If you’re thinking of taking a locum tenens assignment, congratulations! Locum tenens work can be a very rewarding experience, both professionally and personally. However, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind before making the leap. Here are our top 10 tips for having a successful locum tenens assignment.
1. Understand the reasons for taking a locum tenens assignment.
Before taking on a locum tenens assignment, it’s important to understand your motivations for doing so. Are you looking for a way to ease into retirement? Do you want to earn some extra money? Or do you enjoy travel and the opportunity to work in different places? Once you know your reasons, you can better assess whether or not a locum tenens assignment is right for you.
2. Do your research.
Before accepting a locum tenens assignment, be sure to do your research. Locum tenens work can be very different from full-time employment, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Talk to other physicians who have done locum tenens work, read articles and blogs (like this one!), and reach out to a locum tenens staffing agency for more information.
3. Plan and prepare for your assignment.
Just like with any job, it’s important to plan and prepare for your locum tenens assignment. Be sure to have all of your paperwork in order, including your CV, license, and credentials. If you’re traveling to a new state or country, research the area in advance and make arrangements for housing and transportation.
4. Get to know the facility and staff.
When you arrive at your assignment, take some time to get to know the facility and staff. Introduce yourself to as many people as possible and get a feel for the way things operate. This will help you hit the ground running and be more productive from day one.
5. Familiarize yourself with the patient population.
The patient population in every city and country is unique. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the patients you’ll be seeing on a regular basis. What are their common concerns? What is the average age group? What is the socioeconomic makeup of the area? The more you know about your patient population, the better equipped you’ll be to provide them with quality care.
6. Make a plan for managing your schedule.
One of the great things about locum work is the flexibility it offers. However, that flexibility can also be a challenge if you’re not used to managing your own time. Before starting your assignment, sit down and map out a schedule that will work for you. Make sure to leave some free time in your schedule for exploring!
7. Stay flexible and open-minded.
The work can be unpredictable, so it’s important to stay flexible and open-minded. Things may not always go according to plan, but that’s all part of the adventure! If you’re able to roll with the punches, you’ll likely find that locum tenens work is very rewarding.
8. Be prepared for challenging work.
Patient care can be very demanding, both mentally and physically. There will be days when you’ll be seeing a high volume of patients back-to-back with little time in between. It’s important to pace yourself and take breaks when you can. Remember, this is only temporary and it’s important to take care of yourself.
9. Manage your finances wisely.
Locum tenens work can be a great way to earn some extra money. However, it’s important to manage your finances wisely. Make sure to set aside money for taxes, retirement, and unexpected expenses. Also, remember to budget for travel costs if you’ll be working in a different city or state.
10. Enjoy the experience!
Locum tenens assignments are a great way to see different parts of the country or even the world. It’s also a great opportunity to meet new people and learn about different cultures. So, make sure to enjoy the experience. Take some time to explore your new surroundings and create some lasting memories.