5 Tips When Onboarding Locum Tenens


Here at LocumJobsOnline, we always try to make sure that finding a job or the right candidate for a position is as seamless as can be. Although once the contracts are signed, the next phase is making a locum tenens physician feel like they will be able to succeed and thrive in their new environment through onboarding procedures.

Although a locum tenens physician may be used to entering new environments on every assignment, there are no two clinics or hospitals that are exactly the same. This makes a proper onboarding schedule crucial to your newest team member’s success, especially if they are needed ASAP.

Onboarding Locum Tenens

Helping a locum tenens physician feel comfortable in their new environment will benefit everyone.

1. Plan for Staff Overlap

Things can move quickly in medicine, so be sure to work attentively with those staff members who are leaving and the locum tenens who may be filling their roles. It’s recommended that at least one day is allowed as cushioning when a locum will be taking over the job of someone’s current provider. This time can be used as a period of shadowing, allowing the new locum to learn how a staff member had been operating before handing off their responsibilities. If a locum physician is arriving during an emergency, there may not be time to have such a clean transition. In this case, a phone call between the two overlapping staff will have to do.

2. Design an Onboarding Packet

As many have come to realize, each hospital or clinical setting has its own nuances and workflow that can take time to recognize. For this reason, it is recommended that a simple welcome packet or an orientation be compiled. This should detail basic information such as a facility map, door codes and ID badge instructions, cafeteria hours, and anything else that might make the transition as painless as possible. A few solid hours of reviewing this information and providing a tour and introduction to current staff can make a huge difference in how comfortable your new locum tenens physician will feel on their assignment.

3. Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Overview

Although EMR systems have provided an unparalleled convenience for the health industry, they are sometimes difficult to master since systems can vary across the nation. It is important to avoid errors or to cause significant delays as a result of an EMR learning curve. Be sure to have logins and passwords for your new locum tenens provider well before they arrive so there is limited technological stress.

4. Find Time to Connect

The potential shock of the first day in a new work environment can be a lot to handle, even for seasoned pros. If there’s time, find a way to help your new hire feel welcomed outside of the medical setting by taking them to lunch or dinner. Between all of the technical information and procedures of the job, there aren’t always opportunities to socialize with coworkers. This can allow you to learn more about your newest team mate’s history, interests, abilities, and goals to help them be as successful as possible during their assignment.

5. Use the Buddy System

Despite a streamlined orientation process and adequate resources, some locum physicians may just do better when paired with a current provider. In order to help them become acclimated and comfortable in general, giving a new hire someone to turn to for questions and guidance can ensure they don’t hesitate to seek clarification. Although it is unlikely they will need more than several days to begin synching up with the rest of the workplace, make sure their designated “buddy” is willing to take on such a role and won’t be hindered in their own tasks.

Locum tenens physicians can be “just what the doctor ordered” in a crisis situation or during a staffing shortage, so taking the time to follow proper onboarding procedures is the best way to maximize the investment.   

Author: Connor Smith

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