There is no denying that a career in locum tenens as a healthcare provider can be exhilarating, and anxiety-inducing. It can be doubly stressful if you are a rookie physician looking to get a good head start in the industry through a reputable locum tenens company. It is understandable to be apprehensive, as you are likely undertaking your first assignment in an unfamiliar area.
That said, there is no reason to go into your first assignment resigned to the fact that you have to deal with trial and error. You can help turn things around by making the necessary preparations, ensuring that you are ready for anything that your new assignment throws your way. Here are a few best-practice methods to ensure you get a great start in your first assignment.
Ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork ready
Your chosen locum tenens agency will help you when it comes to acquiring the paperwork you need during your first assignment. Ensure that you double-check what you need, as it is vital to make a good first impression.
If there are things you are unsure of, such as the curriculum vitae or the required licenses, ensure that you ask your agency the right questions. After all, the more paperwork they can provide, the easier it will be to fit in during your first assignment.
Keep track of all the details that come with the new area
Whether it is your first assignment or your twentieth, it is all about keeping track of the necessary details when you are working in a new area. Keep tabs on the people you have to meet at the beginning, and ensure that you understand the dress code as well as your schedule. While you can expect some leniency as it is your first assignment as a locum tenens, keep in mind that the people who hired your services will expect the work of a professional.
If you are overwhelmed by the details, you can try to keep things organized by writing up a list. In a lot of ways, it is similar to your first day at school, where you have to write everything down and ensure that you have all the information you need.
Practically everyone is a potential resource
No matter where you end up working during your first assignment, keep in mind that everyone there will likely have useful information to provide. Whether it happens to be other physicians, nurses, or even reception, everyone is sure to have something useful to share. The best way to prepare yourself is to gather as much knowledge as you can and utilize it to the best of your ability. Even if the person you ask feels as though their answers might prove inadequate, ask for their input anyway.
While the first assignment is always the most stressful, it does not mean that it has to be a miserable process. You can make use of the tips above to provide an excellent head start during your first locum tenens job.