Locum Tenens Tips

6 Reasons PAs should consider working locum tenens

Locum tenens jobs for physician assistants

Every year, National PA Week, October 6–12, honors the more than 120,000 physician assistants currently practicing and their contributions to healthcare. PAs are vital members of hospital, clinic, and private practice medical teams, serving in a variety of settings and roles, from primary care to surgical, internal medicine, and pediatric subspecialties. Most PAs hold permanent, full-time staff positions. However, many PAs are taking advantage of the benefits of working locum tenens jobs either as a full-time career or as a means to supplement their income. Here are six reasons why working locum tenens might be right for you.

1. High demand

There are numerous reasons why hospitals, clinics, or private practices bring in additional clinicians for short periods:

  • To cover for staff who are on vacation or taking a leave of absence
  • To fill open positions while recruiting for a permanent staff member
  • To prepare for an anticipated influx in patient census

Contracting with locum tenens professionals enable facilities to maintain services without interruption. Demand for PAs who can help ensure this continuity of care always outstrips supply, so you can be sure to find as much locum tenens work as you are available to take on.

2. Great pay

Working locum tenens is a good way to increase your earnings as a PAs. In addition to getting paid a higher hourly rate than permanent staff in many instances, the staffing agency pays for your flights, rental cars, and housing while you are on assignment. Whether you’re just pickup up a few extra shifts on the side or even considering doing locums fulltime, locums is a great way to enhance your earning potential. Weatherby even covers your medical liability insurance policy for the full duration of each assignment.

3. Clinical experience

Locum tenens PA consulting with doctors

Another advantage of working locum tenens is it allows you to accumulate procedural experience in a variety of clinical settings. For newcomers to the profession, temporary positions can double as working interviews that can lead into a long-term permanent job. Plus, it allows you to experience the environment, staff, and patient population of a facility before deciding if the job would be a satisfying permanent fit.

4. Schedule freedom

Many PA choose working locum tenens as their fulltime job because it allows them the freedom to choose when to work and when not to work. Controlling your own schedule makes it easier to make room for other activities, such as vacations, uninterrupted family time, or even get an early taste of retirement. The choice of when, where, and for how long you accept assignments always remains in your control.

5. Agency support

One of the keys to a successful locum tenens experience is making sure a clinician’s professional and clinical background matches the facility’s requirements. Weatherby Healthcare’s internal credentialing experts work hand-in-hand with PAs who have at least one year professional experience to finalize primary source verifications, including education, previous employment, and references. Another expert team walks you through the external credentialing procedures to qualify according to the facility’s criteria. Plus, the licensing group is well acquainted with different states’ policies to make sure you’re licensed and ready to start each assignment. In short, Weatherby provides a level of support that makes it easy for you to get ready for a locum tenens assignment.

6. Personalized fit

Well before you sign on the dotted line for that first temporary contract, a Weatherby Healthcare consultant will spend the time necessary to get to know you and understand your personal and professional goals. These interactions allow us to evaluate which opportunities will meet those objectives as well as how your skills will satisfy a client’s PA needs. Then you’ll be presented a detailed overview of an assignment, including facility size, practice scope, and shift schedules. We’ll do our best to find the perfect fit for you, but the decision whether to take the job or not will always be yours.

For more information on how to launch a locum tenens PA career, gives us a call at 954.343.3050 or view today’s PA job openings.

About the author

Anne Baye Ericksen

Anne Baye Ericksen+ is a journalist and locum tenens subject-matter expert with more than two decades of experience. She was a regular contributor to LocumLife, Healthcare Traveler and Healthcare Staffing and Management Solutions magazines.

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