If you are new to locums, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure you are working with a recruiting company that you trust. Second, keep in mind what you are looking for and why you want to do locums in the first place. There are many reasons to start up locums and benefits that come along.
Why do medical providers work locums?
Whether you are a physician, registered nurse, allied provider, or advanced practice provider, there are many benefits to working locums:
- Income: Many providers work locums for extra income. When attending school, residency, fellowship, or any other continuing education there is a cost to that education. Many providers decide to work locums because that gives them an extra source of income, which helps them pay those student loans quicker. Another reason a provider may work locums is simply that life is expensive. Whether you are paying for your children’s college, taking family vacations, or looking to buy a new guitar. All of these things cost money and working locums can help you save up quicker. Locums positions tend to pay higher by the hour and cover your malpractice insurance.
- Flexibility: Working locums allows a provider the opportunity to work a flexible schedule, which many full-time positions do not offer. Facilities that use locums tend to understand providers have their own lives and previous obligations. Hospitals and practices that use locums tend to work their monthly schedules around the locum’s providers offering their services. When you find the number of days you can work in a month and relay that to your recruiter, they will speak on your behalf with the hospital scheduler and lock you in for the days you approve. Once the scheduler supports those days, a confirmation letter will be emailed to both the facility and yourself to review and ensure the days listed are accurate. This confirmation letter should not only have the days you can work listed, but intel your agreed-upon rate, any overtime rate, and any other specifics.
- Paid Travel: Have you ever wanted to get paid while traveling? See the Rocky Mountains and take an airboat ride through the Everglades? Working locums allow you the possibility to travel and make money at the same time. Another great benefit of working locums is your flight, hotel, and rental are all taken care of by your recruiting company and the facility you are helping out.
Where and how to find the right recruiter.
Finding the right recruiting company does not mean finding the biggest recruiting company. When considering taking on locums, keep in mind, many recruiting agencies are not looking out for you and rather themselves. You want to find a company that you can trust and that will not only find you the best opportunities but make you feel part of their family.
Bigger is not always better: Even though Texas always says “Bigger is Better,” this does not apply to finding the right recruiting agency. A lot of the larger recruiting companies need to meet quotas, and rather than getting to know their providers, their only goal is to fill holes in hospital schedules. Smaller companies such as Lexx Healthcare take the time to get to know their providers, what interests them, and what they are looking for in a locums opportunity. Lexx Healthcare recruiters take the time to get to know their providers and their families. A good recruiter keeps an open line of communication and aims to achieve the best possible rates for their locum’s providers.
Ensure you are not paying: Certain recruiting agencies require payment for their services. As a locums provider, you should not have to pay a fee for a recruiter. A recruitment company makes money by charging the hospital or facility that is looking for help. They will include these fees in the margin and require the hospital to pay for their services rather than charging the provider.
Your recruiter advocates for you: When searching for a recruiter, one of the most important things to consider is, do you trust your recruiter? You want to trust your recruiter and get along with them because they will be a part of your life and that you communicate with them weekly. The best recommendation for any provider looking into locums is to find someone you can see yourself working with for the long haul. Your recruiter will be advocating rates on your behalf, setting up your schedule, and connecting you with their travel department. The goal is to work with a recruiter that will fight to get you the rates you want in the area you want.
What facility am I working with: In most cases recruiting companies are unable to provide the name of the facility looking for locums help. The recruiter is first required to present a provider package, and after acceptance, they are then able to tell the provider the name of the facility. A recruiter can go over all other details about the facility besides their name. The purpose of this madness is to prevent the provider from directly reaching out to the hospital themselves. First, a recruiting company is hired by a facility or has a contract with the facility to find qualified candidates. In many cases, if the provider learns the facility’s name, they will attempt to reach out to the hospital or practice, which hospitals are trying to avoid. The second reason the recruiter waits to give a provider the facility’s name is that they have to guarantee the provider has not already spoken to the hospital group.
Be cautious with your CV: Knowing who you send your CV to is essential. Recruiting companies will send out your CV to different hospital groups and facilities, which will lock you into working with that particular recruiting company. It is hard to know what recruiting companies to trust and whether it is safe to send your CV. When considering sending your CV to a recruiter, ask yourself if you trust them to keep it secure.
- When considering locums, always be sure you trust the recruiter you are working with.
- If a recruiting company is charging you a fee, you should consider finding yourself a new company.
- It is okay not to know the name of the facility right away.
- More prominent Recruiting companies are not always the better option
Locums are an excellent option for providers to make an extra income, create a flexible schedule, and travel while getting paid.