When an ideal locum tenens opportunity presents itself, are you in a position to seize it right away? Whether you take locum tenens assignments frequently or on occasion—and even if you have yet to say “yes” to your first opportunity—there are a few things you can do to ensure you are always ready and able to accept the locum tenens jobs that top your wish list.
- Communicate with your recruiter regularly. If your personal company representative knows your preferences, he or she can give you a heads up when an assignment that matches them becomes available. What’s more, you could learn about opportunities of interest before they are posted on the company’s website and/or third-party job boards. Making sure your recruiter is aware of and recurrently updated on the facility types and areas to which you are partial can give you a competitive edge.
- Become licensed in the state(s) you are interested in. Perhaps you have wondered what it would be like to live and work in California. Or maybe an assignment at a large facility in the New York City metropolitan area appeals to you. If you are already licensed in a given state when a golden opportunity arises, you’re in a prime 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. And if you require licensure assistance, reputable companies like Medicus Healthcare Solutions can provide the help you need.
- 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. The same is true 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. Myriad opportunities can be found at medical conventions, conferences, and lectures, and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) can connect you with activities offered by accredited CME providers throughout the country.
- Continuously update your curriculum vitae (CV). Making sure your CV is always current and formatted to perfection means you will never miss out on a locum tenens job because your CV isn’t up to date. As soon as you have something new to add—be it the specifics of an assignment or board certification—make the addition while it is fresh in your mind, as 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 less of a chore.
- Get a jump on paperwork and references. The credentialing process can be lengthy and arduous. Gathering the required documents ahead of time—and keeping them organized and current—will make all the difference when an opportunity arises that you are eager to accept. Respected locum tenens staffing companies have a team of experienced credentialing professionals who can provide assistance and support throughout the process, ensuring everything you need is in place.
- Be flexible. A willingness and enthusiasm to commit to what the facility needs will go a long way toward securing 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 as needed.
Want more tips? If you have your heart set on taking assignments in certain locations, check out “3 Ways to Feed a Travel Bug While Working Locum Tenens.”