Agencies and employers are always looking for top-notch locum tenens to fill positions. Successful substitute teachers need to know how to teach AND need to be willing and able to handle a variety of different and stressful situations. Similarly, successful locum tenens need to be skilled physicians AND need to be as adaptable as substitute teachers.
Qualities of a Top-Notch Locum Tenens
Being a risk-taker
A very large percentage of physicians prefer having a steady job and income, but locum tenens generally have a few different assignments each year. BMJ (British Medical Journal) reports that locum tenens, particularly general practice tenens, can earn more money than salaried physicians because of the physician shortage, but “whichever way the locum works, there are seasonal variations and an income cannot be guaranteed.” Consequently, top-notch locum tenens must be willing to risk earning little or no money for weeks, while seeking very high-paying assignments.
Being able to handle different people well
Patients who are accustomed to their regular doctors can be as difficult to deal with as students who are accustomed to their regular teachers. “Some patients see locums as a nuisance and complain, “You are not my real doctor,” according to BMJ. “These patients will book to see “their” doctor when he or she has returned.” Consequently, top-notch locum tenens must often be more skilled in communicating with difficult people than salaried physicians.
Being a self-starter
Locum tenens are self-employed so they must take the initiative in seeking assignments and keeping financial records that will reduce their tax bill. Finding an agency that helps locum tenens get good assignments is crucial. “A locum tenens recruiter who knows a little about physicians of every specialty is not good enough; you want a recruiter who is well versed in your own specialty,” according to CompHealth‘s “5 Traits to Look For in a Locum Tenens Recruiter.” The agency should also understand the market and industry trends and have strong relationships with medical facilities.
Being able to handle different environments well
Top-notch locum tenens should be able to work in the most technologically sophisticated large suburban hospitals as well as urban and rural medical clinics that treat impoverished patients. They should also be just as comfortable working in general practice as they are in a hospital. Different experiences can improve locum doctors’ long-term career prospects if they want to remain a locum tenens or eventually want a salaried position, according to HEALTLHeCAREERS Network’s “5 Benefits of Being a Temporary Physician.”
Being interested in travel
You don’t have to be interested in traveling to be a top-notch locum tenens, but most people want to have a rewarding personal life. Locum tenens generally aren’t able to see their families as much as salaried employees, but they can substitute the joys of visiting interesting cities around the world for stability. Fortunately, agencies generally reimburse locum tenens’ travel expenses, including air travel, car rental, and hotels, according to LocumLife’s “Growing demand for locum tenens NPs.”
The benefits of being a successful locum tenens can be tremendous. They include credentialing assistance, excellent compensation, malpractice coverage, and travel & housing support. However, prospective locum tenens should make sure they understand the personal and professional qualities they need to succeed before embarking on what can be a fascinating adventure. Visit LocumJobs Online to find opportunities today!