All jobs require some type of qualifications. These “hard skills” are important to a successful integration, no matter the position. In the medical field, there is a strong emphasis on qualifications. In addition to schooling and licensing requirements, facilities want to know if doctors are board certified. Have they performed procedures that are common at the facility? Can they handle daily census? The list could go on and on.
For healthcare leaders, the emphasis on hard skills is natural, especially when you’re hiring a locum tenens provider to fill a temporary staffing gap. The effective integration of a new provider, however, also depends on “soft skills,” emotional intelligence, social interactions, and overall attitude. This skillset often receives much less attention from recruiters and healthcare leaders, but it helps physicians and other providers improve overall communication and efficiency at your facility or practice.
Hard skills might determine whether you contact providers for an interview, but their soft skills that emerge during the interview may help determine if they are a good fit for your healthcare organization. Reputable medical staffing organizations, like Medicus Healthcare Solutions, take these skills into consideration during their screenings. Soft skills aren’t visible on a CV, but these skills appear when candidates answer questions and talk about their backgrounds. These skills may be evident in the “voice” in their publications and in peer feedback. In today’s post, we explore some of the top soft skills that help a locum tenens physician blend with the rest of your team and keep your patients happy.
- Collaboration and Communication
A successful locum tenens provider needs to be able to quickly integrate and “hit the ground running.” Your medical team members have probably already found the best ways to interact with one another. It’s essential that a new provider can fall into that rhythm and collaborate with existing staff. When you are speaking to potential providers, consider asking questions that allow them to demonstrate their ability to adapt and communicate within a team.
Medicine is closely aligned with ethics. Each day, your providers shoulder moral responsibilities and face tough choices. When you’re speaking with candidates, you may wish to present them with a few difficult scenarios to see how they navigate their responses. Gauging their character early on is a tell-tale indicator of how well they will eventually align with your facility’s values and vision.
- Motivation and Commitment
Flexibility is a good locum tenens provider’s middle name. When providers start an assignment, they need to be motivated to learn your EMR system and committed to navigating your facility’s setup. Settling in at a new facility is not easy. Experienced locum tenens providers are accustomed to this changing lifestyle and are often self-starters. As you discuss assignment details with potential providers, assess their level of comfort with newness and unfamiliarity. If there are any concerns, the screening process is the time to find out—not when they’re beginning assignments.
Locums work is not easy. It takes a special personality to continually adjust to various facility protocols and adapt to new medical teams. An important quality for successful locum tenens physicians is their ability to accept constructive criticism. If a provider with longevity at a facility tries to help guide a new physician, is this physician’s first instinct to take it personally or to say thank you and file the information? This distinction is a good consideration as you contemplate how the locums provider will fit in with your established team.
- Empathy and Respect
Good bedside manner is vital, but some physicians lack it. This doesn’t make these physicians bad doctors, but it can make it difficult for them to connect with your patients. Ultimately, your patients should leave your facility with positive experiences and be comfortable with your physicians.
“I remind my fellows, residents and medical students that what we do is a privilege,” says Shikha Jain, MD. “People let us into the most intimate aspects of their lives, and they look to us to help guide them through very complex and delicate situations.”
Ask new doctors how they would inform a woman that her child lost his/her life. Pose a scenario with a hypochondriac: how would the physician talk to the patient and explain the patient’s “symptoms”? These answers matter. The provider’s level of respect and empathy for your patients has a great impact since the provider is guiding them through vulnerable and sometimes life-altering experiences. It’s valuable to read beyond the CV.
If you are interested in learning more about securing locum tenens coverage for your facility, visit the Medicus Healthcare Solutions website or call 855.301.0563 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives today.