Non-Clinical Skills Enhance the Locum Tenens Experience for Providers, Colleagues and Patients
Presenting physicians and advanced practice providers who are committed to delivering high-quality patient care is top priority for All Star Healthcare Solutions. When matching individuals to locum tenens jobs, the first determinant will always be ensuring their clinical expertise and experience meet the demands of the facility and position. However, a rewarding locum tenens experience for clinicians and clients also is defined by a person’s aptitude for melding into the workplace. That’s where soft skills take center stage.
Various research has examined the correlation between healthcare providers’ abilities to communicate, empathize, and convey a confident attitude with positive patient responses and treatment compliance. Not coincidentally, those same characteristics help clinicians build relationships with colleagues, especially when professional connections must be established in the condensed timeframe of a locum tenens assignment. Here, we expound on several soft skills and how they add value for locum tenens professionals, their co-workers, and vicariously, patients.
The value of effective communication skills cannot be overstated, especially when you walk into an unfamiliar setting with the expectation that you will begin caring for patients as soon as possible. Strong communication skills—active listening, concise language, and most importantly, a friendly, collegial tone that conveys professional respect—set the basis for cooperative relationships. For example, ask clearly stated questions to solicit specific information to help you adjust to the environment. Of course, as you and the staff become more acquainted with each other, it’s acceptable to adopt a more conversational tone when appropriate.
Expressing care and compassion for patients and their family members during stressful times of illness or injury is a critical component to delivering high-quality care. Demonstrating empathy toward co-workers while on a locum tenens contract serves an equally valuable purpose. Facilities engage locum tenens professionals to fill a need—personnel could be working short staffed, dealing with increased patient census, or any other reason that demands supplemental staff. Appreciating their circumstances will assist you in understanding the clinical atmosphere. Empathizing with staff can encourage acceptance of the locum tenens role in the care of their patients.
Naturally, this soft skill goes hand-in-hand with communication and empathy. As a locum tenens provider, you become a member of that facility, clinic, or private practice while on assignment. Eliciting a sense of camaraderie among colleagues and support staff builds confidence and reinforces the value you add to their team, especially if the staff is not accustomed to practicing alongside locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners.
Stress and Time Management
While these soft skills directly impact an individual’s ability to function on duty, incorporating methods to manage time benefits patients and peers, too. Reducing wait times and sharing caseloads, for example, lessen stress levels for all.
A Receptive Attitude
Exercising an open mind toward how clinical environments operate and how other clinicians care for patients is a valuable skill for locum tenens professionals who practice in multiple facilities. A receptive attitude solicits support from others as well as opens the door to possibly broadening your own knowledge base. For instance, locum tenens jobs offer providers insights into regional and cultural influences on healthcare.
This trait is especially applicable to the locum tenens practice. Being flexible in the type of short- or long-term opportunities you consider—such as facility size or patient population—enables your All Star Healthcare Solutions’ consultant to present more potential matches. Being amenable to shift schedules welcomes more contract possibilities. An adventurous nature that invites unprecedented personal experiences along your locum tenens journey could surprise you with an ever-expanding friends’ group from the many co-workers you meet along the way.