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Traveling for Locum Tenens: A Perk or a Pain?

Posted on: April 04, 2019

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If you’re like Dr. Neil B., you’re somewhat indifferent to the idea of traveling for locum tenens and would prefer to work closer to home. “I have no desire to travel anymore at all,” he told us. “But that being said, there are some perks from it.”

If you’re sick of traveling, or would simply rather work closer to home, worry not. Locum tenens can still be a great option for you! Here are a few ways to find locum tenens opportunities that match your career preferences:

Pick Where You’d Like to Work

A widely recognized benefit of locum tenens is the freedom to choose when and where you’d like to work. If you’d prefer not to travel long distances, your recruiter will work with you to find positions in your desired area. In fact, Dr. Neil recommends this for all first-time locums — no matter your opinions on travel!

“If you have not done [locum tenens] before, you’re better off trying to pick a place that maybe there’s some family in the area,” he advised.

At the end of the day, you’ll have the flexibility to work close to home or travel across the country. Even as your preferences and priorities change, your flexibility as a locum remains!

Enjoy Benefits That Outweigh Burdens

If you choose traveling for locum tenens now with the assumption that you’ll scale back later in your career, there are several perks of which to take advantage. Dr. Neil, for example, has made the most of them all.

“I will be platinum for life at Marriott. I’ve got frequent flyer miles. I’ve got about a trillion free car rentals. From that point of view, if you like to travel, it is the way to build your loyalty up because you stay in the same brands all the time time you travel, same carriers all the time, that’s the way to do it. I belong to every top-of-the-list program.”

Make a Compromise to Your Advantage

Picture this: you found the perfect position, but it’ll require travel. You find yourself conflicted. Do you pursue the role? Sometimes, Dr. Neil argued, it’s worth making the compromise and traveling for locum tenens.

“If you’re working a bunch of night shifts at home, you’re as good as gone anyway. If you can get more money to get paid to work a schedule you want somewhere else, you might as well take it."

Practice Anxiety-Reducing Methods

If flying isn’t your thing, research breathing techniques and other approaches to ensure you’re as relaxed as possible throughout your flight. If possible, you can also take the train or other alternative public transportation. Whichever anxiety-reducing methods work for you, a low-stress travel experience ensures you’ll arrive fully prepared to provide great care.

Sometimes, traveling for locum tenens means taking advantage of worthy benefits. Otherwise, you can use your flexibility as a locum to choose positions close by. Either way, the freedom is yours!

If you’re a new locum, how might traveling for locum tenens factor into your career?
If you’re a seasoned pro, what have been your experiences with traveling on the job?
Share your thoughts with us on Twitter, and check out our travel resources for more information!

Barton Team
About Barton Team

We're Barton Associates, the Locum Tenens Experts. We work with thousands of hospitals, medical practices, and organizations across the United States and its territories that need talented providers for short- and long-term engagements. Inspired by the pioneering, humanitarian work of Clara Barton, the Barton Team recruits physicians, PAs, NPs, dentists and CRNAs in a wide variety of specialties, so that we can quickly place them in locum tenens assignments nationwide.

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