It’s safe to say that there no professions that come with a greater burden of responsibility than those in the medical field. As a physician or nurse, peoples’ lives are literally in your hands. This is why, before anyone is trusted with such responsibility, they must undertake rigorous training.
Professionals in the medical sector are held in high esteem in society and often thought of as serious persons, whether on or off work. This is because you must be prepared to respond to medical emergencies at any time of the day. As a result, the responsibility and level of commitment required in medical professions is often thought to come at the cost of fulfilling personal lives.
However, your passion for saving lives does not necessarily have to come at the expense of flexibility and joy in your life. Whereas such roles have, for a long time, been considered somewhat restrictive on a personal level, more and more physicians are now opting to take up short contract gigs rather than full-time jobs.
In fact, over 48,000 doctors are working in a freelance capacity in the US, which is twice as much as in 2002. And, this number is predicted to double within the next decade. This practice is better known as ‘Locum tenens.’
Read on to find out what exactly locum tenens work entails, why it is a lucrative option for medical practitioners, and how to get locum tenens jobs.
A Brief History of Locum Tenens
The medical field often has to deal with many unprecedented emergencies and require high levels of agility and collaboration. That’s why physicians have, for a long time, adopted the habit of filling in for one another when the need arises. This practice became widely accepted in medical quarters for its benefits and was formalized in the US during the 1970s.
By definition, Locum tenens, which is a Latin phrase, refers to a person who holds down the place for someone else in the same profession. Initially, locum tenens were usually less qualified professionals who help a position until a more qualified candidate was available.
However, this has changed in recent years. Due to locum tenens’ benefits, even the best physicians and nurses are now opting to work in such capacities.
Benefits of Locum Tenens
Working as a freelance practitioner or on short term contract basis comes with perks such as:
As a locum tenens, you will gain more control over your schedule. You only take up opportunities when you want to and can choose those that suit you best. Depending on your availability or schedule, you can work locums for a week or two in a month or only on weekends if you choose. This affords you the flexibility to work as much as you like and also to pursue other interests outside your profession.
2. Better Rates
Medical practitioners in different facilities and regions earn varying amounts. However, compared to full-time personnel, locum tenens earn better hourly rates. Considering that student debts for physicians can be upwards of $196,520, working as a locum tenens can help you clear such debts faster.
3. Become a Local Tourist
In all honesty, the vacation days afforded to most professionals, let alone those in the medical field, are not enough to allow people to travel the country as much as they would like. However, with many locum tenens positions available all over the country, you can use locum assignments as a platform to travel with your family.
4. Focus on Medicine
Your motivation for becoming a physician was to help people and save lives. At the end of the day, this is what counts. However, for many fulltime doctors, their role also involves a lot of administrative responsibilities. Since locum tenens usually work at a facility for a few months at a time, they are not issued with a lot of administrative functions.
As such, most of your time at the hospital will be dedicated to helping patients recover. If your locum assignment is successful, the facility may extend your contract even longer.
Which Jobs Groups Have Locum Tenens Opportunities?
Are you interested in locums work? Learn about the professions that offer locum tenens jobs so that you can search for a job now. Here are some of the fields with plenty of locum tenens career opportunities:
- Advanced Practice Providers
- Mental Health (Psychiatry, Social Work, Licensed Counselor)
Whether you are a pulmonologist or looking for locum optometrist jobs, there are many positions available across the country. Health facilities now appreciate the value of bringing locum tenens onboard to ensure patients receive undisrupted care. Up to 85% of health facility management teams indicate that they have solicited the services of locum tenens in the past 12 months.
How to Get Locum Tenens Jobs
Though there are many locum tenens jobs available, accessing the information as an individual is difficult. This is where staffing agencies come in. These are organizations with partnerships with health facilities that help fill staffing gaps.
Therefore, to access locum tenens physician opportunities, you should register with a reliable travel nurse staffing agency. With support from their recruiters, you will be able to fill in details of the types of opportunities you are after. When it comes to ceasing opportunities, the recruiters will help you with:
- Contract matters
- Medical licensing
- Payment and other job benefits
Staffing agencies give you access to locum tenens job opportunities. All you have to do is choose one in your preferred location and for a suitable duration.
Why Take the Locum Tenens Approach?
If you crave some excitement in your life, working as a locum tenens is one of the best ways to achieve this. This will give you added flexibility and allow you to earn better hourly rates. Also, most of your time working will be spent doing what you love most; saving lives.
AB Staffing Solutions is a healthcare staffing agency that links physicians, psychologists, and nurses to the best locum tenens opportunities. Contact us today to access our locum tenens job opportunities.
Over 48,000 doctors working in freelance capacity in the US, which is twice as much as in 2002 – https://www.statnews.com/2017/08/28/freelance-contract-physicians/
Up to 85% of health facility management teams indicate that they have solicited the services of locum tenens in the past 12 months – https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/85-of-health-facilities-use-locum-tenens-to-fill-care-gaps