Now that my first column on Locum Tenens assignments has gone “live” I have been recieving a ton of emails and calls. First, let me say I am pleased so many NP’s and PA’s are reading what I write! It’s nice to know you are out there. It’s also nice to see so many clinicians warming up to doing temporary jobs. So far I have heard from folks at both ends of the career spectrum, some are NP’s who are just beginning their career while others are looking towards retirement and just looking for something different (but lucrative). All have concerns and questions.
Temp NP or PA jobs definitely take you out of your comfort zone, some see this as exciting and challenging while others might view it as nothing but pure stress. No matter which way you lean I advise you to be sure to get some critical information before you agree to that temporary job assignment.
Be sure you find out the reason that the employer is seeking a locum tenens clinician. Is this a new venture and they prefer to see if things are going to work out before taking on a permanent employee? In our current ecomony this is very reasonable and actually protects you as much as it protects them. If things don’t work out for any reason no one will question a short employment entry on your NP resume if the position was a temp assignment. And if it does work out you could have your foot in the door to be hired permanently.
If the reason they are seeking a locum tenens clinicians is due to a a vacancy it is a good idea for you to you find out why the previous provider left. It could be something as simple as a medical leave or something much more serious such as a toxic work environment. Good to know before you commit.
Next week I will talk about ways to ensure that you have adequate physician back-up while you are out on assignment. Stay tuned…