Making the Move from Part-time to Full-time Locum Tenens
One of the benefits of working locum tenens is that you can fit opportunities into your lifestyle. For physicians and advanced practice providers who only wish to occasionally supplement their careers with a temporary job outside their primary employment, locum tenens is the answer. Take advantage of contracts that range from long weekends to maybe a week or two if that’s all the time your schedule allows.
Or you can turn locum tenens practice into a lifestyle if you’ve enjoyed the prospect of exercising more control over your schedule, traveling to multiple locations, and caring for various patient populations and wish to do it on a regular basis.
However, choosing locum tenens as a career alternative does differ from accepting the occasional assignment. Here are a few personal and professional factors to review before initiating the transition from part-time to full-time locums.
Supplementing one’s income oftentimes motivates clinicians to moonlight via locum tenens jobs. It’s a great way to generate extra funds, but when it becomes your primary source of income, there’s more to calculate and plan for. As a full-time locum tenens professional, you have the luxury of deciding assignment frequency along with how much time you take off between jobs, which can affect cash flow. Of course, a monthly budget helps determine your household’s costs, so you can plan accordingly. Be sure to add in amounts for unexpected expenditures, fun cash, and to cover bills incurred during breaks between assignments.
Personal insurance premiums are another expense to add into the budget. Transitioning to the locums lifestyle means adopting an independent contractor status, which requires you to arrange for insurance coverage through a spouse’s employer, private policy, or your state’s ACA marketplace if available. All Star Healthcare Solutions covers liability insurance for all providers while they are fulfilling contracts.
Deciding to practice locum tenens full time typically involves longer assignments than when trying to fit them into a calendar already filled with shifts as a staff member. Then again, if you want to stick with shorter contracts, that’s still an option, or you could accept a mixture of quick and long-term opportunities. Locums provides that flexibility.
Whatever your scheduling preferences, be sure to account for personal obligations. For example, clinicians with a family should think about how long you wish to be away for work as well as how long you wish to be home between contracts. Inform your All Star consultant of any important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc.) for which you want to be home. Don’t forget about vacation planning and any volunteer or community obligations for which you need to be present. The more information you can share with your consultant, with plenty of notice, the better schedule accommodations can be made.
If you live alone and anticipate being away on assignment for several weeks or longer, then weigh your options regarding house sitters or asking a trusted friend to keep an eye on the home front. Note: For tips on handling pet care responsibilities, read our blog “Should Your Pet Go on a Locums Assignment with You?”
For quick assignments, did you stay closer to home and limit travel? Did you specify wanting to practice in similar clinical settings as your permanent position to capitalize on familiarity? Now, do you wish to broaden those parameters when switching to full-time locum tenens jobs? The decision is yours. Discuss all criteria with your All Star consultant, so they can find the best job matches for you.
Look Into Licenses
Because you’ve already accepted periodic locum tenens opportunities with All Star, all the upfront vetting and credentialing work has been completed, which puts you ahead in the process. However, if you are looking forward to broadening your locum tenens experiences to other regions of the country, then initiate the specific state licensing application as soon as possible. All Star’s licensing specialists will guide you through the steps.
Yet another great thing about doing locum tenens is that you always choose your next move. Whether you look forward to a fresh assignment, hope to return to a favorite facility, or consider settling into your next staff position at some point, All Star remains ready to assist.
To speak with an All Star Healthcare Solutions consultant, call 800-928-0229, or contact us online, today!