As with most things in life, locum tenens assignments come with their own unique set of challenges. Here is a guide to possible problems that can come up, and what the locum tenens provider can and should do about them. As our guide, Travel Tips for Locum Tenens, explains, there are a few different travel problems that can arise on assignment. But don’t fret! All of these problems can be remedied. Barton Associates has a dedicated team of travel coordinators in house whose sole purpose is to make the provider’s travel arrangements as smooth as possible. We also work with an outside travel agency for off hour problems. If any problems come up, Barton is just a phone call or an email away. When Barton takes a job opening, there is a two-tier process in place before the job opening is approved. We ask many questions about the job, the responsibilities, and the expectations, confirm those answers, and have a second person qualify those answers. We want the job descriptions to be as accurate as possible in order to make the best possible match between facility and healthcare provider. Despite these precautions, there is the rare instance when the locum tenens provider arrives at the assignment and finds the job is not quite as described. This could be as simple as a scheduling change or as serious as the facility expecting a procedure the locum tenens provider is unqualified to perform. If such a scenario occurs, the locum tenens provider should call his or her Barton Associates recruiter immediately. The recruiter can call the client facility and try to work things out to have the assignment While it might make sense that since the locum tenens provider is at the client facility any contractual issues could be discussed directly, there are certain items that should only be coordinated through the locums agency itself. Contract dates is one such item that should only be negotiated through the locums agency. Locum tenens providers should never work any shifts without alerting their Barton recruiter. The recruiter will ensure these dates are covered by Barton’s malpractice insurance and make sure all travel arrangements have been made to accommodate the extra work. Locum tenens providers work in different environments and locations with different types of people all the time. A locum tenens provider has to be prepared for interactions with all types of people. If a conflict arises, it is important to take the high road. The locum tenens provider should always remain professional and respectful. However, if a serious conflict arises with another employee and the locum tenens provider feels uncomfortable, he or she should call his or her Barton recruiter right away. The recruiter will help with next steps. Everyone knows emergencies happen and situations arise that are out of one’s control. The locum tenens provider may become ill or have a family emergency, and if such a situation occurs it is important to give a Barton recruiter as much notice as humanly possible so that he or she can work to help provide the client facility with a replacement. If the provider cannot reach anyone at Barton, or it is during off hours, he or she should alert the appropriate contact at the facility. The facility may already have an emergency plan in place to deal with these events, and can hopefully work to rearrange schedules and reschedule appointments or procedures. If anything happens over the course of the locum tenens assignment that the provider suspects might be cause for a malpractice claim, the provider needs to contact Barton Associates immediately. It is important for the recruiter to be informed and for the situation to be thoroughly documented. Barton’s legal team might also get involved depending on the severity of the situation. We hope we have helped provide you with steps for addressing some of the most common challenges while on assignment. Remember, your Barton Associates recruiter is always here for you. If anything comes up while on assignment, do not hesitate to reach out.