Top 8 Things To Know About Your Locum Tenens Assignment
Locum tenens work is a fantastic opportunity to take a break from your current job and gain new skills and experience. It’s also a great way to make extra money on the side or even fund your own retirement savings account.
But with so many different things to consider, there are pertinent questions to ask before accepting any locum tenens offer. Here are the top 8 things that you should know before taking on a locum tenens assignment.
1. Accurate pay
The agreement you have with your locum tenens agency should spell out your terms of payment, including how and when you’ll be paid and the amount. Make sure that these details align with the pay you discussed with your consultant. Remember that you’ll need to submit timesheets promptly to ensure you’re paid on schedule.
As an independent contractor, you’re responsible for paying taxes on your locum tenens income. It’s best to speak to your accountant about the best way to handle these payments.
2. Overtime and holiday policy
It’s essential to understand the organization’s overtime and holiday policies. For example, if you’re working over a holiday, will you get paid time and a half or time off in lieu. You may find that some facilities have over-time policies that require additional hours to be authorized by management or have a limit to the number of overtime hours you can cover.
When you’re acquainted with the overtime policy, it precludes any surprises.
In your locum tenens agreement or other documents, you should find travel arrangement expenditure and coverage details. You may need to cover some expenses, or the locum tenens agency and facility might take care of everything between them.
Travel involves various expenses, including accommodation, car rental, parking, flights, and other forms of transport. You’ll need to know what costs are covered and if there is a cap on daily spending. It’s also important to find out how you’re reimbursed and the receipts you need.
No one expects to cancel a locums contract, but you need to know your responsibilities should you need to cancel your agreement, especially if it’s last minute.
On the other hand, should the facility where you’ve accepted an assignment cancel, you need to understand your rights.
You should ask your consultant about the agency’s cancellation policy. It should outline how many days are needed to cancel, how you should document this, and if there are any penalties.
Typically, you’ll find a standard 30-day cancellation window.
Timesheets are a part of life as locum tenens. You’ll need to return your timesheets to the agency each week so that they can process your payment on time.
Your consultant can help you with the process of submitting your timesheets.
Now, this might seem like an obvious one, but it’s essential to review your contract in case you need to report to more than one location. You may work in one primary facility most of the time and cover satellite clinics or even home visits. If you are working in a large hospital, you may find yourself working in several different departments. For these reasons, it’s essential to clarify with your consultant your primary and any secondary working locations.
7. Point of contact at assignment location
Check with your consultant and make sure you know your point of contact at the assignment location. They should provide the contact name, phone number, address, email address, and any other information you need.
You may find beginning a new locum tenens assignment daunting, especially if it’s your first, so having this information at hand will help you feel more confident on the first day of the job.
8. Schedule and orientation
Knowing your work schedule and orientation are key to succeeding in a locum tenens assignment. Precisely what this integration consists of depends on the facility and perhaps the length of the contract.
If you’re working in a small department or clinic, you may not have a formal orientation. Instead, you may have a brief welcome and introduction to key members of staff who’ll help you figure out what you need to know over the initial few days.
Larger hospitals may have a more formal orientation that outlines hospital procedures, computer passwords and access, security, and anything else you need to prepare you to see patients.
Your consultant can tell you what to expect from orientation and if you should expect to receive hospital policy documentation and other information before your start date.