Locum Tenens Tips

Making Locum Tenens Your Full-Time Job

Happy older doctorIf you enjoy the unparalleled flexibility and limitless travel prospects associated with providing temporary services, you may want to consider making a full-time career out of locum tenens jobs. Healthcare providers who work as locum tenens on a full-time basis enjoy extensive benefits, both personally and professionally.

In addition to controlling their own schedules and earning an income while exploring the country, full-time locum tenens providers enjoy diverse practice settings, increased earning potential, and decreased administrative hassles—all year long. Here are some simple strategies to help you transition into a full-time locum tenens career.

Consider Where You Are in Your career

This practice alternative can work well at any age. Seasoned docs may want to spend the last few years of their career using locum tenens contracts as a way to scope our retirement locations. Mid-career providers can use locum tenens as a way to carve out chunks of time off for family commitments, such as spending summer vacations with their children. And residents may want to check out our past article on 5 Reasons to Go from Residency to Working Locum Tenens, which includes broadening practice perspective and exploring new locations before making a long-term commitment.

Figure Out How Often You Want to Work

Embarking upon a full-time locum tenens career requires some advance planning. You may want to look ahead a year or so at a time, and figure out how many days you will need to work in order to earn your desired annual income. Make sure you’re basing your math on realistic numbers by speaking with your consultant about the going rate for your specialty. This may vary from region to region, so you can take your plans a step further by determining where you can get the most bang for your buck.

Speak With Your Consultant About Long-Term Plans

Once you have a general idea of where and how often you want to work, ask your consultant to plan as far ahead as possible .This will ensure you have the work you want when you want it. It will also leave you ample time to secure any licenses you may need, and also let you enjoy your down time without having to guess where you’ll be headed next.

Stay Open to Long-term or Repeat Engagements

When you’re working somewhere you absolutely love, let your consultant—and your colleagues—know. Repeat engagements are common occurrence for locum tenens providers and come with a variety of benefits. After the excitement of stepping in at new places time and again, it can be comfortable to do a second (or third or fourth) stint at a facility where you already know the policies and procedures, the surrounding area, and your co-workers.

Embrace Your Time Off

The potential for large chunks of undisturbed time off is a big advantage of full-time locum tenens practice. In fact, many providers choose this practice alternative in order to accommodate other needs or interests they want to pursue. Perhaps you want time off to dedicate to mission work. Maybe you want to leave part of the winter free for skiing, or the spring or summer for golf. Whatever the case may be, locum tenens contracts can make your scheduling dreams a reality.

About the author

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Lisa Daggett

Lisa Daggett is well-versed on the topic of locum tenens staffing and was a regular contributor to LocumLife, Healthcare Traveler, and Travel Nurse magazines. She served as associate editor of RN Magazine and as an editorial assistant for Business & Health.

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