Editor's note: This post was originally published April 6, 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and timeliness.
Locum tenens jobs have dramatically changed the daily operations of overburdened medical facilities and hospitals by providing highly qualified providers for filling provider shortage gaps, covering absences, and vacations. Locum jobs have significantly reduced provider stress and decreased the number of provider shortages. But the nature of locum jobs often creates an image that there is inconsistent work, unpredictability, and lack of patient rapport. This post will address 3 misconceptions that often prevent providers from seeking out a more flexible work schedule and lifestyle.
Misconception #1: Locum Jobs Are Inconsistent
In a society that places great priority and security in consistent, stable work, some may view locum jobs as an unrealistic means to obtain traditional work and pay. However, securing a locum position provides increased control over your schedule, flexibility in choosing when and where you would like to work, and the ability to make time for family and personal commitments. Also, locums find themselves free to travel and move as often as they would like since they aren’t at the mercy of a full-time contract.
Misconception #2: Locum Tenens Jobs Are Too Unpredictable
It is true that locum tenens providers do not generally have a regular weekly schedule as compared to full-time providers. However, the predictability of locums is found in the freedom in securing short or long-term assignments, based on personal preference. As a locum provider, you can look at an entire year and plan when you would like to work. You can also devise a strong financial plan to get you through each year, based on the amount of work you need to take to pay the bills and live. Locum jobs vary in duration of assignments — short-term and extended — which provides a sense of predictability as you customize your work schedule. You have the opportunity to tell your work schedule how to work around your life.
Misconception #3: Locum Tenens Can’t Build Meaningful Relationships with Patients
It may seem that full-time providers have an advantage over locums when it comes to building patient rapport. Popular opinion may assert that full-time providers stay in one location and offer continuity for a patient. However, the great advantage of a locum provider is the quality of care and attention they can give each patient. Locums are free from the administrative duties of a full-time provider, which allows for more time with each patient and the development of a more attentive bedside manner; this results in the locum provider feeling less rushed and burdened, which helps to create more meaningful provider-patient rapport.
These misconceptions about locum tenens have arisen naturally from the belief that there is a lack of security in these jobs. That assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. Locum jobs provide flexibility, security, control over your schedule, and an opportunity to work with diverse patient populations in new and different locales nationally and internationally.
A Partner on Your Side…
When you work through a trusted staffing agency, you have someone in your court that can help you plan your future, not just find your next job. At VISTA, our primary concern is matching you with assignments that fit your requirements, including a pay rate you think is fair. Keep the lines of communication open with your recruiter. If you’re ready to explore a locum tenens assignment, visit our job board or contact us at 800-366-1884.