Have you ever considered working locum shifts? In this article Dr Saboo gives you 7 reasons why he does.
Money. The one obvious reason to become a locum is to have some supplementary income. The money could be utilized to enrol for courses or conferences or even book a holiday. Pay rates can be as high as £100 per hour. Thus doing just two locum shifts, might earn you almost a quarter worth of your regular monthly income!
The best way for learning is to know the current standard of care along with understanding of how we reached it. You learn the local best practices while at work and also by reading the unit protocols. Most hospitals generally have well written guidelines. When you locum in a different hospital setting, you come across variations in clinical practice. And if you dig deeper, you will know the reasons for it. This helps you learn the practical reasoning behind why you do what you do.
Professional Experience: even if you locum one 12 hour shift per week, you easily earn 25% more experience in the same amount of time. This is in comparison to the typical 48 hours work week. And we all know, that there is no alternative to good clinical experience for career growth. Thus Locum work can not only help advance your clinical knowledge but also enhance your professional experience.
Confidence: By regularly locuming, and working in an unfamiliar set up, you will increase your confidence the more you do this. This is really important as a doctor, because your career growth is very dependent on working well even in a challenging environment.
Networking: Locum shifts gives you the opportunity to meet more people with similar interest. Your network might ultimately become your greatest asset in the long run. As they can refer you to upcoming positions, they can give you valuable insight about a job, and you can even earn good friends. It might also help you get up close and personal with clinicians whom you have only heard in conferences or read their books during medical school.
To test the waters before deciding to change or accept any job post. Even if you are happy at your current job, it is always important to know about other opportunities. You never what you are missing now, unless you experience it for yourself. Locum work is the best way for it. There is always a risk involved when venturing into uncharted territory. Before changing the job, you might want to experience the new workplace as a locum first. This way you can keep a secure job at hand, while exploring.
Travel: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. During my days as a locum , I made it a point to explore the city, in addition to the workplace. When locuming, you usually get free or discounted accommodations in or around the hospital. You might even get a travel allowance. This way, you could enjoy traveling at a fraction of cost without investing any extra time or effort. Therefore with the right frame of mind you can obviously earn and learn as well with locums.
Dr Ashwin Saboo
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