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Locum tenens loosely translates to "placeholder" (for another employee). Believe it or not, physicians and physician assistants do work intermittent tasks, and they can be excellent openings if the personal circumstances are favorable.
Locum jobs will last anywhere from a week or two to several months, depending on the cause the employer requires assistance. One of the reasons for finding a locum is to keep a busy clinic running when a PA or practitioner is on maternity or other medical leave. It can be as easy as covering for a PA on leave when failure to do so will lead the employer to become overburdened. Remember that most medical settings are enterprises and therefore profit-driven. Some locum tenens physician assistants fly around the country from one locum tenens work to the next, just like a rock band on tour. The right to do so is determined by the state in which a PA's credential is issued.
What Does a Locum Tenens Physician Assistant Do?
Locum tenens is Latin for "temporary employee" and is the medical equivalent to a temporary employee. As a locum tenens physician assistant, you work a temporary position that will last anything from a few weeks to a few months. When a physician assistant is on break, maternity leave, or more staff are required, you manage clinical duties and patient load. You travel to various medical centers, often nearby, sometimes not, to assist patients, offer adequate health services and medication, order and translate examinations, write medications, and perform associated administrative duties.
There are nine examples of why you should serve as a locum tenens physician assistant.
There are numerous work openings for PAs since they are needed in any medical specialty and environment. One alternative that many PAs might be unaware of is locum tenens. The word locum tenens refers to a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who operates temporarily, frequently requiring travel.
Locum tenens services are used by hospitals and clinics around the country when full-time staff were on holiday or leave, when they are waiting to find a new specialist or PA, or when they are gearing up for busy periods.
1. Earn extra income
Locums can be a perfect way to supplement your income. Picking up additional hours on the side can be an efficient way to pay off school loans, make an extra house payment, or even prepare for a rainy day. Working locums full-time can also be a bright, economical option for those who like to set their timetable while earning an excellent full-time salary.
2. Try a practice before signing a permanent contract
Have you ever taken a job only to discover that it was not what you expected? Locums allow you to put a new career to the test and see how it works before making a final decision. You could discover that your dream work is out there, but not where you expected it to be.
3. Explore different cities, states, and regions
Locums can be a perfect tour guide if you're looking for a place to settle down or want to see various areas of the world. Traveling to a different location and living there opens you to more than you can do on holiday. It also provides a strong sense of neighborhoods, hot spots, and activities outside of work. All of this can lead to a permanent residence, or you may discover that you enjoy traveling.
4. Discover diverse practice settings
Working at various health care facilities provides you with healthcare opportunities that you would not be able to obtain in any other way. You could operate in a large urban hospital or a small town rural facility. You get to see how many types of medicine are practiced. When you learn best practices from your assignments, you can better understand your job at home. Furthermore, you will develop a network of doctors, other PAs, and practice managers who will be valuable resources for your potential career plans.
5. Get financial perks
Consider locum tenens to be an all-expenses-paid holiday where you only happen to go to work every day. Your lodging, accommodation, and travel costs are all paid as a locum—the only thing missing is the all-you-can-eat buffet. Depending on your assignment, you will be placed in a hotel or an apartment. Furthermore, you will protect your malpractice benefits and, in some cases, your state license fees.
6. Enjoy the flexibility
Do you want to be able to choose when and when you will work — and, most specifically, when you will not work? Then locum tenens may be a good option for you. Locums set their hours. If you want to take a couple of weeks off to spend time with relatives or take a five-week European vacation, you should do it. This way allows you to maintain a healthy work-life balance while still maintaining leverage for your future.
7. Fill a gap after you graduate
Uncertain on where you intend to work after graduation? Locums assignments would encourage you to earn money right away before you decide where you want to work.
8. Tackle unexpected changes in plans
If you're between jobs or have a void between contracts, consider working as a locum. Depending on the void you need to cover, you can take upshifts for a few days, weeks, or even months. When life throws you a curveball, and you find yourself caring for an ailing family member or dealing with some problem that makes working a regular job impossible, locum tenens is a good option.
9. Make locum tenens your full-time career
If the above eight arguments aren't enough to convince you to pursue locum tenens, you may want to consider making it your full-time job. Full-time locums receive all of the above benefits all year long, as well as ongoing opportunities for learning and development.
The Bottom Line
Do you want to see what your working life would be like as a medical assistant? There are several choices available, depending on the lifestyle that you choose. Today's subject is an intriguing alternative to explore. I'm referring to the locum tenens job.
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