For CRNA Week 2017, the Locums Link Blog catches up with Staff Care's own Michael Chatham, Senior Manager of Recruiting for our anesthesia division and a key member of the Staff Care locum tenens recruitment team for almost two decades.
We sat down with Michael to discuss how the anesthesia department has grown over the years, how locum tenens has transitioned from a specialty service to a major component of the healthcare industry, and what he loves most about working as a locum tenens CRNA and anesthesia recruiter.
"As cliché as it sounds, helping people is one of the main benefits that I enjoy most," Michael told us. "Through the work that we do, people who might not have had the opportunity to receive care are getting surgeries today. There are hospitals, whether large or small, that have anesthesiologists or CRNAs there to help save lives.
"Also, just as important are the relationships that I have built over the years," he adds. "I’ve worked with the same providers for 18 years — going through grandchildren being born, kids going to college, and the providers’ entire career arc up to retirement, and they were working with me the whole time. So the positive relationships I have built is certainly a key benefit."
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"It’s My Job to Find Options" for Locum CRNAs
“As a healthcare recruiter, you’re more or less a talent agent,” Michael explained. “So I’ve got 'stars' in my pipeline — CRNAs and anesthesiologists — and it’s my job to find options for them, both externally to other clients and internally to our different account representatives’ available locums positions.”
Joining Staff Care in the 1990s, Michael has been on the company's front lines during a crucial period in the world of locum tenens staffing services. "I started working with the anesthesia division in February of 1999," he said. "There were two recruiters and two sales team members and one account rep. However, if you fast forward five years to 2004, the divisions grew substantially, to more than 120 team members — 65 employees in radiology, and 65 employees in anesthesia.
"So I helped start this division and now I like to think of it as my baby, and have had the privilege to watch it grow and evolve over the years. Our division really has a family environment and I’ve really developed strong ties with every individual on the team. Additionally, seeing the people that I have influenced gain success over the years is extremely fulfilling for me."
During that time, Michael has been on the front lines as the healthcare industry's use of locum tenens professionals has become more and more widespread — to the point that where 94% of healthcare employers report utilizing locum professionals in Staff Care's 2017 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends.
"Overall I would say one of the biggest changes has been the acceptance of locum tenens as a career choice," he said. "When I first started working here, my job was consisted mainly of educating providers and clients about working locum tenens but over the years, locums has really evolved to a career choice for physicians and clinicians.
Michael also finds rewards in connecting anesthetists with great opportunities, and vice versa. "When a client calls us up with an emergency situation ... finding a provider and getting that provider out to the facility to fill their needs. That’s very rewarding both for the providers, as they can help a facility in need, and also helping a hospital save lives. Any time that happens it is a great experience.
A Passion for Life, Football, and Locum Anesthesia Recruitment
A native of Oklahoma City, Michael attended Oklahoma State University and now lives in Rowlett, Texas with his family — which includes two boys, a step-daughter, two step-grandsons, and a granddaughter on the way. He's been with Staff Care for almost two decades.
During the rare times that Michael isn't engaged in helping to recruit locum tenens CRNAs, you can find him passionately following his favorite sport, football.
"I played football for 15 years and it is something I have always been passionate about," he said. "Ask my wife; I live and breathe football 365 days a year. Thank goodness for the creation of NFL Network because I always have something to watch!"
Needless to say, as Senior Manager of Staff Care's anesthesiology recruitment team, Michael's passions extend beyond football. "I’m very passionate about life in general. I believe that whatever you are doing — whether it’s working, watching football, or playing with the kids — love it and be passionate about it."
There's no question that Michael brings that passion and commitment to Staff Care's CRNA recruitment services every day. And don't just take our word for it — if you're a CRNA seeking locum tenens opportunities, we encourage you to reach out to our locum tenens anesthesia recruitment team by contacting us here.
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