3 Important Tips to Minimize Uncertainty When Working Locums
Working locum tenens is a fantastic way to explore new places, experience different hospital environments, and make a high income while expanding your career horizons. However, you may have concerns that working locums is more uncertain than a permanent position with a predictable salary and set hours.
The reality is that locums doctors and APPs are more sought after than ever as the healthcare industry rapidly expands. The outcome is a high demand for doctors, meaning increased job security and opportunities for locum clinicians. As a result, you have considerable power in the job market and can be selective about the assignments you take.
That said, there are safeguards you can implement to minimize uncertainty and maximize job satisfaction when working locums. Here are three important tips:
1. Plan your schedule
The best way to reduce potential stress and uncertainty when working locums is to plan your schedule. Whenever possible, plan your locum tenens schedule at least 6 months in advance so you have a good idea of where you’ll be and when. You can then make any necessary arrangements in your personal life, such as child or pet care.
When planning your schedule, you should consider your on-call days and block off vacation time or school holidays. Next, note important dates, such as due dates for medical license renewals, documentation expiry, or mandatory continuing education credits. Finally, remember to include time for personal events such as weddings, anniversaries, or family reunions.
It’s good practice always to have at least one or two contingency dates in case of schedule changes. This allows flexibility if an assignment is canceled or you’re asked to start a new one sooner than expected.
Remember that your schedule is a living and continuously evolving document that you need to be proactive about maintaining.
Having a predictable schedule gives you a sense of control over your life. You can feel confident about managing work and personal commitments effectively, and you’ll know when you have time to relax and enjoy your free time. It’s also reassuring to know that your earnings are steady and you won’t have any unexpected financial pressure.
2. Work with your consultant
When you work with an expert locum tenens agency, your consultant is your partner in finding the best possible assignments to match your skills, experience, and preferences. So ask your recruiter questions and communicate continuously about your career goals.
Your consultant has insider knowledge of the industry, specific hospitals and clinics, and the needs of each client. They also have a network of contacts and relationships that can help you find the ideal locum tenens opportunity.
When you’re upfront about your goals, your consultant can provide targeted advice and support to help you achieve them. They can connect you with the right people, provide resources, and guide you through the process with a clear understanding of your objectives.
Working with a knowledgeable and experienced consultant means you have a partner invested in your success, so there’s less uncertainty and more job satisfaction.
3. Remember that you’re in demand!
Compared to other sectors — with a rather sedate projected growth of 7% between 2020 and 2030 — the healthcare industry is booming. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in healthcare occupations will grow by 16% in the same period — much faster than the average for all occupations.
This growth is fueled by an aging population needing more medical care coupled with new technology and medical advances that necessitate more specialist providers. As a result, hospitals and clinics are struggling to fill gaps in care as baby boomers retire and the need for medical services increases.
As a clinician, you’re valuable and in demand. You have the power to choose the locum tenens assignments that fit your lifestyle and preferences, as there are plenty of locums opportunities across all specialties.
Your skills are needed to provide quality patient care.
You can be certain when working locum tenens
Although working locum tenens means a shorter-term commitment than a traditional position, that doesn’t translate to career instability.
Use these three essential tips to reduce the uncertainty of working locums. At Integrity Locums, we work with you to ensure you have a satisfying and successful experience as a locum tenens clinician.
Contact us to discuss your career goals and how we can help you achieve them.