Locum tenens work refers to a career style where a physician temporarily fulfills roles before moving on to the next position. A locum tenens job may last a few weeks or 6 months, depending on the position, and could include clinic care, hospital care, or a combination of both. Let’s explore locum tenens psychiatry work and what these job entail.
What is Locum Tenens Psychiatry?
Locum tenens psychiatry is the practice of working at different locations as a professional psychiatrist to provide care on an as-needed basis. Though the specific job details may vary, this work includes the same duties as full-time psychiatry. These professionals provide mental health treatment and counseling services to patients in need.
Because locum tenens work involves traveling, some psychiatrists prefer it to the traditional career model. Depending on your career and personal goals, locum work may be the right choice for you.
How is Locum Tenens Psychiatry Different from Other Locum Tenens Roles?
Locum tenens psychiatry is different from other locum tenens healthcare roles. Here are a few key points to note:
- Care - Most prominently, locum tenens psychiatrists provide different care than other locum tenens workers. Locum psychiatrists offer mental health services and counseling to patients, whereas other locum healthcare professionals may work as radiologists, physicians, nurses, and more.
- Hours - Depending on your locum tenens role, your hours as a psychiatrist will differ from other locum healthcare roles. Some locum tenens psychiatrists work strictly during the day, while others work weekends and evenings for 24/7 clinics.
- Administrative Work - For some locum tenens roles, the healthcare professional strictly provides patient care and works in a hospital setting. However, as a psychiatrist, some roles are based around administrative work that is essential to helping a healthcare organization function. This administrative work includes processing patient input and output documents, drafting treatment plans, and creating mental health assessments. This administrative work differs from the work done in a hospital or intensive care unit.
Benefits of Locum Tenens Psychiatry
Many psychiatrists choose the locum tenens model of work for its benefits. If you are considering this type of role, here are some of the top advantages:
- Flexible Schedule - Locum tenens work allows you to customize your schedule and only choose roles with the hours you prefer. So, for example, if you do not like working nights, you can look for a locum position during the day. Or, if you prefer to work 7 days in a row and have 7 days off, look for a role that fits this schedule. Working when you want allows you to find a routine that suits you best.
- Work-Life Balance - Due to the range of options, hours, and locations available through the locum tenens model, achieving a work-life balance is easy. You can make the most of your free time by choosing where and when you work. Having this balance is a great way to avoid burnout, which is a common issue in healthcare professions.
- Travel - One of the best advantages of locum tenens work is that it allows you to travel. You can explore different parts of the country, learn about new cultures, and visit family and friends — all while working to advance your career.
Locum Tenens Psychiatry Demand
According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 111 million Americans live in an area with a psychiatric shortage. With as many as 1 in 5 Americans dealing with a mental health issue each year, there is no denying a need for qualified psychiatrists to provide care.
Because of this shortage, there are many opportunities for locum tenens psychiatrists to find work and help communities. Not only does this allow psychiatrists to travel and explore new opportunities, but it also makes a tangible impact on patients seeking psychiatric care.
What is a Locum Tenens Psychiatry Assignment Like?
If you decide locum tenens psychiatry is right for you, the next step is to connect with a locum tenens agency and explore job opportunities. Locum psychiatry assignments vary in their work environments and duties. Some possible assignments include:
- Community Mental Health Center Work
- Non-Profit Social Service Organization Work
- Outpatient Mental Health Clinic Work
In some cases, you may work as a counselor seeing patients and following a treatment plan. Other locum tenens psychiatry jobs may require you to help manage patient input by filing documents, tracking progress, and drafting mental health assessments. For clinics that are open 24/7, you may work the night shift and manage emergency patient inquiries. There are many opportunities for locum tenens clinicians to explore different work environments.
Who Does Locum Tenens Psychiatry Appeal To?
A locum tenens career may appeal to a variety of psychiatrists looking for an exciting career move. Due to the nature of locum tenens work, a locum psychiatrist should be prepared to travel around and adjust to new work environments.
For that reason, locum psychiatry jobs may appeal to psychiatrists who are just out of residency and want to explore different opportunities before making a long-term commitment. Or, these jobs may appeal to psychiatrists who need to fill in gaps between full-time work while keeping their skills sharp. Locum tenens jobs in healthcare are a great way to explore new work settings, see new cities, and remain engaged with patient care.
About Health Carousel Locum Tenens
The Health Carousel Locum Tenens organization is a locum tenens staffing solution delivering fast, easy access to a nationwide pool of qualified physicians and advanced practice providers. We give our clients access to a full range of locum tenens specialties, dedicated recruiting teams, and technology-led recruiting tactics. Whether you need to fill a specific role or are looking to meet physician demand quickly, we are here to help. Contact us today to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does locum tenens mean?
Locum tenens is derived from a Latin phrase that means “to hold a place.” Locum tenens providers hold the place of regular physicians when they are absent and provide quality care temporarily to resolve staffing shortages or gaps.
How long can a locum provider work?
Locum tenens assignments vary in length. Some roles last only a few weeks, while others last up to 6 months.
Is locum tenens worth it?
Many healthcare providers prefer the locum model of work because it is more flexible, allows them to travel, and can be higher paying than traditional roles.