(Editor’s note: Working as a Locum Tenens never really crossed my mind when I was in my anesthesia training. No one ever sat down and discussed why taking this route might be a great option for me. And just liking understanding all the different anesthesia plans for a case I like to know all my options when choosing a job.
This sponsored article by Integrity Healthcare Locums looks at the advantages of working as an anesthesia Locum Tenens provider. I hope you enjoy the article and use this information to choose the path that is right for you now or maybe later on in your career. Good luck!)
The path to your career was not easy, but it was worth it. As an anesthesiologist, CRNA or CAA you have a significant impact on the lives of those you serve. You provide light to those whose days are darkened by pain and uncertainty. You heal the sick and you mend the broken. Each shift you work to ensure a healthy future for your patients.
As you spend countless hours caring for others, experiencing career fatigue can become a harsh reality. That’s why it’s also important to consider your own future – one that has more flexibility and less administrative accountability for your work-life balance.
Latin for “one who holds the place,” locum tenens refers to a provider who temporarily practices in the place of an absent colleague. Whether you’re finishing your residency or fellowship, have many years of experience and want a new environment, or have retired from your private practice and are still interested in contributing your talents, locum tenens offers a world of possibilities not often associated with traditional full-time medical practice positions.
Here are the 10 advantages to working Locum Tenens – and why you’ll enjoy it.
1. TEST THE WATERS.
According to Becker’s Hospital Review, “Doctors who are just finishing their residencies and are unsure of where they want to live or what kind of work they want to do often turn to locum tenens work to help them make a better-informed decision about their career path.”
2. DON’T FEEL THE BURN.
Physician burnout is increasingly becoming a concern in the healthcare industry, one that can affect patient care quality and the patient experience, ultimately impacting the bottom line for healthcare organizations and physician practices.
Being in a new environment and interacting with a new set of patients can recharge your career, helping you focus more clearly and take a different perspective on medicine. Working locum tenens also can be a way for physicians to avoid or escape burnout and remain in the workforce longer.
3. LET FREEDOM RING.
Nobody wants to feel trapped. Locum tenens assignments can range anywhere from a few shifts to several months, giving you the option to pursue another opportunity should you decide you just want to be somewhere else. Whether down the street or across the country, as a locum tenens provider you can experience a new facility, a new city, or a new life at your choosing – the possibilities are endless for a high-demand healthcare professional like you.
4. GET FLEXIBLE.
Imagine the opportunity to create your own schedule. That’s an impossible notion for traditional W2 physician jobs, as your hours are tied to your employment contracts – not to mention those on-call shifts. After all, they need to plan for coverage when you take leave. Working locum tenens allows you to pre-determine your own flexible schedule. Want to take a month off to travel? Enjoy your trip! Whatever your individual parameters, through locum tenens you’re in charge of when and where you practice.
5. PROBLEM FREE PENCIL-PUSHING.
One significant advantage to locum tenens assignments is the lack of administrative concerns that accompany running your own practice. Paying utilities, hiring staff members, filling out piles of reports for insurance can all become burdensome. Leave the pressures of running a business behind, so you can focus more on your profession and less on paperwork.
6. MAKE IT PERSONAL.
Your time is precious. Your patients deserve that extra personal time and attention to help ensure proper care. Locum tenens helps you put patients over processes. While some physicians worry that short-term assignments can make it harder to develop patient relationships, continuity of care is established with recurring locum tenens jobs – giving you the opportunity to check in on patients and see how they are progressing.
7. TAKE A TEST DRIVE.
Anesthesiologist, CRNAs or CAAs seeking a permanent position take locum tenens assignments as a way to “test drive” settings at different facilities before making a long-term contractual commitment. Similarly, this strategy is often employed by both early and late-career providers who want to experience an array of clinical settings and/or communities full-time before shifting gears and committing to a new contract.
8. BULK UP THAT CV.
Locum tenens opportunities offer a diversity of work involvement. You will interact with distinguished physicians, be exposed to new settings and treat a wide variety of patients. This contributes to an enriched learning experience and lend a more well-rounded set of credentials for your CV. Consider the competitive credentials of a practitioner whose entire work history was limited to a single setting as opposed to one who has experience in community hospitals, ambulatory clinics, teaching clinics, nursing homes or managed care institutions.
9. HAVE JOB, WILL TRAVEL.
Your expertise is in demand throughout the nation – why not see which area works best for you? Browse jobs in all 50 states and choose to work in a region you’ve always wanted to explore. Locum tenens may be just the ticket to experience an urban, rural, solo, small group, multispecialty group, or a hospital-associated practice before actually beginning your career and settling your family.
10. BE MORE THAN A HELPING HAND.
Many practices seek locum tenens providers because they simply don’t have enough anesthesiologists, CRNAs or CAAs to provide care for their patients. Your skills are needed and help relieve overworked doctors and nurses, allowing facilities to maintain incoming revenue from physician services, prevent the loss of patient’s due to lack of coverage, and help retain existing clinical staff.