2020 was a tumultuous year for many healthcare professionals. That’s why physicians are increasingly considering the benefits of locum tenens work. If you're thinking about leaving your full-time position to pursue the locum tenens lifestyle, it's important that you understand how the industry is rapidly changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you embark on your journey as a locum tenens provider, here are some things you can expect:
Greater needs in certain medical specialties. If there's ever been a time to expand your horizons in the locum tenens field, this year is the right time. With demand for locum tenens providers greater high in many areas due to physician shortages and the pandemic, there are many opportunities across a variety of specialties. Some of the highest and most urgent needs are in the areas of pulmonary critical care, emergency medicine and infectious disease. Working in these specialties during a crisis like the pandemic can be a very rewarding experience for locum tenens physicians, as they're able to care for patients during such a crucial time and have many opportunities to choose from that could fit different career goals.
Changes to travel. While locum tenens physicians often take assignments in towns or cities away from home, the rise of the pandemic has resulted in more physicians traveling less and taking locum tenens shifts closer to where they live. This is due to a multitude of reasons, from travel advisories to safety concerns to the convenience of having many local opportunities to choose from. For those who do prefer to travel and experience new places, there is no shortage of opportunities around the country as there are needs in many areas. This means that whatever your preference, you are likely to find locum tenens jobs that fit your career and lifestyle goals.
Emphasis on safety. With COVID-19 continuing to dominate the healthcare landscape, locum tenens providers can expect a greater emphasis on safety in the workplace. From mandatory quarantines to regular screenings to vaccinations, locum tenens providers will be required to adhere to employers' policies and regulations. This is not only for patient safety, but for the safety of providers themselves in reducing the spread of illness. Different facilities may have slightly different policies in regard to some of these areas, but the overall goal is the same.
There's no question that the healthcare landscape has undergone significant changes since the onset of the pandemic. That said, locum tenens work continues to offer a wide variety of opportunities for physicians looking to earn extra income close to home or provide their services at facilities around the country. If you’re looking for your next opportunity, be sure to get in touch with us today!