Although locum jobs provide short-term employment, the connection with that employer doesn’t have to end on the last day (unless of course you want it to). Look at each locum assignment as an opportunity to build a meaningful professional network and always keep the door open for repeat business. The first impression is all that you will have with some coworkers; so, make it a good one.
Locum skills that create a lasting good impression in a short amount of time:
- Being very prepared. It makes you look good but it will also make your life easier in the long run too. Have a clipboard with important information:
- Your state license number, DEA number, NPI number.
- Logins and Passwords that you receive for the job assignment.
- Common CPT and ICD-10 codes.
- A blank sheet to start listing frequently called numbers, like the pharmacy, lab, hospital service, etc.
- Have a blank sheet to start filling in your supervisors and key personnel to help you remember their names.
Once you have all of these things together, keep them on hand from job to job.
- Dress smart. Looking professional is obviously going to do wonders for your first impression but also keep in mind you will be working long days. You can’t be sure what dress style to expect at each assignment, but you really can’t go wrong with scrubs, a white coat, and nice yet comfortable shoes. Easy to travel with and easy to live with.
- Get comfortable with the tech. When you have time try to acclimate yourself to the EMR (EMR training before your first day would be even better). Figure out how to make it work for you, because no one likes a complainer and it’s not going to change before you leave. Being able to easily adapt to the new technology will be a standout quality that people will appreciate.
- Pull your weight. Try to work just as hard as those around you, take on the same hours as if you were a permanent employee don’t enter the I-am-just-a-temporary-patch mentality.
- Make it easy, and be thorough in documentation. If you want that repeat business, make it easy for them to bill for your services, and when medical records calls for documentation information, be polite and helpful. They will remember it.
- Be attentive. Even though you are there for a short time, take the time to learn things and invest in professional relationships with the people around you. Praise the people doing a good job, and listen well at team meetings.
- Have a sense of humor. This will save you a whole lot of stress. You are new. You are bound to make some little mistakes, give yourself a break and laugh at yourself a little. That of course doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care, but learn from each mistake and don’t forget to apologize and thank those who help you.
- Put your best foot forward. Remember to always be respectful and try to adapt to the culture of the facility you are going into. You don’t have to lose your personal ideas or morality but try to place value on the hospital’s point of view and the way they do things. Evaluate and make sure you have all the information before you start making suggestions.
- Quality Patient Care. Always the most important aspect of your locum job. Continue walking that fine line by being objective to provide good educated care, but also showing compassion for patients and families experiencing a tough situation.