7 Ways to Prepare for Your Next (or First) Locum Tenens Assignment
Congratulations, you have completed All Star Healthcare Solutions’ thorough credentialing process. You shared your goals and objectives with your consultant, who used that information to match you with a locum tenens opportunity. You interviewed with the healthcare facility in need of your skills and were offered the locums position, which you accepted. Before you leave for the airport, however, there are a few details that need tidying up. Taking the time now to resolve these issues will free your focus while on assignment so you can devote your attention to caring for patients.
Scan or take photos of all your professional documents, including licenses, CV, and certifications. Although you already have submitted these for credentialing and privileging, it’s helpful to bring along an electronic version to locum tenens jobs just in case any follow-up is required.
Check Weather Forecast
Regardless of the season, weather always guides clothing choices. In addition to scrubs or work clothes, you’ll have to plan for downtime options as well as outdoor wear, such as jackets, hats, or rain gear. In fact, weather may dictate how you fill your free time, which is why it helps to know long-term forecasts, so you can pack accordingly.
Wrap Up Work Commitments
If working locums is a side gig in addition to your full-time practice, make sure to completely clear your work calendar. Finalize or delegate any lingering details, so you can concentrate on providing high-quality care while on assignment, and your regular co-workers aren’t left with questions in your absence.
Address Family and Household Commitments
Whether a locum tenens job lasts a few days, weeks, or months, the fact remains that you will be away from home for a while. If there are significant personal occasions happening during the contract, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and school or sporting events, determine beforehand how you and the family wish to handle them. Will you ask for the days off, so you can return home briefly? Will you video call from the assignment? In fact, arranging a dedicated day and time to call home for a routine check-in is an effective way to stay in the know and minimize interruptions while on duty. This is especially helpful when dealing with time zone differences.
If you are leaving behind an empty residence, alert trusted friends or neighbors about your plans and request they keep a vigilant eye on your property, even if you have a smart home security app and cameras. Also, turn off water, make arrangements for a mail hold or forwarding, and put a hold on trash pickup.
Paying bills electronically or through automatic payments is definitely a convenience for locum tenens professionals. Still, there are a few precautions you can take to safeguard your finances. For example, some individuals open separate checking and credit card accounts for locum tenens purposes. This not only protects personal accounts from potential exposure when traveling, but it’s a convenient method to track income and expenses for tax filings as a locum tenens independent contractor. Additionally, inform your bank or credit card issuer about your assignment dates and location so you can maintain access to the account. Sudden, out-of-town transactions may trigger possible fraud alerts that prompt financial institutions to freeze the card.
Collect Reading Materials
One of the advantages to locum tenens shifts is that once you are done for the day, you have time for yourself that isn’t automatically filled with household projects. Some providers use these periods to catch up on journal reading or continuing medical education (CME) requirements. If that’s your plan, make sure electronic subscriptions are current or that you have all the print materials necessary. If you hope to study during flights, download available materials and save to the device’s desktop so you have access without Wi-Fi.
Bring a Touch of Home
Finally, choose a few small, key items that will make your temporary accommodations feel more personal.