A quick Google search provides a plethora of tips and tricks for packing light, creating a versatile travel wardrobe (neutrals!), and including wrinkle-proof clothing. This information can be extremely useful to anyone preparing to head off for a short getaway. However, if you are currently working locum tenens or are interested in pursuing this practice alternative, many standard travel recommendations disregard the “locum lifestyle.”
Striving to pack light and cram everything into one bag may not be the best option for a locum tenens contract that is six months or longer. Factors, like geography and climate, will influence the specific items in your baggage. Although what you choose to bring will likely change from one opportunity to the next, read on to discover four essential items that should always be on your checklist.
- Assignment details. Make sure you gather your location specifics and travel documents in one easy-to-find place. Boarding passes, housing/hotel details, your recruiter’s contact information, and clear driving directions should be downloaded, saved, or printed before you depart.
- The bare basics. If you routinely accept locum tenens jobs (or plan to), maintaining a “go” bag of must-have items eliminates most of your packing and preparation. Purchase a spare set of cables, wall and car chargers, and headphones and then stash them in a case along with medications, personal hygiene items, and travel-size bottles of your favorite toiletries. (If you plan to place your “go” bag inside a carry-on, remember to follow the Transportation Security Administration’s 3-1-1 rule, using containers that are 3.4 ounces or less for liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes; encasing them in one quart-size plastic zip-top bag; and removing the 3-1-1 baggie from your carry-on prior to sending it through the x-ray machine at the security checkpoint.)
- Your go-to resources. Some clinicians prefer to use smartphone apps such as Epocrates to look up drug information and Read by QxMD to centralize all of their medical literature in one portable resource. Others favor physical versions of their most-read manuals, journals, and tools. If you fall into the latter group, be sure to take hard copies of the medical references you regularly use.
- A memory or two. When you’re on a long assignment, it’s important to boost your comfort level and find familiarity in your new setting. By making room for items like a favorite decoration, photo album, mug, or a novelty treat, you’ll be carrying a little piece of home, helping you feel more relaxed (not to mention a little pampered) while you are “on the road.”
Although you can find an assortment of helpful vacation/business trip packing list templates online, these checklists do not include some of the significant items that locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners should consider taking on every assignment, regardless of location or length.
To learn more tips for locum tenens assignments, call 855.301.0563 to speak with a knowledgeable Medicus Healthcare Solutions representative.