Since February 2020, the healthcare industry has lost nearly half a million workers, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. 30% of healthcare workers have left their jobs, and another 31% are considering leaving.
Two years of keeping up with a global pandemic has left many healthcare workers burned out and in need of a break, fed up with huge patient backlogs, confusion over health and safety policies, and frustration with long hours and low pay rates.
Below, we’ll talk about some of the ways that we’re seeing this resignation play out among healthcare workers and facilities, and what Hayes Locums is doing to help.
Helping Keep Hospitals Open
As a result of record high turnover, hospitals are scrambling to keep their departments staffed. The more turnover there is, the more likely it is that their remaining employees will burn out trying to handle the additional workload.
In this time of upheaval, locum tenens is helping to fill the gap. For certain hospitals, especially in rural areas, locums is often the only option standing between staying open or closing their doors. We’re doing everything we can to step in and help these facilities: hiring as many recruiters as possible, and investing in technology and training to find quality candidates for these hospitals and keep their doors open.
Providing Alternate Options to Healthcare Providers
The good news is, we are putting doctors to work at record rates. More and more doctors are coming to locums as a reprieve from positions that are no longer sustainable. It may be a stopgap for these providers, but it is a tremendously attractive stopgap, for reasons of both finances and flexibility.
Pay rates are at an all time high for locums, which is enticing more and more providers to take the leap from full-time to temporary work. And the flexibility it offers is often the barrier between providers resigning entirely, and continuing to stay involved in patient care. With more options available than ever, providers can choose how much they want to put themselves out there––whether it’s one or two weeks a month, or full time.
Locums can also function as a breather between full-time positions. For providers who are finding their current position unsustainable, locums offers a way to assess their options. Maybe you’re looking for lower patient volumes, or for positions that don’t require certain clinical procedures. With locums, you can try out different roles and practice environments before jumping into the deep end of another full-time position.
Addressing and Preventing Burnout
Locums positions are finite, which is a benefit for providers feeling burned out by the intensity of the past two years. Because each role has a clear start and end date, you know where the finish line is, which can give you the energy you need to keep running. Then, when you’re done, you can go back home, hit the reset button, and get ready for the next race.
Working as a locum tenens removes some of the administrative elements of medical practice that contribute to employee burnout: you can stay out of administrative politics, since you’re not employed by the hospital itself. Locums allows you to purely practice medicine, so you can reconnect with the reasons you went into medicine to begin with.