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Published: May 15, 2019  | Updated: May 28, 2019

What can you do in three to six months?

That’s how long it can take to get credentialed. Only a few hours of that is you actually filling out paperwork. The rest of the time, you’re waiting for facilities to finish the process, which can be delayed if something’s missing from the application, a reference doesn’t swiftly respond, or the credentialing board directors aren’t available to meet.

In the meantime, here are 12 things you can do while waiting to be credentialed.

 

1. Learn a new language

It can take anywhere from two to six months to become fluent in a language, depending on the language and how much time you put in. Considering you’re in professional limbo right now, surely you can spare a few hours a day. Then you can bring this knowledge to work, assuming you didn’t pick a dead language that only five people in the world know. Choose wisely.

 

2. Bike across America

If you’re in decent shape, you can bike across the country in a couple of months, which would be an exciting, fun way to see America. If you’re not in decent shape, please don’t do this. It’s profoundly unwise. Go on a bike ride around the block with your kid or a walk with your spouse instead. Trust us.

 

3. Watch every episode of “C.S.I.” and “Law & Order”

An entertaining way to pass some time is binge-watching television. But you don’t just have some time. You have a lot of time. So why not choose the shows with the most episodes? That’s “Law & Order” (takes 19 straight days to watch) and “C.S.I.” (takes 14 days, 9 hours). Enjoy!

 

4. Make a close friend

Research shows it takes about 50 hours of time with someone to become acquaintances, 90 hours to become friends, and 200 hours to become close friends. While you’re waiting to be credentialed, you’ll likely have enough time to make each of these connections. We recommend the close friend option, since it’s more fulfilling, but feel free to mix and match.

 

5. Buy and raise a dwarf octopus

If credentialing takes you six months (as it does for some), you could buy a baby dwarf octopus and raise it until it dies of old age. That’s how long provider credentialing takes (and how short dwarf octopuses live). Both tragic, but at least raising an octopus is adorable and rewarding.

 

6. Form a few good habits

It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a good habit. Depending where you fall on that spectrum and how much time it takes you to get credentialed, you may have enough time to form a few good habits. So, get in the habit of exercising a few times a week or helping every old lady you see cross the street. Whatever good habit/s you want to form is fair game.

 

7. Take some CME courses

Depending on your state’s CME requirements, you have to complete a certain number of courses every year or so. May as well get ahead on your credits for the year while you’re in job purgatory. Intiva Health has a catalog of hundreds of CME courses you can take, 80 percent of which are free. Courses often only take an hour or less. Imagine how many you can knock out!

 

8. Write a novel

If it’s true that Jack Kerouac wrote “On the Road” in three weeks, surely you can knock out a novel while waiting to get credentialed. Don’t act like you haven’t thought about it. We’ve all thought about it. It’s just the rest of us don’t have time and are posers. You’re the real deal because you have tons of time. So do it! Then sell them to your patients. Genius side hustle.

 

9. Train for a half-marathon

If you’re already a runner, you could train for a half-marathon (a 13.1-mile run) in six weeks. If you’re not, you’ll need 12-14 weeks (or even 20 weeks if you’re a true slacker). Either way, you likely have the time to do it. It’ll be hard. In your darkest moments, you’ll probably question the purpose of the race (and life itself). But completing something so challenging will show you how strong (or weak) you truly are, which could be confidence-boosting (or just good to know).

 

10. Stay up-to-date on the field

If you’d rather be productive while you wait, you could catch up on the latest research for your specialty. Now’s the perfect time to do this, since you may be too busy for it once you start work. Plus, you’ll bring a wealth of additional knowledge to the job on day one. No downsides.

 

11. Grow a massive beard

For men and women who lack facial hair abilities, jump to number 12. For the rest of you, now’s the perfect time to grow the most glorious beard this world has ever seen. Go big! Then shave it all off before starting work so your beard doesn’t literally get in the way of helping patients.

 

12. Plant a garden

Can’t grow a beard? No worries! Grow a vegetable garden instead. Most people are too busy working to really invest time into a garden. Not you! You got so much free time, you could grow crops that take months to flourish, like corn (2-3 months) and cabbage (4-5 months). Go wild!

 

As you can see, there are many things you can do while waiting to be credentialed—some productive and others arguably a complete waste of energy and resources. But what you can’t do during this time are earn money and save lives.

The income you’ll lose while waiting to be credentialed will likely fall between $25,000 and $150,000. Plus, you won’t get to help patients. Thankfully, Intiva Health can speed up this process from months to minutes, with its groundbreaking DLT technology.

Faster credentialing may mean having to watch “C.S.I.” over the course of many years instead of a few months, but it’ll be worth it.

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