9 Reasons to Try Locum Tenens This Year

You may have heard about locum tenens work, or even tried it in the past, but you have been waiting until the right time to give it a whirl. Well, there is no time like the present!

As we move forward into 2019, here are several legitimate reasons to consider this alternative practice model in the coming weeks or months. 

The top reasons to try locum tenens in 2019:

1. Earn extra money

There can be several financial perks from working locum tenens jobs. A part-time locum tenens assignment may involve working a few extra shifts at a local hospital or clinic on your days off. This extra income can be a real boost for new physicians and others who need to pay off school loans or save for major expenses like a home purchase or a child’s college tuition.

Full-time locum tenens assignments usually involve a longer commute or a travel position that includes free housing and reimbursements for travel expenses. These positions also offer generous pay which is often higher than the salary rates for similar permanent positions. Opportunities for overtime pay, as negotiated in your contract, can add to the financial benefit of locum jobs.

CHECK OUT the pay rates for current locum jobs.

2. Grow professionally

Working at different facilities, from top research and teaching facilities to rural hospitals, enables you to broaden your skill set and learn new techniques. Those who try locum tenens have the unique opportunity to work for multiple employers, learn from new mentors, train on different equipment and add more varied work experience than practitioners who stay in the same job year after year.

3. Get paid to explore new locations

The lure of travel is one of the main reasons people try locum tenens, thanks to the multitude of choices for new places to practice medicine. Perhaps you’re from the Midwest and have always wanted to live on the West Coast, or you are stressed out from big city living and long to escape to a quieter place and spend your days off exploring the Great Outdoors—these changes are possible with the help of your locum tenens recruiter.

You can check locations off your bucket list, try out a city where you might want to move or let yourself be surprised by an area you never would have imagined. No matter where you choose to work, your agency can handle the logistics, cover your travel expenses and set you up with free accommodations.

4. Add flexibility, and vacation time, to your schedule

Physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are often overworked, with few options to take a real vacation or work a schedule that suits their needs. Locum tenens assignments allow practitioners to choose when and where they want to work, and to plan their time off between assignments. Some locums schedule their assignments so they can visit family, take an extended trip or simply drop out of sight for a few weeks of R&R. Locum jobs are the ultimate tool to create work–life balance.

5. Work in an underserved area

Several areas of the country, including rural communities, are hurting for doctors and advanced practitioners to care for their population. These patients may have limited access to services and the medical talents you can provide.

If you would like to be part of the solution and make a real impact, talk to a locum tenens recruiter about assignments where there is a particularly critical need, a long-standing vacancy or another situation where you can “do the most good.”

6. Spend more time with patients

As independent contractors on a temporary assignment, locum tenens practitioners are usually able to stay out of workplace politics and avoid some administrative burdens, allowing more to time to focus on patients. This extra time allows you to build trust and improve communication, ultimately improving outcomes.

Spending more time with patients can also go a long way toward improving your job satisfaction. After all, isn’t working with patients and delivering excellent care the reason you got into medicine in the first place?

RELATED: Which Physicians Spend the Most Time with Patients?
 
7. Avoid burnout

The 2018 Survey of Physicians, conducted by Merritt Hawkins, found that 78 percent of physicians and advanced practitioners sometimes, often or always experience feelings of burnout, and health care leaders recognize burnout as a key issue for practitioners, employers and patients alike.

Whether you’re feeling worn down by your current work situation or simply need a change of pace in your medical career, locum tenens may be just the revival you need. Experiencing new faces and places, while continuing to do what you love most, can make for a healthy and positive step forward.

RELATED: The Leading Cause of Physician Burnout

8. Transition to another phase in your career

The flexibility of locum tenens can make it the perfect fit at various times in your medical career. New physicians can use locum jobs to provide important work experience while waiting for the right long-term opportunity to open up; practitioners in mid-career can use locums to continue earning income between permanent positions; and physicians near retirement can use locum jobs as a transitional step between full-time practice and retirement.

9. Enrich your personal life

Each locum tenens assignment location can provide a number of personal benefits. You can use your time off to learn a new sport or skill, feed your love for theater or art, explore national parks, experience new types of cuisine or discover regional treasures. Locum assignments can also allow you to provide new experiences for your family, including those who travel with you and those you are able to visit nearby.

Locum work can put you in touch with people that you would otherwise never meet, improving your understanding of patient populations and developing new friendships that can enrich your life for years to come.

RELATED:

Why Work Locum Tenens?

10 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Locum Tenens Assignment

STAFF CARE is a national leader in locum tenens staffing, offering hundreds of locum assignments across the country. CONTACT a recruiter to learn how to get started.

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