Undoubtedly, one of the biggest advantages to accepting a locum assignment is being able to have your choice of whereabouts you want to work. If you have home life commitments, you may want to find work on your doorstep, but equally, taking on locum shifts provides a fantastic opportunity to explore the country whilst you earn, as you can potentially work in regions or cities you have never been to or visited before. At Total Assist Group, we partner with NHS trusts and private clinics not only in England, but also in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so the sky’s the limit when it comes to checking out areas you have never been to before.
Once your shift has ended, it’s a good idea to use your down time to look around your new surroundings and really make the most of your time there. Here is my advice on how best to sample new places.
1) Try local produce and restaurants. Talk to your new colleagues and find out what foods the area is famed for so that you can make sure to try some before you head home. Mingling with your co-workers is also a great way to find out about restaurants that may be a local hidden treasure – it’ll make a nice difference to check out some independent eateries.
2) Take a drive. If you are going to be working in a more rural and scenic setting, then it may be worth getting out your A to Z map and pencilling in some picturesque drives. You could either take your time reaching your new destination by mapping out a route that includes local landmarks or you could go for a spin after a hectic shift.
3) Find some history. Each town and area will have some historical aspects which could prove interesting to explore, so do your homework on travel sites before you leave so that you can take note if there are any spots you know you’ll want to visit when you arrive, whether this be a stunning cathedral or maybe even a museum.
4) Check out the landscape. As a locum doctor, you can choose to work in the urban sprawl or in the hush of the countryside, but either way you can enjoy the landscape around you, Going for a hike across rural hills and forests or whether a local park or zoo is more your scene, you can still learn a lot about an area by checking out the terrain.
5) Big and small. Larger hospitals and smaller establishments both offer different experiences for the locum doctor and you are sure to have a preference. The same would apply to town or city size, with both having contrasting aspects you’ll be able to explore. Making sure to tick off both big or small towns in a region is a great way to get more of a bigger picture for what the area is like as a whole.
6) Ditch the car. Once actually arriving at your destination, it may be an ideal to leave the car keys at home and travel by other means, for example, rail, bus or maybe even boat or tram. You’ll be surprised how scenic these routes can be and you may stumble across places you would never have noticed otherwise. This is a good tactic to use when you want to find out more about an area.
How to feel at home during placement:
To really get to grips with a new location, it is a good idea to settle in properly and make your new digs feel like home. Here are my tips on how to do this quickly:
- Bring a pet – just make sure you mention this when speaking to your Recruitment Consultant and arranging accommodation so that somewhere suitable can be found
- Unpack – fight the urge to live out of a suitcase. Get your toiletries in the bathroom and your clothes hanging up
- Go food shopping – your kitchen will feel more like home once you have some well stocked cupboards. You could also bring some favoured treats with you, such as your mum’s homemade jam
- Stick to routine – follow the same patterns you would do if you were at home, for example some morning meditation or a daily jog
- Bring some photos – snapshots of family and friends will get you feeling comfy in no time at all
[testimonial name=”Jason Sergeant” who=”Sales Director” imagelinks=”https://totalassist.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Jason-e1404144889246.jpg” vertical=”no”]”Jason has over 10 years of experience within the healthcare sector and more specifically with locum doctors and hospitals nationwide.”[/testimonial]
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