Whenever you hear about becoming a Locum Tenens, one of the draws to the job is being able to go and work in prominent places. You could choose to venture off to California and enjoy the beaches, New York to enjoy the big city life or areas like Utah where extreme sports and good food is always on the menu. But what about the places that aren’t so popular? What about the places with not so much around? What about the rural areas?
A rural area is considered an area with less population and density. Think that country lifestyle. While urban areas are more common places for Locum Tenens to aspire to work as it receives a higher influx of people; that doesn’t mean you will see rural areas being a lot less exciting. Research has in fact shown that rural residents are a little riskier than you would expect. In rural adolescents alone it is shown that they partake in high-risk behaviors over urban or suburban youth. When it comes to adults though, you may be looking at a different demographic. Along with riskier business, rural residents have been higher smokers, drinkers and less likely to exercise. Bringing in an influx of patients with heart problems and diabetes or having limitations in their cognitive, physical and social activities.
It is definitely an unconventional lifestyle. Potentially more laid back, fewer sudden injuries and more ailments over time. In saying this, rural life could be the perfect situation for you, so let’s dive into why working rurally could be your next Locum Tenens destination.
Slow Down Doctor
This different lifestyle we speak of is, of course, one of the benefits of Locum Tenens working in rural areas. Working at a slower pace allows you to take the time in your work. This could mean giving yourself the time to listen to patients and genuinely think about their issues and how to solve them, or, gives you the chance to practice a bit more self-care through resting and eating throughout the work day. If burnout is something you would like to sidestep or an issue you are currently dealing with, working rurally could help you combat that high-paced and stressful lifestyle.
Patients Issues Alter
While working in New York may see you with some more gunshot victims or victims of other violence, the rural areas’ issues don’t really fall under that same scale. Of course, there will always be some here and there, but the issues you will be dealing with fall more towards illness rather than an emergency. This is due to the patient’s sometimes taking hours – up to five in some circumstances – to come and see you.
In some settings, your emergency situations could find you dealing with completely unique circumstances, while additionally allowing you to practice the full scope of your training. Expanding your resume in directions you may not able to get to while working in an urban hospital.
Lower Expenses and Higher Earning
Rural areas are always considered cheaper, and that will apply to you while working there. Housing costs, transportation, food and living expenses all look to be considerably lower. Being high in demand position, you will not only be able to earn a great income but also be able to negotiate if need be. Gaining a great income, all while living in an area that has lower expenses, could see you paying off that student loan debt in no time.
When it comes to Locum Tenens, a major aspect of the job is being able to create your own work-life balance. Speaking for all Locum Tenens, being able to create your own schedule and not need to deal with all of the nitty-gritty work is already a great bonus. For those who work in rural areas, this balance can be upgraded. With the area being generally less busy and moving at a slower pace, you’ll enjoy a great deal of time for yourself. Rather than dealing with a daily influx of patients or long commutes, you will be able to enjoy your hobbies, work on your professional growth and focus on relationships. Most importantly, this pace decreases stress. A huge burden to bypass when burnout can be the outcome.
New (Rural) Experiences
Working in rural areas can be an eye-opening experience. Take for instance the patient demographic, various styles of practice and serving underserved communities. Being a high-demand job, there is the potential that your specialty is the only one in the region. Meaning you are taking on everyone who needs you as you are literally their only chance of sustainability, recovery or healing. These circumstances allow you to expand your medical horizons and set yourself up for success in the future. Think about it as not only helping, but giving back.
Are you ready to work rural as a Locum Tenens?
It’s not an option that most take on, but it is an option that can offer you measurable benefits. Not only in income, but in experience. A less amount of patients doesn’t mean you are doing less work, but you are supporting those in areas where healthcare is limited. You are taking on cases that many don’t often get help on and if they do, it could be hours and hours away. It is a lifestyle that allows you to slow down with your patients and get down to what is really happening. On the flip side, it’s a lifestyle where you get to live at a pace where you can enjoy life. Get to know the people, the place and even yourself. Enjoy your favorite hobbies and maybe even learn something new. There is something for everyone in rural areas, though if you have any more questions, don’t be afraid to click here!