Taking an assignment over the holidays is a personal decision that may change from year to year. But there certainly are advantages to accepting contracts that take place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Since many permanent staff members want time off during the holidays, you may find a wider array of locum tenens opportunities from which to choose. This is especially beneficial if you are trying to get your foot in the door at a specific facility or want an assignment in a highly desirable destination.
Here, we offer some suggestions on how to keep yourself feeling festive when you are working away from home for the holidays.
- Pack up your traditions. If you have always enjoyed making Christmas cookies, bring along your favorite cookie cutters. If you typically light a treasured menorah, pack it with care and take it with you. Keeping up small traditions while you are away from home can go a long way toward keeping you in the holiday spirit. And some simple decorations in your apartment or hotel room can help keep your space feeling cheerful.
- Tap into local resources. Being in a new place during the holiday season means you have an opportunity to take part in new activities. Check around to see how your assignment community celebrates. You may enjoy local festivals, concerts, or religious services.
- Volunteer at a shelter or food bank. By providing locum tenens services during this time of the year, you have already helped to improve many people’s holidays. Thanks to you, another provider is getting to be with his or her family while sick and injured patients continue to receive quality care. If you want to take it a step further, consider volunteering a local shelter or food bank. It may become one of your most cherished holiday memories.
- Reunite with distant family and friends. When choosing where to practice during the holidays, you may want to explore the possibility of reconnecting with far-off friends or family. Even though you will likely be busy on the actual holiday, your downtime can be spent with loved ones over leftovers.
- Make it a vacation. Other things to consider when choosing an assignment location include climate and geography. Perhaps you live in the Northeast but would prefer to spend your holiday soaking up the sun. Or maybe you live in the South, and you are longing for a white Christmas. Locum tenens contracts offer you the option to be wherever you want to be—from the beach, to the desert, to the ski slopes—during the holiday season.
- Bring your family along. Providers with young families may want to consider bringing their loved ones with them on assignment, especially if their children are not yet school-aged or school vacation jibes with the contract dates. Though you will likely spend a lot of your time working, your family may enjoy the local activities. And you can still carve out time for a holiday meal, even if it is at a restaurant instead of your dining room table.
If you leave loved ones at home, consider making a “calendar correction” upon your return. Simply pick a date when everyone is available and do whatever it is your family does—together. It’s never too late to celebrate.
Choice—the greatest gift of all
Illnesses and accidents do not pause for seasonal celebrations, so most healthcare providers have worked their share of holidays. But as a locum tenens provider, you get something that tops many a permanent staff member’s wish list—control over your schedule, allowing you to choose between spending the holidays at home or on assignment.
If you have not yet enjoyed a locum tenens opportunity, contact a reputable staffing company, like Medicus Healthcare Solutions, to explore your options today.