By Megan Murdock Krischke, contributor Aug 16, 2018
considering a locum tenens contract is sure to be full of questions, especially
if it is their first assignment. Jeff Barton and Tyler Shade, both senior recruiting
consultants for Staff Care, answer some of your most pressing questions about
locum tenens jobs and suggest some specific questions you will want to get
answered before accepting a contract.
these answers you can get from your own recruiter, some from the hiring
practice, and some you will need to answer for yourself.
10 Things to Know Before Signing a Locum Tenens Contract
1. What do I want from this
the first things a physician who wants to take a locum tenens assignment needs
to do is ask themselves, ‘What are my goals?’” said Barton. “If you are trying
to work less, you need to figure out what kind of income you need. Or perhaps
your desire is to travel and explore different parts of the country. You also
need to know if you are looking for shorter-term assignments like filling in
for physicians while they are vacation, or if you want your assignments to be
longer. We have assignments as short as one day and as long as one year.”
tenens assignments that meet your personal and professional goals.
2. What will be my scope of
locum tenens will have an interview with a physician or manager from the hiring
practice or facility. This is the perfect time for physicians and advanced
practitioners to ask questions regarding their expected scope of practice.
particularly with surgeons and have found that the procedures considered
standard for different specialties may vary by location,” remarked Barton.
practitioners’ scope of practice can also vary widely depending on the state,
practitioners and nurse anesthetists, so it pays to research the state mandates ahead
3. Who is responsible for my travel
and housing expenses?
almost all cases, Staff Care will cover the costs of traveling to a locum assignment,
the rental car and the housing. The staff will also do the work of finding and arranging
for housing during your assignment. Locums who need larger-than-normal accommodations
for family traveling with them may have to pay the additional expenses out of
locum tenens assignments may not involve travel, so the terms for these contracts
are likely to differ.
4. What housing accommodations are
always encourage physicians to get online to get a feel for the housing options
and to think through what they want. Do they need a kitchenette? Is it important
to them to be on the bottom or top floor of the building? We want our
physicians to be 100 percent comfortable.” said Barton. “And after arrival, if there
is ever something about the location or the unit that doesn’t work for them, we
are glad to find something that will.”
we can always find accommodations
that allow pets,” he added. “In fact, once we arranged a rental on five
acres with a barn for a traveler who was taking three pigs along.”
noted that locum tenens travelers are responsible for any additional fees
associated with bringing a pet, such as pet deposits and damage fees.
5. How will I be compensated?
assignment contract should spell out the details of your locum tenens
including any stipulations for bonuses, shift differentials, overtime pay, on
call coverage, etc. It should also spell out what expenses will be covered by
tenens salaries are paid by your staffing agency, and you should expect to submit
a timesheet on a periodic basis; at Staff Care this is done through a convenient online portal. Many compensation and payment
questions can be addressed by your recruiter, but recruitment consultants are
not meant to provide legal or financial advice.
6. Does my locum tenens job
include health or malpractice insurance?
tenens physicians and advanced practitioners are considered independent
contractors, or 1099 employees. This
means that they do not receive health insurance through Staff Care and also
that we don’t withhold any taxes,” noted Barton. “Malpractice insurance,
however, is provided.”
7. How do I get licensure for a
state has its own requirements
for medical licensure, so if you will be working a locum tenens job in
a new state, the Staff Care in-house licensing team will do everything they can
to make the process as easy as possible. They can provide information on
timelines and processes, provide contact information for the state licensure
board, fill out much of the paperwork, and then send you the application clearly
marked where questions and signatures are needed.
8. How long will it be before I
start time for a specific assignment will depend on the hiring practice,
licensure timelines and other factors, but if you want to start working right
away, there are options to help you do that.
really vary, but if a physician is motivated and flexible about the location
and types of jobs they take, then I can usually get someone a locum tenens
assignment in 60 to 90 days and keep them working as much as they want,” Shade
9. Have I disclosed everything?
critical to be absolutely transparent about any background issues—even, or
especially, those that don’t seem significant,” Shade emphasized. “I recently
had a physician who had disclosed to us a background issue that really wasn’t a
big deal, but he wasn’t completely transparent during the credentialing
process. This resulted in the hiring client becoming suspicious that he was
hiding something and he lost the contract.”
10. What if I hate it? or What
if I love it?
there is good news on both counts.
tenens contract offers physicians a 30-day out. So if the location or the co-workers
or the travel just isn’t working out, you aren’t stuck,” said Shade. “On the
other hand, if you love the location and your co-workers and the client is
looking to hire for a permanent position, I’m certain that a doctor who they
know and have a good working relationship with is going to have an advantage
over other applicants.”
have any additional questions about locum tenens assignments, Staff Care’s
recruitment team is ready to answer those for you. CONTACT US today!
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