When an ideal opportunity presents itself, are you in a position to seize it immediately? Whether you take locum tenens assignments frequently or on occasion—and even if you have yet to say “yes” to your first one—there are a few things you can do to ensure you are always ready and able to accept the jobs that are at the top of your wish list.
- Develop a good relationship with your recruiter. If your personal company representative knows your preferences, he or she can be actively searching and immediately notify you when a matching assignment becomes available. Reputable companies, like Medicus Healthcare Solutions, will give you a heads up before openings are posted on the company’s website and/or third-party job boards.
- Acquire licenses in your ideal states. Perhaps you have always wondered what it would be like to live and work in Colorado. Or, maybe you know you want an assignment at a large facility in the New York City metropolitan area. When a golden opportunity arises and you are already licensed, you’re in an ideal position to accept the contract and be placed quickly—a not-so-minor detail that will be very attractive to both your recruiter and the facility.
- Get certified. The bottom line: providers with specialized certifications, such as PALS, ACLS, and BLS, are able to accept a greater number of locum tenens assignments. This is also applicable for clinicians who are board certified or board eligible in their specialties.
- Obtain/keep up with continuing medical education (CME) credits. Staying abreast of advances in medicine and variations in the delivery of patient care is crucial to maintaining licensure and credentialing requirements, as well as your ongoing professional development. Fortunately, there are a number of easy and cost-effective options for earning CME credits. You can discover opportunities at medical conventions, conferences, and lectures; the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) can also connect you with activities offered by accredited CME providers throughout the country.
- Make a habit of updating your curriculum vitae (CV). Ensuring it is always current means you will never miss out on a locum tenens job because your CV isn’t ready. As soon as you have something new to add—be it the specifics of an assignment or board certification—put it down while it is fresh in your mind. It is easy to forget significant details over time. Once you get in the habit of revising your CV incrementally, it is apt to feel like much less of a chore.
- Get a jump on paperwork and references. Credentialing can be grueling. Gathering required documents ahead of time—and keeping them organized and current—simplifies the process when the perfect opportunity arises. Respected locum tenens staffing companies have a team of experienced credentialing professionals who can aid and support you throughout the process.
- Be flexible. A willing attitude and the enthusiasm to commit to what the facility needs will help you secure a desirable assignment. In addition to being open to the schedule and contract duration, be prepared to work amicably with regular staff, adhere to policies and protocol, and adapt to situations.