It’s no secret – hospitals cannot afford to be understaffed (because, you know, they take care of sick people that might die) and physicians sometimes cannot make it to work due to an illness of their own, maternity or paternity leave, or scheduled travel. What’s a healthcare facility to do? Fortunately, if you’re reading this article, you probably know that healthcare facilities hire locum tenens to cover their staffing needs! Read on to learn 5 helpful tips for locum tenens practitioners.

1. Mentally Prepare Yourself to Travel
Becoming a locum tenens is perfect for the traveler at heart. When you become a locum tenens you may find yourself working in some pretty cool (and sometimes rural) places. My tip to you is to prepare yourself mentally for a life spent working around the country. There will be times when you feel homesick, there will be times when don’t feel like opening up to new people, and there will be times when you’d rather stay put in one place. The act of mentally preparing for your ventures can help you deal with life on the road.

2. Review Your Assignment
Working as a locum tenens, you probably know that your assignments will be different each and every time. Some of the time you will have one day assignments, sometimes you will on one month assignments, and other times you will have one year assignments. Before you agree to accepting any assignment, make sure that you are aware of what you are getting yourself into. This simple step will save you from regret. There is no need to rush into any decision that you are not ready to make because the truth is, when you accept the offer, the healthcare facility will be expecting you follow through with your commitment.

3. Adapt to the Procedures of the Healthcare Facility
If you’ve ever held more than one job, then you are keenly aware by now that different people conduct their business differently. As a locum tenens, you’ll experience a wide array of procedures that different health facilities use. Keep in mind that the best thing you can do is to simply adapt to the systems in place. This practice will make life on the job much easier and less stressful for everyone involved.

4. Play Nice with Your Coworkers
Working as a locum tenens, you are always the new kid at school. That being said, I advise you to play nice with your workers. This is a tip that you can apply to every arena of your life. Generally speaking, the better you treat people, the better they will treat you!

5. Get Your Rest
Certain locum tenens struggle to maintain a regular sleeping pattern as they often find themselves working in different time zones. It’s important to remember to get your rest so you can perform your job to the best of your abilities. Fortunately, they’re plenty of over the counter solutions to help you fall asleep. If absolutely cannot sleep due to constant travel, try to only take assignments in the same time zone.