New to Locum Tenens? A Definition From Barton Associates

Posted on: July 22, 2011

written by

Barton Team

Updated January 2019

One of the most common questions we see at Barton Associates is, simply, what is locum tenens? There is quite a bit of confusion in the healthcare staffing industry surrounding locum tenens. We’re hoping that this definition will help to clarify what the term means, what these locum providers do, and resolve any myths or misconceptions you may have about locum tenens.

What Is Locum Tenens?

Locum tenens is a Latin term that means “holding one’s place.” In a medical context, locum tenens represents the temporary (or contract) physician, NP, PA, CRNA and dentist staffing industry. Locum tenens companies such as Barton Associates recruit and assign qualified healthcare providers to temporary placements. These assignments can range from just a few days to lasting over a year, and can be full- or part-time. Providers have the flexibility to work when they want, and for how long, and healthcare facilities still receive the coverage they need.

Locum tenens staffing is a great way for facilities and practices to manage staffing challenges, and allows talented healthcare professionals the opportunity to work where and when they choose - throughout the United States! Locum tenens is the definition of a win-win arrangement.

Why Do Facilities Use Locum Tenens Providers?

There is a shortage of physicians and clinicians in a wide variety of practice areas and states, and this shortage is expected to grow and become more problematic over the coming years. As a result, many healthcare facilities and practices across the country have had difficulty maintaining adequate levels of patient access and generating much needed revenue. 

Some common reasons medical facilities and practices leverage locums through Barton Associates include:

  • Critical staffing needs because of unexpected absences.
  • Vacation or illness-related staffing needs.
  • Leaves of absence (such as maternity and sabbatical leaves).
  • Starting a new program, service, operation or facility.
  • Coverage needs while recruiting a permanent provider.
  • Augmenting permanent staff during unexpected, periodic, or seasonal jumps in volume.
  • Chronic, long-term staffing shortages.
Locum tenens staffing can be an efficient, cost-effective, and an easy way to manage a wide variety of staffing challenges.

Why Do Healthcare Professionals Choose Locum Jobs? 

Locum tenens work has numerous advantages, including:
  • Freedom. Locum tenens jobs provide the freedom to work where and when you want, across the United States and its territories.
  • Independence. Locums are able to escape the office politics, bureaucratic headaches, escalating medical malpractice costs, and other challenges associated with traditional (permanent) positions.
  • Pay. Locum tenens jobs offer competitive pay based on medical specialty and location and, generally, travel costs (such as flight, hotel/lodging, and car rentals) are covered. Locum jobs are a good long-term employment option and also provide those with permanent jobs a way to supplement their income.
  • Experience. Locum jobs provide the opportunity to gain new experiences, maintain and improve skills, and experience new technologies, techniques, locations, and settings — and enhance your CV.
  • Malpractice insurance. Barton Associates provides "A" rated malpractice insurance for all its locums on assignment, free of charge.

We hope you found this locum tenens overview useful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more — we’re here to help!

About Barton Team

We're Barton Associates, the Locum Tenens Experts. We work with thousands of hospitals, medical practices, and organizations across the United States and its territories that need talented providers for short- and long-term engagements. Inspired by the pioneering, humanitarian work of Clara Barton, the Barton Team recruits physicians, PAs, NPs, dentists and CRNAs in a wide variety of specialties, so that we can quickly place them in locum tenens assignments nationwide.

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