A Step-By-Step Process to Becoming a Locum

A Step-By-Step Process to Becoming a Locum
December 04 09:15 2017 Print This Article


There is no denying that the demand for locum tenens physicians, therapists, and nurses is growing by the day. The majority of U.S. healthcare facilities now use locum help at least once during the calendar year; many are happy to have a steady stream of locums coming and going on a regular basis. The demand for locum tenens clinicians is so strong that more and more professionals are opting for full-time locum work.

The good news for any doctor, therapist, or nurse exploring locum work is that the process for becoming a full-time locum is not hard. In fact, staffing agencies have made it their business to make it as simple and painless as possible in order to entice more clinicians to sign up.

Here is a step-by-step process for becoming a full-time locum:

1. Choose Some Agencies

The National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO) is a good resource for finding staffing agencies. It is a good idea for all but the most experienced clinicians to start their locum careers by signing on with a couple of agencies. However, it is also wise to not choose just any agency. Research is in order.

Some agencies are better than others. Some offer better pay and benefits, others might offer a work environment that is more to the locum’s liking. In either case, the smart clinician will choose two or three agencies to work with.

2. Interviewing and Onboarding

Before an agency agrees to work with a clinician, there is typically a formal interview involved. Part of that interview includes completing the paperwork necessary to demonstrate licensing, sufficient education, and so forth. Nearly every staffing agency will assist clinicians in securing licenses for the states in which they offer assignments. Clinicians will need to include copies of certificates, licenses, diplomas, etc.

Following a successful interview is the onboarding process. Unlike other fields, onboarding in locum tenens work is fairly easy because all the paperwork has already been done. Onboarding is a matter of getting familiar with the agency and how it does things.

3. Selecting an Assignment

The next step is to select an assignment to start with. Recruiters will do their best to match clinicians with the assignments they believe are the best fit, but ultimately, the individual has the freedom to reject or accept any assignment offered.

Accepting an assignment generally means a short interview with the facility behind it. In the meantime, the staffing agency will work to secure the proper credentials, if necessary. The clinician’s recruiter will also handle logistics including travel, lodging, and so forth.

4. Starting Work

The next step in the process is starting work on the assignment. There is an orientation period involved in most assignments, in order to give clinicians time to get familiar with the facility, work environment, and his or her coworkers. Orientation can be as little as a few hours or as long as several days. Upon completion of orientation, the clinician starts work.

5. Assignment Completion

Finally, the clinician continues to work his or her shifts in accordance with the contract until the assignment has been completed. How and when the clinician is paid is spelled out in the terms of the contract. Following the completion of assignment, there may be a debriefing involved as some agencies want to know more about the clinician’s experience. In either case, the clinician is free to immediately start looking for a new assignment.

And there you have it. That’s all there is to the process of becoming a full-time locum. It is not hard at all, is it?


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Jimmy Hannah
Jimmy Hannah

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