As a locum tenens healthcare provider, you may spend a lot of time on the road or in new places for the first time. In these conditions, it can be difficult to keep yourself healthy and in good shape. Between jet lag, eating out, and lack of time to exercise in between your changing schedules, it can be hard to take care of yourself the way you know you need to. And when you’re not caring for yourself properly, your body is more susceptible to the diseases and infections you may encounter as you travel.
These five tips can help you take better care of yourself while you’re on the road:
It’s the cheapest health advice out there: drink more water. Travel dehydrates your body, whether you’re on a long car trip or a flight, so consume lots of water as you’re on the way to your next assignment. Once you’ve arrived, make sure to stay hydrated, which will ease your cravings for unhealthy food and keep you energized as you adjust to the new environment.
Shop Grocery Stores
The first thing you should do on arriving at your new lodgings is hit the grocery store. Why? So that you can immediately provide yourself with healthy food to cook and eat, as well as nutritious lunches for the following days. By going grocery shopping first, you can prevent yourself from needing to eat out for every meal, which can be detrimental for your health—and your waistline.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough shut-eye is hard for any physician, but it is especially true when you’re on the road. Make sure to give yourself time to get a full night’s sleep and try to go to bed and get up at the same times as you would at home to help your body adjust to the new routine. Getting enough sleep can help your body fight off any illness you may have come in contact with.
Sometimes, you just can’t avoid eating out. Maybe you’ve had a long day at work, or a very early morning, and there aren’t any options besides fast food or vending machine snacks. That’s okay! Don’t skip a meal just because you don’t have lettuce and carrots available. Greasy fast food is still better than no food at all. When eating out, you can make healthy choices by opting for grilled meat instead of friend, and choosing fruit or vegetables as a side instead of fries.
As a healthcare professional, you already wash your hands and sanitize on the job to stave off germs, but don’t forget to sanitize as you travel as well. Whether you’re taking an airline, renting a car, or just staying in a hotel room while you’re on assignment, germs in unfamiliar places can cause illness easily, especially if you’re already tired, dehydrated, or malnourished. Taking care to use hand sanitizer whenever possible can cut down on your chances of becoming ill on assignment.
While keeping yourself healthy on locum tenens assignments can sometimes be hard, just a few small changes to your habits can make it a lot easier. Ready for your next assignment? Check out our locum tenens job opportunities page to see our latest jobs or contact us for more information today.