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Locum Tenens — A Solution for Burnout

Posted by VISTA Staffing on Mar 10, 2016 9:30:00 AM

In a recent 2015 Medscape Physician Lifestyle Report, physicians reported experiencing more job-related burnout than other American workers—46% of physicians reported burnout. According to the prior 2013 Lifestyle Report, 39.8% of physicians reported job-related burnout. The number is rising and the effects—physical and emotional—are widely felt among providers. The highest reported rates were among physicians working in critical/emergency care, primary care, surgery, and internal medicine. With such large reported numbers of burnout, is there a solution? Yes, and Locum Tenens is the answer.

What Is Locum Tenens?

Locum Tenens is a temporary position held by Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Certified Nurse Anesthetists, and offers providers short-term temporary, long-term temporary, and/or permanent positions. Locums allow post-residency, seasoned, or semi-retired providers the flexibility to take on short-term assignments, with greater control, which leads to an improved quality of life.

Why Is Burnout a Problem?

Burnout is defined as “loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment.” Healthcare providers are often highly engaged with their work, sometimes to a fault. This high level of engagement can lead to the sacrifice of other areas in life. Due to high levels of work-related stress, health may begin to decline, relationships may suffer, and compassion fatigue may increase. Overall provider effectiveness is likely to decrease. Reported causes of burnout includes: long hours at work; too many bureaucratic tasks; too many difficult patients; low pay; and a large patient load, to name a few.

Why Are Locums Jobs a Solution to Burnout?

Locum Tenens jobs are set for a specific amount of time and typically have an expiration date. This is often appealing to providers who want flexibility, varied experience, or a more relaxed career. A provider can choose a temporary job assignment, work hard for the specified amount of time, and then take a break when the assignment ends. Knowing there is an end in sight, with time to recover before the next assignment, helps decrease stress levels, increase compassion for patients, and provide an overall sense of well-being in all areas of life.

In addition to offering variety and an opportunity to work in different environments, Locum jobs also offer exposure to varying patient groups—different cultures and age groups. Entry-level professionals can also gain experience in different settings and with different populations while building their resumes. The diversity alone can offer beneficial learning experiences that a full-time, permanent position may not offer.

Locum Tenens offers a great solution to career burnout for providers looking for more flexibility, diversity, and less prolonged times of high stress.

Guide to Locum Tenens

Topics: Physicians


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About VISTA Staffing Solutions

VISTA Staffing Solutions has over thirty years of experience providing award-winning customer service to clients and providers alike. Headquartered in Salt Lake City with additional offices in Atlanta and Houston, and employs approximately 1,000 people between corporate staff and field clinicians and contracts with over 2,500 physicians across 60+ specialties and subspecialties. VISTA helps U.S. hospitals, medical practices, and government agencies optimize their physician staffing, ensure quality and continuity of care for patients, and maintain financial stability. As a leading provider of U.S. Locum Tenens and Permanent Physician Search Services, VISTA also operates VISTA Select, a first-of-its-kind technology and services solution utilizing advanced data and analytics to provide healthcare organizations with customizable workforce optimization solutions.