With the ongoing physician shortages, locum tenens healthcare providers have never been more in demand. Medical organizations are looking to supplement their staffing needs with locum tenens clinicians to provide continuity of care.
As a clinician looking to pursue this avenue, how do you get started and have the best working experience possible? Below are six best practices for getting the most value out of your working relationship with a locum tenens recruiter.
Have your paperwork ready.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure your paperwork is in order to expedite the recruiting process. After working on an assignment, make sure you update your CV to reflect your most recent experience accurately. You want to give recruiters a holistic view of any new skills or experience you've gained.
Have all supporting documentation you'll need for work on a zip file or in cloud storage online to access it whenever you need to. If you provide a specific kind of care, always stay up to date on maintaining the right certifications in your specialty. This will help your recruiter, as they may need context on your qualifications.
Maintain a flexible approach.
You can't predict when you might get a call, so staying flexible is vital. Flexibility isn't just beneficial for your recruiter; it opens up new opportunities for you, especially if you're willing and able to adapt.
What kind of procedures are you qualified to perform within your specialty? Are there other aspects you can receive training in that would open up your job opportunities? How far are you willing to travel for a position? Are you willing to receive your license in bordering states and work in them? What about working day or night shifts, or being open to taking calls? The more flexible you are, the more you open yourself up for exciting job opportunities.
Understanding locum tenens clinician benefits.
Whether you're approaching retirement and looking to scale back or are just coming out of a residency, becoming a locum tenens clinician has multiple advantages associated with it. By working with a recruiter, you can expose yourself to the following benefits:
- Travel. A recruiter can put you in touch with jobs in areas you've always wanted to travel to. Conversely, you can also allot more time in your schedule for personal travel if you so desire.
- Flexible schedule. When a recruiter contacts you for an assignment, it's ultimately up to you to accept it or not, allowing you to build your ideal schedule.
- Choose where you work. By choosing which assignments you take, you can also select the location in which you work. You can work with a recruiter on pursuing positions in the areas you choose, allowing yourself to work in diverse cultures.
- A wider range of opportunities. Locum tenens clinicians generally have more options. Working with an experienced recruiter only opens up more avenues.
Be willing to adapt.
Many healthcare organizations use locum tenens clinicians to fill their staffing needs. Whether you're helping the organization treat a surge of patients or manage a staffing transition, locum tenens physicians should be as adaptable as possible. When you show you're able to accommodate various situations and working conditions, you become more valuable to your recruiter and open yourself up to a broader range of placement opportunities.
The most important thing to remember when working with a recruiter is to be open and honest about what you want both in terms of positions and salary. Be upfront about your expectations and ask for the same transparency from your recruiter. This is how you ensure you get the best placement in the assignment that is a good fit.
Be honest about your credentials and experience. If you have any discipline or malpractice issues in your work history, establish that upfront as well. It may not be easy to discuss, but it's much easier to explain when you're proactive about it.
Please don't delay in contacting your locum tenens recruiter or in getting back to them. This is a competitive field, and it can move lightning fast. Recruiters are often looking to fill positions rather quickly, so your responsiveness can be the key to getting your dream assignment.
When moving forward with your assignment, ensure you are filling out the required paperwork promptly. Answering all of your recruiter's questions quickly and honestly is how you become the top clinician your recruiter will contact for future consideration.
Work with a recruiter.
While working with a recruiter to find a locum tenens assignment, always strive to show optimal professionalism in everything you do. Stay organized, maintain a flexible approach, and embrace a process that benefits both you and your recruiter.
When choosing a locum tenens recruiter, choose one that is committed to helping you reap the rewards of making the right transition in your personal and professional life. VISTA has over 30 years of experience assisting clinicians in making professional transitions to locum tenens. To get started, contact us today!