What to Know About Locum Tenens Before Retiring
If you are excited about retirement kicking off in the not-too-distant future, then you probably have spent the past several decades caring for people at their most vulnerable. Undoubtedly, you have passed along your knowledge and experiences to younger physicians and/or advanced practice providers. And most likely, you have clocked in more hours attending meetings and fulfilling administrative duties than you care to recall. But what if you are not entirely ready to give up your stethoscope just yet?
You could continue to work full time in your current position until retirement. You could arrange with your employer to scale back hours and duties. Or you could try working locum tenens. Temporary positions empower providers to explore various clinical environments and community locations, and exercise more say-so over scheduling. The alternative practice style enables experienced providers to semi-retire, or strike a more flexible balance between professional and personal goals.
Before you pack your bags and head off into semi-retirement as a locum tenens professional, there are a few elements to prepare for first.
Choose a Reputable Staffing Agency
Providers have their choice of staffing companies that will seek to place them with healthcare organizations in need of their skills and experience to care for their patients. However, not all staffing companies are the same. All Star Healthcare Solutions is a member of the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO), which signifies an agreement to abide by the industry’s best practices and standards, and we pride ourselves on delivering “Red Carpet” Service, which includes transparent and responsive communication. Our consultants and business partners are committed to being knowledgeable about the jobs presented and are available to answer your questions. We care about your personal interests and goals, too, and will assist you on each step of your All Star journey.
Prepare for Vetting
All Star credentials all providers before finalizing the details of their locum tenens jobs. This process entails verifying medical school and training, professional background, licenses, board certifications, and more. However, our credentialing professionals will guide you along the way. An added benefit is that much of the upfront input can then be used to speed up the hospital privileging process for the upcoming temporary position.
Apply for Licenses
Even if you do not plan on transitioning to locum tenens work for months to come, it’s not too early to apply for licenses if you hope to seek opportunities out of state. All Star’s licensing specialists are well versed with each state’s medical board specifics and the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact qualifications. They will answer your questions and keep the momentum rolling so, when the time comes that you would like to head out to your short- or long-term job, licensure is a done deal.
While credentialing and licensing are underway, start thinking about what type of assignments you would prefer. Factors to weigh include location, facility type and size, shift and call duty, as well as patient population and clinical support. These details, along with any other criteria you deem essential, will help your All Star consultant pinpoint opportunities that match your experience and goals. When jobs are presented for your consideration, it is your choice whether you grant permission to have your particulars submitted to the facility.
Ready for Departure
After interviewing with a facility representative and accepting a contract, it is time to get ready for your locum tenens experience. All Star arranges the housing and travel plans for you. Also, your consultant will brief you on what to expect during orientation. Plus, they check in with you throughout the assignment, including a wrap-up before finding the next position.
One of the reasons locum tenens fits so well into semi-retirement is that providers retain control over the length and frequency of contracts. While some people may wish to work longer assignments, others might only want to be on duty a few days at a time. The same can be said for time off between locum jobs. Breaks can be as long or short as you like, so you can benefit from a more relaxed lifestyle, working the hours you choose, and keeping clinical skills current.
If you would like to learn more about how locum tenens opportunities can fit into your semi-retirement, call an All Star consultant at 800-928-0229, or contact us online today.