Working locum tenens is a great way to get to know how different facilities work and learn from other health professionals—whether you're making a career of locum or using it to supplement other work. Each contract is an opportunity to stand out and to make an impression on your colleagues and program directors, so here are a few small things you can do to ensure that impression lasts long after your contract has ended.
Do Your Research (Before and During)
With short term locum contracts, you'll be expected to hit the ground running, so it's important that you do as much research as possible ahead of time and show up prepared. Make sure you have your license, DEA, and NPI numbers on hand, as well as any other required documentation for your employment contract. If you're working with a reputable recruiter, they should have the resources to help you prepare prior to the contract.
Try to find out, either through your recruiter or the contract facility itself, what EMR or EHR system the facility uses, and if it's not one you've worked with before, look it up and become more familiar with it. You'll likely be given a brief training when you arrive, but again, as a short term contract employee, the facility will want to make the most of your time there. If you're able to start contributing to the team immediately, you're sure to be remembered well.
Research is also something you should be prepared to do even after you've settled in at your new contract. Taking the initiative to learn the facility's procedures for yourself—even those that technically fall outside your list of responsibilities—will help you contribute to the overall efficiency of care and make you an incredibly valuable staff member.
Treat Each Contract Like You Would a Long-Term Position
Yes, one of the many benefits of locum tenens work is the ability to move around and test out different locations or positions. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't invest yourself in your current contract. Dress to impress. Be courteous to everyone you work with, as well as to patients. Take pride in the care you provide, whether you're conducting major surgery or administering flu shots. The contract may be temporary, but the impression you leave is permanent, and may follow you to other positions.
The healthcare industry is an incredibly interconnected community, where professional relationships are incredibly important—even for temporary locum tenens physicians. So be prepared to show your colleagues and administrators that you're exactly the type of doctor they hoped to find. It will reflect well on you personally and make a difference in your professional life.
But Don't Try to Change Everything
It's natural to start at a new place and try to do things the way you did them at your previous practice, but each facility has different procedures and processes, and it's important that you don't fall into a pattern of suggesting dramatic changes. So you think the patient intake process at your previous contract was more efficient—and maybe it was—but as a locum tenens physician you need to be able to adapt to different circumstances, and not try to direct the circumstances to adapt to you.
Now, that doesn't mean you can't suggest a change if you develop a good relationship with the administration and feel you can help them improve the quality and efficiency of care; as a locum tenens practitioner, you have unique insight that could be valuable. It just means that you need to be flexible and understanding to find success in locum tenens work.
Whether you're a locum physician looking for the perfect contract or a practice physician interested in getting started in locum tenens, CoreMedical Group can help place you with the right facility. Get in touch with us today!