Are you in the process of quiet quitting? Unfair staffing ratios and productivity paranoia getting you down in the healthcare workplace? Are you looking more flexibility and adventurous travel? Working Locum Tenens could be the answer to all your healthcare job woes with the perks of:
- Greater Flexibility
- Travel Opportunities
- Work-Life Balance
- New and Exciting Work Environments
- Greater Compensation
- More Diversity
- Less Administrative Responsibilities
Locum Tenens Providers vs. Non-Locum Tenens Providers
Multiple healthcare facilities around the United States employ locum tenens providers. As placeholders, locum tenens providers temporarily fill the space of another. Hospitals, Federally Qualified Clinics, Urgent Care facilities, Dental clinics, rural healthcare clinics, and correction facilities all employ locum tenens healthcare providers.
Recent studies show that patients treated by locums’ providers exhibited shorter hospital stays, decreased hospital costs, and no increase in readmission or mortality. According to another study published in World Neurosurgery, there were no differences between locum and non-locum neurosurgeons related to short-term complications, lengths of hospital stays, or costs.
Healthcare Labor Market Trends
The healthcare job market in 2022 has been tumultuous with unpredictable staffing ratios, a looming recession, and more healthcare providers complaining about workplace burnout. Hot healthcare job postings have shown a slight trend of cooling down compared to previous years.
According to research done by The Indeed Hiring Lab, healthcare job postings on the Indeed website have been flat. However, Physician and Surgeon job postings are up 15.8 % while Nursing job postings have been on the decline by 0.07%.
Although, the United States Board of Labor Statistics is estimating that over 500,000 nurses will leave the profession in 2023 resulting in a nursing shortage of over one million nurses.
Healthcare facilities are still using locum tenens providers to fill various staffing gaps
Approximately 88% of healthcare facilities stated they used locum tenens advanced practice providers to fill staffing gaps in 2021. Many facilities are utilizing locum tenens advanced practice providers to address rising patient demands, provider burnout, and supplementary staff while looking for permanent staff replacements.
The Gig Economy
The gig economy has been slowly creeping into the healthcare workforce for many years. The COVID-19 pandemic further opened more opportunities for gig work in healthcare. Gig work offers alternatives that include flexible options to retain advanced healthcare providers and nurses, flexible work schedules, and the ability to achieve financial independence.
What to Expect When Speaking with A Locum Tenens Healthcare Recruiter
You’ve probably been bombarded with emails from various locum tenens companies. Perhaps you’ve gotten several unsolicited text messages from a locums’ recruiter offering you a job with the opportunity to travel somewhere new and exciting.
When you’re first treading into the unknown waters of the locum tenens job market, things can be confusing.
Finding the right locum recruiter is key to navigating the best locum assignment.
Locum recruiters are free of charge and can connect you with potential job offers. Many have established relationships with highly regarded facilities. It’s best to work with a recruiter who is connected to a locum’s company that is affiliated with NALTO, the National Association of Locum Tenens Organization.
Sheila Samuelson, the Managing Director of Recruitment and Marketing for MedCare Staffing states:
“A locum tenens healthcare recruiter acts on the candidate’s behalf. The main role of a locums’ healthcare recruiter is to communicate and connect clients with candidates as well as act as a liaison between the two parties.”
The recruiter’s main job is to make sure that the healthcare provider candidate is a good fit for the client. A good locum recruiter communicates directly with the facility and helps to advocate for safe staffing parameters. The recruiter will also help you to negotiate pay and benefits on your behalf.
Questions to Ask Your Recruiter When Considering a Locums Assignment:
- Pay rate
- Rest breaks and length of meal breaks
- How many patients per hour
- Type of charting
- Paid orientation
- Malpractice coverage
- What type of job support will you have?
- Is there a lab onsite at the facility you will be working at?
- How often is payday?
- Length of contract
- Cancellation policy
- Sick days
- Travel logistics, parking, and lodging
Clarify Job Responsibilities
Not all advanced healthcare providers and nurses are alike. The locum tenens recruiter should clarify the healthcare providers’ or nurses’ responsibilities before accepting and or arriving at the assignment.
When starting a new locum tenens assignment, all providers must go through a credentialing process. A recruiter may ask you for copies of your CV and all required documents which may include diplomas, licensing information, malpractice insurance, work references, and NPI number.
The credentialing process for advanced healthcare providers is a regulated process that evaluates and assesses their specific qualifications. Subsequently, the verification of education, training, and licensing is an important safety check that doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, and other advanced healthcare providers must go through the ensure that they can perform adequate patient care.
Sheila Samuelson further states that “Each facility is different when assessing a provider for credentialing. Smaller clinics move fast with their processes whereas government, FQHC’s and hospitals last 30-90 days on average. Our internal credentialing is complete in 24-48 hours.”
Medical Malpractice Insurance
Many healthcare providers and nurses carry their own malpractice insurance. The locum tenens company should offer all healthcare providers some type of malpractice coverage with every locum’s assignment. The healthcare provider should ask for clarity on whether the coverage includes all incidences or is limited to the assignment location.
Travel and Lodging
Traveling to a new location on a locum tenens assignment can be an adventurous ‘workcation.’ Locums’ contracts can be short or long-term. They can be located in both touristy or rural areas. Local travel in your home city or state can also be an option. Travel and lodging opportunities as well as accommodations may vary depending on the contracting facility.