Whether you have recently started taking locum tenens jobs or have been accepting them for several years, you may agree that the chance to discover something new at each assignment is one of the great rewards of this practice alternative. Before you agree to a locum tenens opportunity, there are a few things you need to be familiar with to ensure your experiences are seamless and satisfying. Read on to discover three key things every locum tenens provider should know.
How do you acquire a medical license in another state?
The license processing time varies from one state to the next. Some states require less paperwork—which makes for a faster turnaround time—while others are a lengthier experience. You also need to consider the licensure fee, which is more than $1,000 in some states, and renewal cost. However, you can practice using your current, active state license at a government facility, such as a VA hospital or Indian Health Service facility, in any state in the nation.
Organization is key for moving through the licensing process as smoothly as possible. To prepare for submitting an application, start putting together a file of some of the documents that will be required, like your diplomas, certifications, and references. A knowledgeable recruiter from a reputable staffing company, like Medicus Healthcare Solutions, can walk you through the process, provide resources, and answer questions. If you want to explore opportunities outside a state where you are licensed, the recruiter also can help you determine where you want to practice, whether you are interested in assignments fairly close to home or would prefer to practice in an area across the country.
What are the opportunity and location specifics?
Before committing to a contract, learn as much as you can about the hospital, practice, or health system. It’s also important to learn about the community in which you will be working and living. Find out what you can expect for your orientation. Consider asking your recruiter about the experiences of other physicians or advanced practitioners he or she represents. Your recruiter also should have the details about shift schedules, contract start and end dates, pay and reimbursement rates, call requirements, and travel and accommodations.
Furthermore, you will want to be aware of the size of the facility or practice, types of health conditions seen and patient populations served, and the equipment to which you will have access, including the electronic health record system used by the organization. You also may wish to inquire about the number of permanent staff members and fellow locum tenens clinicians you will be working alongside.
Who do you contact with your concerns?
Your recruiter should serve as your main point of contact. After all, he or she is your representative. A conscientious recruiter is invested in your success and responsive to resolving any challenges that arise while you are on assignment. Find out whether your locum tenens staffing company has established protocols for dealing with providers’ concerns. Does the agency have a 24-hour hotline for emergencies or a liaison you may speak with about a practice setting issue?
If you need assistance in resolving a clinical matter, you may choose to report it to the department or practice manager at your assignment before contacting your recruiter. Discussing the “what to do’s” before a situation emerges will help to ensure all parties are on the same page.
Opportunities to grow
The “locum lifestyle” presents a thrilling combination of professional fulfillment and excitement through new discoveries. In addition, acquiring experience as an independent contractor continually presents more opportunities to grow and develop skills to advance your career.
Call Medicus Healthcare Solutions at 855.301.0563 to explore locum tenens opportunities with an experienced recruiter, and read our blogs for tips, the latest news and trends, and other helpful information.