There are always locum tenens jobs for just about any physician, physician assistant (PA), and nurse practitioner (NP) who wants to embark on that career path. However, providers who possess certain qualities are more desirable and marketable to potential clients, which can greatly increase the number of opportunities available. The following are traits that are sure to make any locum tenens candidate stand out from the rest.
Availability is arguably the most desired trait in a locum tenens provider, and more is definitely more. A locum tenens provider who decides to pursue locum tenens work as their primary means of income is in the highest demand. This is especially true in both primary care and psychiatry. Both of these specialties often require patients to be seen on an ongoing basis for follow-up care.
If a locum tenens provider specializes in emergency medicine, urgent care, or even surgery, having ongoing availability is less of an issue because oftentimes that provider can pick up a sporadic amount of shifts. The locum tenens provider can work as little as one shift at a time.
Flexibility doesn’t just include the locum tenens provider’s schedule. It is important to consider letting go of hard and fast rules or limits when choosing a locum tenens career. Locum tenens providers should expect certain aspects of the job to be different at each location, just as each location is different. This applies to the caseload, types of cases, how their staffing is done, the types of people they will be working with, rate, time, lodging type, etc.
Locum tenens is a flexible career choice, because the provider can choose when they want to work, where, what they want to do, etc. It is important to realize that to have a successful career as a locums, flexibility goes both ways.
Locum tenens providers typically work in different clinical settings with different types of colleagues. When locum tenens providers find themselves in a new facility with people who do things differently, it is important they remain professional. The fact of the matter is, these people are permanent employees who have likely worked together for a significant amount of time, and the locum tenens will only be there for a short period of time. It is important to be respectful of all types of environments, colleagues, and management styles.
When a locum tenens provider verbally agrees to do a job, and the locum tenens agency communicates this to the facility, it is generally assumed that the position is filled even before contracts are exchanged. Locum tenens providers should never agree to do a job unless they can actually follow through.
It is also of the utmost importance that the locum tenens provider show up for the assignment as scheduled. A medical facility simply cannot be without a provider; in many cases it is a matter of life and death.
5. Organization Skills
The locum tenens provider should make sure that all licenses, certifications, etc. are up to date. It is much easier to renew such documentation than to reapply. It is also good to have a National Practitioner Databank self-query available.
Locum tenens providers should keep copies of all their paperwork on hand. One way to make submitting paperwork even more efficient is to keep electronic PDF copies of their documents that can easily be sent to the locum tenens agency. Being well organized makes the process simple.
6. Relevant Medical Skills
Medicine is constantly evolving, and with that evolution the medical skill requirements at facilities are always changing. Providers who are up to date on the latest skills will always stay in high demand, making the locum tenens provider marketable to a variety of facilities. Providers can stay current on the latest medical skills with continuing medical education (CME), and even signing up for extra courses in specific areas of interest.
7. Technology Proficiency
More and more facilities are using electronic medical records (EMR) or electronic health records (EHR) systems. In many cases, proficiency in a specific system is a requirement for staffing a provider rather than a preference. Having experience with a variety of EMR and EHR systems puts the locum tenens provider in an advantageous position.
With these seven traits, a locum tenens provider is almost guaranteed to have a successful assignment. For more information on locum tenens, please visit BartonAssociates.com.