Over the past few years, medical staffing shortages have grown, causing gaps in care within hospitals and the healthcare sector. But locums tenens can provide a solution.
While staffing shortages in healthcare aren’t new, the widening gaps caused by the pandemic have made it even more urgent to bridge the gap in patient care.
That’s where locum tenens comes in. Locums providers are like firefighters: they calm the chaos by providing necessary coverage until hospitals can find a permanent solution.
Here are some of the top specialties where we see that locums is making the biggest impact:
Locum Tenens Oncology
One of the leading factors driving staffing shortages in healthcare is the case backlog that was created during the pandemic. Case backlogs have caused delays in patient care across the healthcare sector, but particularly in oncology. Because people weren’t getting screened as often during the pandemic, certain cancers weren’t being caught early, and those patients now require treatment.
Medical staffing shortages have caused significant delays in treatment for many patients across the U.S. Some facilities, especially those in rural or under-resourced communities, can’t admit patients for treatment for up to six months, which can make a huge difference when it comes to cancer survival rates.
Because of this, there is a higher demand for locums oncology jobs than ever before. Locums oncologists are standing in the gap to ensure that patients can access care earlier––thus hopefully improving their prognosis.
Locum Tenens Anesthesiology
Anesthesiology is another area that has been significantly affected by COVID-19. Elective procedures were delayed during the early months of the pandemic, creating a huge surgical backlog that hospitals are only just starting to address. Because of this, we’ve seen a significant increase in demand across surgical specialties, requiring anesthesiologist support.
This increase in demand applies not only to anesthesiologists, but locum CRNAs as well: because there aren’t enough anesthesiologists to address surgical backlogs, facilities are relying on CRNAs to fill the gap.
Locum CRNAs and anesthesiologists help hospitals address their surgical backlogs faster, so that patients don’t have to wait to get the procedures that they need.
Locum Tenens Psychiatry
It’s no surprise that the mental health of much of the country was impacted by the pandemic. According to studies, rates of anxiety, depression, and substance use increased during the pandemic, and more Americans sought mental health treatment during the pandemic than in years past.
The ability for patients to access mental health care has never been more necessary. But even before the pandemic increased rates of anxiety and depression, the U.S. didn’t have enough psychiatrists to go around.
That makes locum tenens psychiatry even more crucial. Demand for locum psychiatry jobs has grown tremendously in light of the shortage of psychiatrists in the U.S. Locum psychiatrists step in to provide necessary––and often life-saving––care for patients who might not have any other avenues to seek help.
Locums Advanced Practice Providers
Even as locum tenens is working hard to fill the gaps left by physician shortages, the fact still remains that the U.S. is facing a significant physician shortage: projections show that the U.S. faces a shortage between 37-124K physicians by 2034.
That makes advanced practice providers an even more important resource for hospitals and healthcare facilities. Because of the growing physician shortage, more and more facilities are relying on advanced practice providers. At Hayes Locums, our APP team is busier than it’s ever been, working to fill the gap in patient care caused by physician shortages. And APPs––from traveling nurse practitioners to locum tenens physician assistants––are stepping up to provide exemplary patient care.