Is Locum Tenans Work for You?
I have been
considering pursuing locum tenens work for a year or so. I want to know your
opinion of the option of becoming a career locum tenens provider. How is that
perceived in the community? How does that affect one's career in the long term?
Is it better for me to settle down in a more permanent position?
Dear Job Seeker:
is a Latin phrase which means "to hold the place of, or to substitute
for" and these positions have been around a long time. You may also hear
these jobs referred to as "temporary" or "travel" positions.
There are many reasons that a practice might seek a Locum
tenens provider. It could be that one of their permanent staff is on an
extended leave or absence. It may also be due to a temporary increase in
patient volume or the launch of a new program.
Sometimes, organizations are under a hiring freeze and so
they cannot afford additional permanent staff but do have the ability to bring
in a locum provider. The last few years we have seen an increase in temporary
positions due to the uncertainty of the healthcare market. Although, if I think
back over all the years I have been in this business, it seems that the demand for
locum clinicians tends to be strong in almost every type of economy.
It takes a certain type of person to do a locum assignment
and not everyone is cut out for this type of work. Fortunately for you, and
others like you who do temporary work, this is good news because employers tend
to like the characteristics that make you a good locum candidate.
They understand that to be successful as a locum provider
you must be very flexible and adaptable, as well as independent. They also
recognize that because you will have worked in several different types of
practices and locations that you will have a wider scope of experiences.
Basically, you end up to be very well-rounded, which employers find impressive.
As a recruiter I was thrilled to hire a "serial locum" provider because I knew
that they would be a clinician with solid skills and confidence.
I speak from not only recruiting experience but also personal
experience. I have been a professional locum tenens clinician from the
beginning of my NP career (and I still am!). Some of my assignments have been
quite lengthy, renewing repeatedly for year after year while others have been
very short term.
Almost every clinic to which I have been assigned has offered
me a permanent position - many locums do eventually hire on permanently at the
end of an assignment - so lack of permanent employment opportunities has never
been a concern.