6 Tips for Success on Locum Tenens Jobs
From first-time locum tenens physicians and advanced practice providers to seasoned professionals who have been accepting temporary contracts for years, each opportunity means you become the newest member to the hospital unit, private practice office, or clinic staff. Not only do you need to quickly familiarize yourself with the setting and facility protocols, but you also need to establish collegial and supportive relationships with your co-workers.
Given the accelerated acclimation period afforded most locum tenens professionals, speeding up that get-to-know-you process can make a big impact. The following tips may help smooth that transition so you can settle into delivering high-quality care to patients and enjoying the locum tenens experience.
- Prepare for orientation ahead of time
To make the most of your first day of a new assignment, seek out as much information about the facility, its policies, and the job responsibilities as possible beforehand. Our blog, “What to Expect from a Locum Tenens Orientation,” details the onboarding process and how you can be proactive.
- Initiate introductions
Staff will want to know who they will be practicing alongside and who will be treating their patients.
“They are as curious about you as you are curious [about them] going into an assignment. Be very good at what you do and be friendly,” advises John Morrissey, MD, a pulmonary and critical care physician with more than 25 years of experience, including accepting locum tenens positions for several years.
When meeting co-workers, offer a quick overview of your experience as a clinician and locum tenens professional. Also, express a sincere interest in learning about them. Most individuals appreciate sharing tidbits of their personality and professional roles. This also can be helpful in learning names by associating a person with an interesting personal story or fun fact.
- Be a quick learner by asking questions
No one expects a locum tenens provider to walk onto a unit and know everything about the clinical setting from the onset. There will be a learning curve, but you can speed it up by being an active learner and asking questions. That said, be judicious with people’s time.
- Be a gracious guest
The staff are the ones who best know their workplace, patients, and community. Demonstrating respect for their methods and culture will go a long way toward collegial acceptance and fitting into the workflow.
“You’re taking over the care of many of their patients. You have to build a rapport quickly, a rapport not just with the nursing staff, but with the people who will show you where the cafeteria is or who you need when you need to get an X-ray in the middle of the night,” says Morrissey.
That’s not to say you can’t express opinions or suggestions based on your accumulated knowledge as long as they are proffered in a professional manner.
- Appreciate your contributions
One way to feel like you’re fitting in on a new assignment is to remember the impact you are making on other people. You are providing high-quality care to patients and easing demand on the permanent personnel.
- Remember to enjoy the journey
There’s more to the locum tenens experience than just what happens on shift. Take time to explore the community, meet people outside of the facility, accept invitations for social gatherings, and indulge in personal hobbies. When you tend to your own wellness outside of work, then you boost resistance to burnout.
While each locum tenens job means familiarizing yourself with new settings and new people, they are also opportunities to welcome friends, grow your professional network, expand your knowledge, and get to see various communities throughout the country.
Get started on your next locum tenens opportunity. Call All Star Healthcare Solutions today at 800-928-0229, or contact us online.