Being a doctor is hard work. And working in a hospital can be even more stressful. If your hospital wants to avoid physician burnout, you may want to consider incorporating a locum tenens model.
A New Approach to Finding Physicians
If you’re familiar with the staffing model used in offices across the country, you have a basic understanding of how locum tenens works. In staffing, there are three different types of placements: temporary, temp to perm, and permanent. In hospitals, locum tenens usually fall under the first banner only. But what if you expanded your thinking?
Some hospitals are now using a more temp-to-perm model when bringing on new hospitalists. Instead of hiring directly, they are allowing locum tenens to get a taste of the environment in a 30-day (or more) placement. If they are a good fit, after that initial placement, then the physicians are offered a permanent position. If not, they continue with their locum tenens role and rotate out at the end of the contract.
How Locum Tenens Help Avoid Physician Burnout
When you hire hospitalists on a temp-to-perm basis, you ensure a great fit to your hospital environment. The trial arrangements enables potential full-time team members to learn the lay of the land and see how they’ll be able to work in the hospital. Both parties are fully aware of what they’re signing up for at the end of the trial.
When they know expectations ahead of time, your new team member is more likely to avoid physician burnout. Instead of just jumping into a full-time role, they’re able to ease in and gain a level of comfort in the facility.
Use Locum Tenens to Avoid Physician Burnout
Your hospital can certainly hire new full-time physicians through the locum tenens route. But what if you have a tenured staff already? If you want to avoid physician burnout, you need to do something to address your more experienced team members.
Locum tenens hospitalists are traditionally used to fill in when regular physicians are on leave. You, too, can employ this approach in your hospital. Perhaps you have a few doctors who could benefit from a three-month sabbatical. You could bring in a locum tenens to fill their role while they’re away. Your valued team member will return refreshed and re-energized, and you may have even found a new physician to add to your roster.
Challenge Your Thinking about Locum Tenens
Get out of your limiting mindset about how you think of locum tenens. While coverage for absent physicians is most definitely one way to use these skilled employees, others may be just as valuable. You may even choose to share a locum tenens with another nearby facility. Or you may want to bring on a part-time locum tenens who is gainfully employed in their own practice.