What I Miss from Perm Jobs

Although working as a locum tenens nurse practitioner is often like being in a dream, there are some aspects of having a permanent job that I miss.

  • Long-term follow-up with my patients – one of the reasons I decided to work in primary care is to establish relationships with my patients and provide them with a personal experience. In locum tenens, I am able to follow-up with a handful of patients, but they are often being scheduled with their primary care providers, and only scheduled with me when there is no space with their PCP. In a 3-month assignment, there are a few patients that I am able to follow-up with every couple of weeks. Sometimes they ask me to become their PCP, but I do not have the heart to tell them I am leaving in 2 weeks.


  • Stabilization – working in locum tenens you are always on the move. You are constantly thinking about where you are going next, how you are getting there, and how much time off you need in between. You are constantly learning new electronic health systems and adjusting to the flow of the clinic. Sometimes I miss just being able to settle down and not live in a whirlwind of surprises. Fortunately, if this was a huge issue for me I could opt for a long-term locums assignment.


  • Peer relationships – the most difficult part of leaving each locum tenens assignment is saying bye to my co-workers. The people you work with are always an important part of your life because you spend so much time at your job. I miss having the same friends at work I can joke with and confide in. I have been lucky to make friends at each travel assignment, but I am always sad to leave them behind.


  • Possessions – living out of several suitcases limits the amount of clothing and personal items I can bring with me on each assignment. Sometimes I miss just having all of my things with me for easy access. I find myself not enjoying shopping that much anymore because I worry about where I can fit my new stuff. At the same time, I like this lifestyle because it inhibits me from being a part of the consumerist society that Americans love. Now I am able to only buy things I absolutely need, vs want, and can set aside that extra money towards my savings or retirement plans.

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