5 Easy Ways to Maintain your Physical Health During Locum Tenens Assignments

Health & Wellness

One of the main reasons healthcare providers transition into locums work is to experience flexibility and reduce job-related stress.

The approach, however, can be challenging. Locum tenens assignments can require traveling and an absence from regular routines. Therefore, it’s important to adopt some healthy habits to maintain physical health.

The key is to go into it with a plan. Let’s look at five easy ways you can use to maintain your physical health during locum tenens assignments.

Find a routine – and keep it

Routines are essential for building a healthy lifestyle, especially when working towards developing good habits. Studies have shown that creating routines helps reduce the number of decisions that need to be made each day, which can result in positive health benefits. But often locum tenens’ regular habits are disrupted initially while on assignment, which makes it harder to manage physical health and stress levels.

While having a routine is crucial, allow yourself some flexibility and not berate yourself if you have problems keeping to the routine. Having a sense of regularity and focus can help you get through difficult times; but, if your plans occasionally change, try not to worry about it too much.

Take the stairs

Utilizing the stairs is an excellent way to increase your daily step count and level of physical activity. When it’s feasible, use the stairs instead of taking the escalator or elevator. Adding even small amounts of extra activity to your day such as taking the stairs can add up and impact metabolic rate substantially.

Get adequate sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, establishing regular sleep and wake times can help your body’s internal clock function properly and enhance the quality of your sleep. Your body can also unwind at the end of the day by adding relaxing activities such as reading a book or listening to music.

Stay active

Taking time out of your day to exercise is crucial to not only your physical health but also your mental health. Finding ways to get your body moving will help lower your stress levels. Hopefully, as a locum tenens, your work schedule is more flexible and you are able to squeeze in exercise throughout the day like walking, riding a bike, or maybe even hitting the local gym.

Pack your lunch

Instead of leaving it up to chance on the facilities menu, opt for packing healthy options with protein, fruits, and vegetables to ensure that you get needed nutrients. Packing your lunch also means less temptation to stop at the vending machine or grab unhealthy food in the cafeteria.

Main take away

These are just a few things you can do to stay healthy on your locums tenen assignment. Of course, everyone is different so at the end of the day do what’s best for you. Definitely listen to your body and adjust your self-care accordingly. This is the key to maintaining your physical well-being on your locum’s assignment.

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  • Protect yourself and your assets by performing your contract work under the umbrella of a business entity. Think about what you’d like your proposed business to be named!
    • Visit your Secretary of State website to see if your chosen name is available
    • Check with your state’s Board of Nursing for state specific requirements
  • File applicable business set-up paperwork
  • The S-Corp Edge: How you structure your 1099 CRNA business will have far-reaching consequences, whether it is a sole proprietorship, a limited liability corporation (LLC), or an S corporation (S-corp). 
    An S-corp may offer several advantages over other business structures when it comes to taxation. In this structure, a business owner is called a shareholder, and the business owner is recognized by the IRS as an employee of the business. What this means is that the business owner must pay themselves a salary through the corporation. The S-corp pays their payroll taxes, which can in turn be deducted as a business expense. Income tax is paid through its owners’ tax returns based on their percentage of ownership. Moreover, any remaining profits have a lower tax rate than regular income. An S-corp may also allow 1099 CRNAs to avoid a higher tax level that other self-employed contractors pay for Medicare and Social Security.
          A CRNA may structure their company as an S-corp serving as the sole owner, with their business income, tax deductions, and losses passing through to the owner, as opposed to being taxed at a corporate level – a potentially smart move for maximizing financial security in the future.
    • Register for an EIN
  • Open a business checking account and credit card
  • Keep track of all your business expenses as these could save you money come tax time!
    • Have an envelope for receipts or a folder on your computer where you scan these into
  • Be sure not to co-mingle your business and personal finances!
  • Remember, as a freelance CRNA, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid!
    • Do you have at least six months savings should your contract abruptly stop?
  • Think about replacing your current benefits
    • Health Insurance
    • Health Savings Account/Dependent Savings Account
    • Retirement Savings Account
    • Life Insurance
    • Disability Insurance
  • Procure malpractice insurance
  • Look for jobs!
  • Apply for state licenses where you want to work
    • Each state needs a different CRNA license (and RN if they are not a compact state). Keep this in mind as some BONs can take 3-6 months to license a provider.
  • Have an employment attorney review your contract
  • Have your contract written to your business and deposit all earnings into your business checking
  • Keep A Schedule
  • As a W-2 employee, your taxable income and amounts taken out for taxes appeared on your W-2 form at the end of every year, without you having to calculate them. But when a firm pays more than $600 for services from an independent contractor, that income must be reported to the IRS.
    What many 1099 CRNAs don’t realize is that they must pay taxes on their income as they earn it. Paying your quarterly estimated income taxes will be a new part of running your business successfully. 
          It doesn’t sound so difficult—keeping track of paying estimated income tax only happens four times a year. But the reality is a late payment can result in penalties and fines from the IRS. Keeping a schedule to help you stay on top of your quarterly estimated tax payments, and paying adequately to avoid underpayment, is imperative in avoiding penalties in the future. Not to mention providing peace of mind!
  • Make sure you have a trusted team of accounting and/or financial professionals who have experience with freelance CRNAs to guide you through this process!
  • CPAs
  • Financial Planners
  • Bookkeepers
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