One of the main benefits of locums work is the flexibility it offers. That flexibility comes with its own challenge: managing and organizing your schedule.
With traditional health care jobs, you may only have to deal with the logistics of one role. With locums, you might be juggling many different assignments within a year. There are also additional factors to consider: things like travel time, making sure you’re licensed in the state you wish to work in, and getting your credentialing in order.
If the thought of managing your own locum tenens schedule seems daunting, don’t worry.
We’ve put together some tips for managing and organizing your locums schedule, so you can experience all the benefits of flexibility without the stress.
Determine Your Goals
Every healthcare provider has their own goals for doing locum tenens, and figuring out what your specific goals are can help you arrange your schedule to prioritize what matters to you.
If your primary goal in taking locums work is to get away from the grind of traditional hospital hours, you can schedule your locums assignments accordingly, looking for shorter stints or fewer shifts, and scheduling frequent breaks between assignments to give yourself plenty of time to recharge.
Or, if your goal is to progress in your career by learning more advanced practices or procedures that aren’t available at your current facility, you may want to look for longer assignments at busier facilities, so you can build up a more robust case log quickly.
Whatever your goals are, you can schedule your locums assignments to accommodate them. The important thing is to know what they are, and communicate them to your consultant.
Keep a Calendar
Keeping a detailed calendar of all of your upcoming life events will help you schedule smarter when it comes to planning out your locums assignments.
Before you start scheduling your assignments, make note of any life events that might conflict with your locums work––birthdays, family vacations, necessary medical procedures, etc.––so you can easily reference it when building your calendar.
This will also help you keep an eye out for locum tenens opportunities you might not otherwise think of. If there’s an assignment in a location that you’re particularly excited about, with good planning, you can schedule a family vacation at the beginning or end of that assignment.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Plan
As you plan, don’t forget to build in time for the licensing and credentialing process. It takes time to ensure that you are licensed to practice in a given state and that you are credentialed with a specific facility. Your Hayes Locums consultant will be able to tell you how long each of those steps will take and can help you plan accordingly.
Planning ahead can also help you maintain a quality match. If you enjoy working in a particular facility, but your assignment is set to end in a few months, your consultant can communicate with the facility to keep you in mind the next time they have a need for additional locums coverage.
Don’t Forget to Take Time for Yourself
Make sure you’re leaving time in your schedule for yourself when you plan out your assignments!
Don’t forget to include your personal goals while you evaluate your professional objectives to ensure you’re striking the correct work-life balance. Schedule breaks between assignments to give yourself time to recharge, or block out time to spend time with family.
You can also take time out for yourself while you’re on assignment. One of the biggest benefits of locums work is the opportunity it gives you to travel to new places. Make a vacation out of an assignment by exploring a new city on your off hours, or visiting a National Park within driving distance of your facility.