Congratulations on deciding to do locums tenens work, enabling greater earning potential while working your own schedule. It's a big decision and a really good one. Locums physicians are privy to numerous benefits; however, there are certain things to understand before your first assignment.
First, you'll need to know where you're going. Distance is important because while your gas or airfare is usually covered, your time isn't. Record your mileage and toll booth spending, when necessary.
Secondly, ensure your car is ready for the trip. If traveling, a budget for car expenses is a wise investment. For example, four new tires aren't cheap, but they're much safer and more reliable.
Make Your Travel Arrangements
Once you learn where you will be working, it's time to plan your trip. Things to consider include the following: how you will travel, where you will stay upon arrival, where you will live, transportation, and cost.
It is important to know when the new job will begin. This will give a better sense of how much time you'll have to settle in your new home and allow you to plan accordingly.
Learn as Many Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) as Possible
EMRs are becoming standard in facilities, and to be successful, you will need to know your way around them. Sadly, there is no single universal EMR which is why it's important you become familiar with as many different EMRs as possible.
The more systems you know, the more successful you will be in your career as a locum. Greater EMR exposure increases your marketability.
Research the Facility
Knowledge is a powerful advantage, and the more you know about the clinic or hospital where you are going, the more confidence you'll have. Researching your new place of employment will make it easier for you to adapt to your new setting and get started right away.
There are several things to consider with your new facility in addition to the type of EMR used, such as the number of staff, number of beds, operating hours, and staff support. Your agency should cover this with you well in advance of your start date.
Make The All-Important Good First Impression
Get started on the right foot. Consider treating your new staff to muffins, doughnuts, or good coffee. It's obviously not necessary; however, it will immediately create a positive first impression. If that's important to you, awesome, and if it's not, that's fine, too. Of course, being courteous and professional are surefire ways to always make a good impression.