Maybe you’ve considered working locum tenens, but shelved the notion because you heard it’s not as stable as a regular full-time position. Or perhaps you believe an assignment facility’s permanent staff will be unwelcoming or view you as an outsider. Then again, you may be reluctant to explore the “locum lifestyle” because you think it could be too erratic.
Well, prepare to have those and other myths shattered! Here, we separate fact from fiction and highlight what you may actually expect from the practice alternative.
Myth No. 1: I can’t work locum tenens if I have a full-time position or practice.
On the contrary, many providers choose to moonlight, working locum tenens to supplement their income. What’s more, you’re free to do it as often or as infrequently as you wish, from providing weekend coverage to accepting assignments during vacation from your regular/permanent position.
Myth No. 2: Doing locum tenens is too unpredictable and demanding.
Since you’re able to determine where and when you’ll work, you’re in the driver’s seat in terms of the number of hours you practice and where you’ll go. You have a host of options, from practicing part- or full-time to accepting locum tenens opportunities in nearby communities or other parts of the country.
Myth No. 3: Locum tenens practice does not provide a consistent source of income.
As the nation’s physician shortage continues to grow, so do the opportunities for quality locum tenens providers. Hospitals, practices, and other medical facilities continually work toward narrowing the gap between supply and demand, repeatedly relying on the services of skilled, compassionate locum tenens professionals. As long as there is a need for physicians and advanced practice providers, there will be no shortage of locum tenens opportunities.
Myth No. 4: Locum tenens providers are unable to build a rapport with their patients.
Not true! In fact, when you work locum tenens, you’re not mired in hospital politics and administrative issues, so you’re able to focus fully on your patients and their care. What’s more, you may elect to recurrently take assignments at a given location, giving you the chance to develop lasting relationships with patients.
Myth No. 5: Permanent staff members resent locum tenens providers.
By and large, staff at facilities in need of dedicated clinicians are thankful for the assistance and expertise a locum tenens provider brings to their hospital, practice, or clinic. Moreover, you’ll likely be regarded as an integral part of the team, essential to ensuring the continuity of quality healthcare.
Do your homework
To learn more about what you can expect when practicing locum tenens, do a little research. Speak with colleagues who have taken assignments. If there are any independent contractors at your facility, ask them about their experiences. And of course, be sure to contact respected locum tenens staffing companies like Medicus Healthcare Solutions, and explore the possibilities.