There’s a good chance you feel a deep sense of appreciation for your staff, AKA the people who carry out your directives and serve your patients. Almost every person in a healthcare leadership position has had that glowing moment where they look at a buzzing waiting room or back area and say to themselves, “I’m really lucky to have this team.”
Because of this — and because you understand the unpleasant things that can befall an organization when they allow staff to become overworked — it’s also fair to say you want the best for your people in terms of workload, ability to perform, and overall job satisfaction. This is where locum tenens comes in. Temporary staffing services allow you to take better care of your staffers, giving them the reduced workloads, longer visit times, and more relaxed work environment they need to do their best. Here are five reasons you owe your staff a locum:
1. They’re Probably Overworked
To a degree, overwork is a fact of life in healthcare. It’s something people are hardened against from their first days in school and subjected to in heaps once they enter the working world. Like parents swapping lost-sleep war stories, it can even become a point of competition amongst staffers. “You think you’ve got it bad? I worked two 16s on the weekend and picked up an extra 12 on Monday just for fun.”
However, there’s also the potential for bad or extreme overwork — the kind that contributes to burnout, contributes to med errors and care oversights, and makes employees grumble about needing more hands on deck. Regardless of source or how long you’ve grappled with it, this is the kind of situation locum tenens services were built to solve: Instead of forcing employees to pick up the slack for that vacationing colleague or instituting mandatory overtime policies as you trawl for a permanent replacement, get some temporary help in the door and scoop some of that extra work off your remaining staff’s plate. They’ll appreciate you for it in a major way.
2. They Also Need a Break
Being overworked and needing a break aren’t always the same thing. Just because your roster’s at full capacity doesn’t mean certain members of your staff couldn’t use a reduced patient load for a little bit: Stressful life circumstances and a sudden influx in patients are just two reasons a full employee list may not be enough to keep your employees from feeling a little undue pressure. If you get the sense some of your staff could use a temporary lightening of the load, why not surprise them with a little extra support?
3. They Hate Vacation Blackout Dates
If you think about it, blacking out certain vacation dates is tantamount to telling employees where and when they can use their pay. And you shouldn’t tell employees where and when they can use their pay. Free up that block of months at the end of the year! With a locum, those black marks can come off the calendar — and you’ll have a highly appreciative collection of employees as a benefit.
4. Busy Season is En Route
Speaking of stressful times of year, there’s no doubt certain medical specialties come with their own set of busy months. Just as retail employees dread August (back-to-school) and public works employees know storm season is mandatory-overtime season, for instance, staff at GP offices must mentally prepare themselves for flu (or flu shot) months, and that’s just one example.
Of course, you can’t really bring a full-time employee in to help you cover a single month of the year — at least, not until you get in touch with a locum tenens agency. When your people are in the thickest weeds of the year, an extra set of qualified hands can sometimes be all it takes to make working life a lot more tolerable. Keep that in mind as your people gear up for whatever busy months come your way.
5. You Wish to Express Appreciation for Their Hard Work
What do all the items on this list have in common? Simple: They’re a way for you to show the people who work for you that you notice, appreciate, and wish to reward their consistent hard work and persistent excellence beyond the pay and benefits your organization provides. In terms of sheer appreciation, extra help at just the right time is a far larger gesture than company-provided lunch and chain coffeehouse gift cards. As nontraditional as it may seem on its face, the gift of a less stressful workplace is one of the best you can give. Keep locums in mind the next time your employees have you feeling grateful — they’ll undoubtedly return your gratitude for the move.