Locum Tenens assignments can vary drastically. You could accept a role here, there or on the other side of the country. Whether you’ve landed your first Locum Tenens assignment or you’re embarking on your next destination, your travel experience is going to be pretty interesting either way. Although, with all the newness and excitement in the air, the last thing you want is for your travel to become an overly stressful and irritating experience. While you can’t ever predict or bypass sudden changes, setting yourself up for as much success as you can is definitely possible.
Each assignment has its own travel requirements. You could land an assignment just an hour or so outside of the home, a flight a week away or a full-blown cross-country trip. You can rely a lot on your recruiters to get into the nitty-gritty details of how or when you are travelling, but it’s up to you to make that experience as underwhelming as possible. As a doctor yourself, you know better than anyone that stress is just no good.
What Can You Do To Make Your Travel Experience Smooth?
Connect With Your Team
Just as your recruiters are dealing with the finer details of the trip, you also need to understand they are somewhat of a travel agent for you too. If necessary, they arrange your flights, rental cars and any accommodations needed. That means, if any problems arise, it’s your recruiters you can ask to support you along your journey.
Driving vs Flying
How you get there is a decision you can make. However, there has been a lot of talk about whether it is good to drive or fly and this is, of course, completely based on your situation. For instance, heading to an assignment for a couple of days a week, as you have not relocated, may be better off as a quick flight rather than a drive. Although, relocating to a completely different part of the country may be better off as a drive. This is due to the experience of stopping and discovering different areas as you go and a tip many other locum tenens recommend. Then, on another plus side, you get to have your own car on your assignment.
When you are driving in the comfort of your own car, your packing can be completely up to you. Flying can be another story. It really is essential to only pack what you require. Short assignments that need you to fly can be made a lot easier if you don’t have to deal with baggage. Not to mention less expensive. You’ll cut your travelling time by a pretty hefty chunk, so keep the necessary things and leave everything else at home.
Long waits, long lines and long delays. While not every flight will have them, they are a part of the flying experience and one we just have to deal with. It’s important to set yourself up for success when it comes to any airport travel. For instance, make sure you have left enough time for yourself if there are any delays or cancelled flights. This also means making sure any flights you have are direct flights because the more stopovers, the more risk of delays. You want to leave a good impression on your Locum assignment and although sometimes we have no control, the most we can do to stay on time and prompt, the better we will look.
From other Locum Tenens to you, always keep holidays in mind. During holiday seasons, airports are busy with family and friends coming or going. Waits can get even longer and delays even more common, so stay on top of it and stay organized!
Airports have carried out a few things here and there to make our experience a little easier, especially if we are frequent flyers. If you know you will be flying regularly, then maybe it is time to pay a little extra to get the TSA Precheck. Although it will cost you a bit out of pocket and you’ll need to arrange it beforehand, it’s well worth the advance in security lines. Which we all know can sometimes be up to 2 hours long depending on what flights are leaving.
On top of this, we can also dive into the travel rewards. Each airline has its own reward points system and if you’re going to be flying a lot, why not sign up and see what rewards you can get out of it. With points giving you potential free or discounted trips and even being able to use points on accommodations, it’s an option you should take seriously.
A bit on the opposite side of pack light, but we mean more about your gadgets. Have you got your laptop? Phones? Charging devices? Any other gadgets you need? Maybe you have a storage cloud where you keep all of your work, movies and TV shows. Do you need any noise-cancelling headphones? Or maybe you like to be comfortable with an eye mask or pillow? Keep a checklist to make sure you have all of the things that make your flying experience that much better.
As we mentioned earlier, sometimes delays are just inevitable. It can be frustrating and tiresome, but keeping your emotions at bay is incredibly important. Each assignment will understand the hiccups that can come with travel, and with your recruiter on the line ready to help, staying calm and being patient with travel interruptions is much better for everyone.
Breathing techniques and having movies or TV shows ready to watch on your devices while you wait out can help, or even grabbing some food and beverages. Whatever will be, will be, so don’t overwhelm yourself. If any other changes could be made for next time, make them. Otherwise, sit back and relax while you wait.
One of the biggest benefits of Locum Tenens assignments is the travel. That doesn’t mean every assignment will have you taking fancy cross-country road trips. Every so often the travel can be short and sweet, if the delays or kept to a minimum. While we can’t always control the outcome, using the tips and tricks above to make your travels just a little easier may save you a massive headache in the long run. Happy travelling!