If you’re reading this blog post, you’ve probably heard of locum tenens work – flexible long- and short- term assignments for healthcare providers across the country, including physicians, NPs, PAs, CRNAs, and dentists. You may even know that locum tenens providers can pull in higher hourly rates than permanent ones, and that travel and lodging-related expenses are usually included.
That said, do you know what it’s like to be a full-time locum tenens provider? At Barton Associates, we work with a variety of “Full Time Locum Tenens“, or providers who take temporary gigs as a full time career. Getting 100% of their income from locum tenens work, these providers experience a number of unique benefits, such as a schedule flexibility, ability to take time off, and more.
Do you think you might be a good fit for full time locum tenens work? Ask yourself the questions below to get an idea!
1. Am I Willing to Travel?
Full time locum tenens providers are willing to go where the jobs are – and they recognize that those jobs aren’t always going to be within 50 miles of their hometown.
This may mean traveling to work in a state that you’ve never been to before, or getting a new license in order to take a job.
Take Dr. Chris L., OBGYN, for example. His first locum assignment was in North Dakota – which he ended up loving, despite the -44 degree windchill, and vastly different location from his home state of Oklahoma. “[My recruiter] really sent us to a place that somewhat inspired me.” Chris says. “Everyone was just so appreciative. It really felt like it was meant to be there.”
Are you open to changing up your location like Dr. Chris? What’s more, do you see traveling to different states as an adventure, or an essential part of your plan to visit all 50 states? Keep reading!
2. Am I Open to New Healthcare Environments?
This one should go without saying – but it’s important factor to think about if you are thinking of pursuing locum work full-time.
Full time locum providers, once they’ve worked long enough, may have a few facilities that they work at on rotation – for example, if a certain facility needs them every summer and another needs them for one month every spring.
In the beginning, however, working in new settings and facilities is part of the job – and the best locum providers take well to new environments, acclimating quickly to factors like the staff, EMR, and patient population.
For providers like Nadia S., DNP, she feels that working in new settings has made her a better provider overall. “[With locum work,] I’m getting to know different patient populations and I’m able to adapt. I think that just makes me a better nurse practitioner.”
3. How Flexible is My Schedule?
In addition to location and setting flexibility, the ideal locum provider has a flexible schedule, as well – which allows more options when it comes to booking out assignments.
For example, a locum provider who has full time availability over a period of six months will have a much wider range of job options than someone who has part time availability, or such as two Tuesdays a month and occasional weekend call dates.
That’s not to say that the second provider won’t be able to find locum work, but the first will have a lot more options to choose from. It will likely be the difference between finding a locum assignment right away and waiting a while for the right opportunity to come along.
So, do you think you have what it takes to be a full-time locum tenens provider? Fill out the form to get in touch today!