Acquiring Professional References for Locum Tenens Jobs
Forget the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” For healthcare professionals, it’s both what you know and who knows you.
When hospitals, clinics, and multi-specialty private practice groups bring in locum tenens providers, they’re entrusting the physicians and advanced practice providers taking short- or long-term assignments at their facility will meet their clinical qualifications. Administrators also want to know these clinicians will meld well with permanent staff and patients during their temporary tenure. While a CV confirms education and experience, the document cannot convey those more intangible personality qualities. That responsibility falls to professional references.
At All Star Healthcare Solutions, we ask all new locum tenens candidates to submit three references during the initial credentialing process. Many facilities also request references from at least two or three individuals.
However, selecting others to speak on your behalf is an important decision and deserves careful consideration. Use the following standards from the National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) to guide your choices in identifying who will be the most knowledgeable and effective spokesperson for you.
Who better to ask for endorsements of your abilities than those who have worked alongside you? Typically, two of the three references must be people who have practiced with you in the same environment and specialty within the past two years. Facilities will want to know how long each reference has known you and from what role they have observed you on duty: supervisor or peer?
- Medical knowledge and clinical judgment
Quality references come from individuals who can rate your medical, clinical, and technical capabilities.
- Communication and interpersonal skills
Opinions on these characteristics help administrators gauge how well a locum tenens provider will fit in with staff and patients. Choose people with whom you’ve had regular interactions and who have witnessed your rapport with patients and family members as well as other colleagues.
References will be asked to assess your professionalism in terms of documentation efficiency, fulfillment of department responsibilities, and overall conduct on the job.
For a really reliable reference, employ these tips to make sure the process runs smoothly.
- Keep accurate and current records of names, titles, place of employment, and most importantly, phone numbers and emails for anyone you would like to list as a reference. If a person cannot be reached, they can’t sing your praises.
- Request the person’s permission to name them as a reference. Then, fill them in on who will be contacting them, an approximate timeframe, and why, such as you’re looking for locum tenens opportunities.
- Provide a helpful reminder. Everyone is busy, but if your references delay or fail to respond, it does not bode well for you as a candidate. A gentle reminder of the time-sensitive nature can help avoid missed opportunities.
- Keep track of who you ask, and when. While most colleagues are happy to provide a good word, you do not want to overburden them with request after request. Plus, a variety of references paints a more well-rounded picture of the high-quality provider you are.
To learn more about what’s involved in becoming a locum tenens professional, call 800-928-0229 to speak with one of All Star’s dedicated consultants, or contact us online today.