Understanding ‘Locum Tenens’
The gig industry has been growing steadily and rapidly over the years as more and more people opt for the flexibility and freedom it provides. But the industry has recorded even greater growth since the pandemic that hit the whole world in 2020. The greater part of the workforce was forced to work from home due to the worldwide lockdown that was initiated to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Fast forward to the time this article was written, over a year since the world came out of the lockdown, many workers are reluctant to return to their offices. People have tasted remote work, and many don’t want to go back to the way things used to be for several reasons. Many employees even resigned from work after their employers mandated that they return to their offices and work on-site. These ones have gone on to become freelancers and most say they don’t regret the decision.
For a long time, freelancing was mostly associated with creatives, content creators, and other gig businesses like ride-hailing. But in the last few years, the health industry has seen a rise in freelance healthcare providers known as “locum tenens”.
What is Locum Tenens?
The question- “what is locum tenens?” is one that many people have been asking a lot recently. So, if you’re yet to understand what it is, just know that you’re not alone, and in this article, we’ll fill you in on what it is all about. The term “locum tenens” is Latin for “placeholder”. To put it in context, a locum tenens physician or healthcare provider is one that fills in for another clinician that is away or unavailable; a substitute if you will.
So, for example, if a hospital or a clinic doesn’t have a resident specialty surgeon, they could call in a locum tenens physician for that specific surgery or service. Today, the practice is flourishing as it offers countless job opportunities to practitioners in every field. Through this practice, physicians can build their careers while providing healthcare to patients who may otherwise have gone without.
Presently, thousands of physicians, NPs, CRNAs, and PAs work with locum tenens staffing companies. These companies provide physician staffing services to outpatient medical centers, group facilities, correctional facilities, hospitals, military and government facilities, and community health centers. The industry is seeing year-on-year growth as more and more advanced practice providers and physicians choose to follow this flexible career path.
Why are Providers Choosing Locum Tenens?
Doctors and other healthcare practitioners who go down this path reap huge benefits that don’t always come with a permanent position. Below are some of the most common benefits that locum tenens physicians enjoy:
This is perhaps the most obvious benefit that comes with this lifestyle. Locum tenens providers have total control of their work schedule and decide when, where, and how frequently they want to work. This freedom allows for a better work-life balance and allows providers to focus on other important areas in their life, like spending more time with family and friends. Visit https://www.coursecorrectioncoaching.com/reasons-why-work-life-balance-is-important/ to learn more about the importance of work-life balance.
Travel and Adventure
Practitioners who love adventure and travel don’t have to sacrifice their jobs to have fun. Since locum tenens contracts are available in every state and for every specialty, clinicians use this option to explore the country while also providing healthcare services to patients in need.
Tying back to flexibility, providers can explore different hobbies like skiing, skydiving, diving, and so on. Essentially, it allows you to lead a more interesting life filled with beautiful experiences.
Complimentary medical malpractice coverage, zero overhead, and competitive pay rates make this path a more financially attractive option for medical practitioners. As a matter of fact, even permanent healthcare workers take on short-term contracts during weekends or vacations to supplement their income. Are you looking for a bigger apartment, considering a more exotic vacation, or saving up for a new car? Locum tenens contracts can be a quick way to finance your plans. Click here to learn more about medical malpractice coverage.
Enhanced Skills and Experience
Practitioners who choose this path often work in a variety of practice settings that expands their professional expertise and understanding of their chosen field. Because they treat patients from all over the country, they are always up-to-date, and they enjoy fresh perspectives working with different medical practitioners.
The beautiful thing about this path is that it is suitable for healthcare professionals at any stage in their career. For practitioners that are fresh out of their residency program, these temporary placements allow them to experience different locations and work settings. With this knowledge, they can better decide where to be committed for the long term.
For established practitioners who are looking to transition or explore other areas of this interest, this option makes it possible. Finally, older specialists who want to slow down but are not ready to retire completely can also benefit from the locum tenens lifestyle.