The internet is chock-full of tips for packing light, ensuring your travel attire is versatile, and keeping clothing in luggage wrinkle-free. This information can come in handy for those preparing to jet off to a four-day conference. However, if you are entering the locum tenens practice alternative and getting ready to fly or drive to your first assignment, broad packing recommendations are apt to be less helpful.
What you choose to bring with you will likely change or at least need to be edited based on the length of the locum tenens opportunity. Taking a single carry-on bag, for instance, would not the best choice for a six- month (or longer) contract. Location-specific factors, like geography and climate, will likely play a part in what you choose to take with you as well. However, here are four things that should remain a constant on your packing list.
- Travel-related particulars. From a boarding pass and housing/hotel specifics to driving directions and your recruiter’s contact number(s), there are certain documents and information you should download, save, and/or print before departing for a locum tenens job. To ensure you have what you will need, ask your recruiter to confirm the particulars, and use “Documents, Info Needed by Providers Traveling to Locum Tenens Jobs” as a guideline.
- A “ready to go” bag. If you plan to routinely accept locum tenens jobs, maintaining an ever-ready bag of essentials should eliminate some of the usual packing and preparations. Purchase a spare set of cables, wall and car chargers, and headphones needed for your mobile devices, and stash them in this bag. Pack it with medications, personal hygiene items, and travel-sized bottles of your favorite toiletries, too.
If you plan to place your “ready to go” bag inside your carry-on, remember to follow the Transportation Security Administration’s Liquids Rule. Use containers that are 3.4 ounces or less for liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes. Then, encase the containers in a quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag, and remove the plastic bag from your carry-on prior to placing it on the the X-ray screening conveyor belt at the security checkpoint.
- Medical references. While you probably use smartphone apps like Read by QxMD, you may prefer having access to some tangible resources while on assignment as well. If so, pack hard copies of the medical references you are most comfortable with and regularly use.
- Luxury items. They do not have to be extravagant, per se, although they could be depending on your personal taste and preferences. The concept has more to do with how certain extras can boost your comfort level while you’re on assignment.
Make room for small indulgences like a favorite pillow, framed photos of loved ones, or treats that taste like home, such as Trader Joe’s California Estate Olive Oil and the regionally popular (especially in the Mid-Atlantic region, parts of New England, and the Gulf Coast) Old Bay Seasoning. These types of items can go a long way in helping you feel more relaxed and a little pampered throughout your travels.
Revised from a post originally published June 7, 2016
To learn more about the kinds of things to consider packing for a locum tenens assignment, call Medicus Healthcare Solutions at 855.301.0563 to speak with an experienced recruiter, and read our blog for tips, the latest news, trends, and more.