America is facing a significant shortage of healthcare workers right now. Furthermore, based on reports from the medical sector, an estimated 33 percent of current healthcare professionals are planning to leave their jobs within the coming year due to burnout, anxiety, depression, and other factors. To make matters worse, not enough newcomers are entering the medical field to meet the nation’s surging healthcare needs. As such, the shortage will grow even more serious in the years to come. 

Bridging the Gap

This development is leaving many medical facilities struggling to meet their staffing needs. Many are even hard-pressed to give their current personnel much-needed time off. For facilities facing these issues, locum tenens providers may be the solution. These medical professionals, who are often doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, temporarily fill positions in healthcare facilities. They bridge gaps in staffing needs for vacation time, personal leaves, unexpected job openings, and fluctuating patient loads among other problems. 

Locum tenens is a Latin phrase that literally means “to hold the place of.” Locums can provide numerous benefits for healthcare facilities, and providing locum tenens services can give medical professionals several advantages. That being said, if you use locum tenens workers, it’s important to understand how to find the right professionals to meet your staffing needs. 

Define Your Needs

First of all, be sure to clearly define the roles that need to be temporarily filled and their durations. Understand the specific skills and experience levels locum tenens workers must have to fully meet your needs. Additionally, provide a clear outline of each of those positions, including where the provider will be working, the number of hours required, typical patient caseloads, salary, incentives, and other relevant details. All that will aid in finding the right locum tenens provider for the job. 

Use Available Resources

From there, don’t hesitate to use all the resources at your disposal to connect with available locum tenens providers. Locum tenens agencies can be immensely valuable in this regard. They have an extensive pool of medical professionals to draw from. They also handle paperwork, credentialing, and other factors on your behalf.

Numerous online job boards are also available, many of them tailored specifically to locum tenens providers and the medical facilities looking for their services. You could use members of your professional network to facilitate the recruitment process as well. While all these strategies are legitimate, working with specialized staffing agencies is generally the fastest, simplest, and most effective. 

Screening and Credentialing

For those who forgo locum tenens agencies and conduct the recruitment process on their own, screening and credentialing will be essential. After identifying potential candidates, verifying their licenses, certifications, and work histories will come into play. Conducting background checks and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations will also enter the mix. Bear in mind, this portion of the process tends to require extensive time and effort. 

Contracts and Onboarding

Once the right candidate has been found and deemed qualified, it’s time to negotiate the terms of the temporary position and sign a solid contract. That protects the locum tenens provider as well as the medical facility he or she will be working for. Then, the onboarding process begins. It’s important to have a thorough onboarding process in place to fully integrate the locum tenens provider into his or her new role.  

Taking Full Advantage of Locum Tenens Providers

Locum tenens providers can bring an array of benefits to medical facilities. They fill temporary roles to help mitigate workloads on permanent staff members and enable healthcare facilities to maintain the quality of care they provide their patients. Finding the right locum tenens workers to fill openings can be a complicated process, but several resources are available to help both providers and the medical facilities that need them. Keep the points mentioned here in mind to help you find the locum tenens providers to meet your needs and successfully incorporate them into your staff. 

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