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What Are Locum Jobs and How Do You Find Them?

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

 


You've heard the word locum and you no doubts have some idea of what it means. Did you know that this industry is about 50 years old and was born out of a need in the western United States for clinicians in under-staffed areas? Those early developments were so successful it has spawned a model of staff provision that's utilized all over the world.

It's no surprise you're curious about this industry as many of your friends and colleagues will have worked as locums at some point in their careers. So, what are locum jobs and how do you find them?

Read on to learn more about locum careers and how you could pursue one.

What Is a Locum?

The word locum or locum tenens comes from the Latin which means placeholder. Basically, it's a temporary job fulfilling a needed role until a permanent person is found. When there is a capacity gap in the workforce for whatever reason, a locum is a very useful solution.

The qualifications and personal specifications for a locum are determined by the post they fulfill. For all intent and purposes, the qualifications are the same as they would be if they were employing someone full-time. A locum isn't a compromise on quality but an alternative solution to a staffing shortage.

What Industries Provide Locums?

The ongoing shortfall of medical personnel in the U.S means that locums are very popular in the healthcare industry. They're also widely used in non-medical fields. For example, those associated with healthcare provision like allied health services, physiotherapy, clinical science, and so on.

Locum agencies and locum providers tend to develop working relationships with many hospitals and regional centers. This helps them to be well informed about projected staffing needs and they then recruit to fulfill those roles. These mutually beneficial relationships are cultivated over many years in the industry.

Motivating the Motivated

Few professionals are more motivated to develop themselves than medical doctors. They spend a lifetime advancing their qualifications, experience, and clinical knowledge. These are some of the same motivations that make locum work popular in the medical industry.

Locum work creates temporary opportunities to gain experience in sought after clinical areas. Competing for top consultant posts can be very challenging and so locum work may offer a useful stopgap until a senior post is secured. Given the high levels of student debt, locum work may simply supplement income for a period of time.

Advantages as a Locum

There are many advantages to serving as a locum. In the main, locums tend to be burdened with the less administrative load which allows them to focus more on the actual job. Not only that, but they can have more control over their schedule and that may have significant appeal depending on where people are in their life stages.

Locuming can offer a window into what it's like to work in a particular place before signing a long term contract. For some, a locum post can prevent the burnout that's often associated with working in the same place while under pressure for a sustained period of time.

Challenges as a Locum

Of course, it would be naive to think all was plain sailing. There are challenges such as having to learn new administrative systems and patient record management. This can lead to clerical errors and further complications in the continued care of patients.

Continuity of care is a significant challenge when there is a high turnover of clinical staff. That may impact the quality of clinical outcomes that can be hard to deal with. Working relationships are temporary at best and that can also bring unwanted stress, anxiety, confusion, and even prejudice.

Locum Contracts

Most often, locums are classified as being self-employed. The agency will likely take care of many business matters for you including tax advice and documentation etc. However, this emphasizes the importance of checking the small print in your contract so that you're completely clear on your legal obligations.

Getting a Locum Position

It's not difficult to get a locum position. You can check the noticeboard of many locum agencies online. You will see what jobs are available and the personal specifications required. Some agencies tend to specialize in certain industries while others may recruit for a broad range of needs.

If you're interested in working overseas, you will see that some agencies are truly international and can offer opportunities worldwide. Alternatively, you can research some agencies in the base country directly.

If, for example, you work in radiography you can click here and see what opportunities are available in the U.K. This is a typical locum provider and will give you a very good idea of what to expect from other agencies.

Locum Jobs Are Waiting

In this article, you've read about locum jobs in terms of what they are and how you might go about finding one. You will likely agree that it's exciting to see so many opportunities out there in many different aspects of healthcare. Being a locum will offer the possibility of travel, going to new places, meeting new people, and experiencing new things, all with an air of flexibility.

The great thing about this type of job is that if it doesn't suit your purpose, then you can always change. It offers a level of flexibility that you will never experience in a permanent post. Check out the latest posts on our site that will keep developing your knowledge about health, fitness, and food.

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