Locum tenens, commonly shortened to locum or locums, is a Latin phrase that translates to “holding the place of.” As the term evolved, it came to represent a person who stands temporarily for someone else of the same profession. Today, locum tenens is a career — one that has made a significant, positive impact on the healthcare industry.
The concept for locum tenens as a means of temporary healthcare staffing developed in the United States during the 1970s. What started as a need for rural physicians in Utah to continue their medical education training — but couldn’t due to limited staffing at their respective practices — is now a multibillion-dollar industry affecting an estimated 75% of hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
While the idea of temporary staffing may appear unpredictable or difficult to balance, working locum tenens offers a variety of unique benefits not only to licensed medical professionals, but to the facilities and patients they serve. To learn more about the benefits of working locum tenens, click here. To learn more about the benefits of hiring locum tenens, click here.
Consider locum-to-permanent placement, also referred to as locum-to-perm or locums-to-perm, as the “happy medium” between working locum tenens and holding a permanent position. This alternative — which provides locum tenens professionals an opportunity to join a facility permanently — is ideal for those who prefer a “trial period” before accepting a full-time job offer, especially if that offer is hundreds of miles away from home.
Locum-to-permanent placement is especially advantageous for licensed medical providers interested in entering a new field, working in a different type of facility, or trying an alternative work schedule. With locum-to-permanent opportunities, time is allotted to adjust to an assignment’s climate, culture, community, and lifestyle, enabling a smoother transition upon permanent hire.
Having had a substantial “work interview” prior to extending a permanent offer, facilities that opt for locum-to-permanent candidates ultimately increase their employee retention. Because of this, hiring locum-to-permanent professionals is among the most cost-effective ways to hire.
Permanent placement is the most common form of employment within the healthcare industry. For both medical providers and facilities, permanent placement offers consistency, predictability, and security on a long-term scale.
Working on a permanent basis provides an opportunity to enhance and polish medical knowledge, skills, and techniques. For healthcare facilities, hiring permanent candidates is equally beneficial; however, it can come with added pressure. If in a bind, finding a lasting fit to fill an immediate need can be stressful — but enlisting the help of a professional healthcare staffing agency can assist with alleviating the difficulty in locating the right candidate.