well as a family member, volunteer, athlete, student, or entrepreneur, then consider adding the title of locum tenens provider to your repertoire, too.
To learn about how locum tenens can help you create a well-rounded lifestyle, call an All Star Healthcare Consultant at 800-928-0229, or contact us online, today!