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Avoidable Locum Tenens Mistakes – 4 Tips for Locum Beginners

New to Locum Tenens? Know The Mistakes to Avoid


New to locum tenens? Many clinicians have chosen to seek locum assignments due to the myriad of benefits available that aren’t necessarily available within a traditionally employed clinician role. If you’re just starting out, you’ll likely encounter challenges that seasoned locum tenens providers have learned the hard way to overcome. Approach this medical new career venture from a wiser and calculated point of view. 


We’ve compiled a list of what you should know, as a new locum clinician. Check out these 4 avoidable locum tenens mistakes before even applying for your first locum assignment.


  • Be adaptable in your approach
  • Make sure your malpractice coverage
  • Negotiate your locum pay rate
  • Choose your locum tenens agency wisely 

Be Adaptable in Your Approach to Locums Tenens

Adaptability is an essential quality to have, now more than ever, especially with the frequent changes occurring in the current healthcare arena. To start, a positive attitude is a direct reflection of how adaptable you are. Whatever your experience is you can always learn more. Not only will your colleagues warm up to you quicker when you demonstrate your willingness to adapt, but it reflects positively on your ability to assimilate and can result in positive referrals for future assignments. 


While you might have the most up-to-date training and experience in your chosen specialty, your willingness to adapt sets you up for success. Following this advice improves your chances for longer locum assignments, being asked back, and possibly the option of a full-time clinician position!


Make Sure You’re Covered With Malpractice Insurance

Many beginning locum tenens don’t realize they are not covered with malpractice insurance through their assignment facility.


It is your responsibility to ensure you are covered. A locum tenens staffing agency will typically include malpractice insurance as part of your locum package, but you’ll always want to confirm this. Make sure you’re covered!


Negotiate Your Locum Tenens Pay Rate

For any locum assignment, rates are typically hourly and may be negotiable. As a locum tenens provider, you should be compensated fairly for your services. When starting out, do your homework and research locum tenens rates for your specialty. More specifically, demand and location often determine compensation, but you are well within your rights to ask if rates are negotiable.


It’s perfectly within the realm of negotiations to inquire about extra compensation for several things, including:

  • Overtime
  • Holiday rates
  • After-hours requirements
  • Hazard pay


A locum tenens staffing agency will help navigate this for you, but it’s always worth the ask!


Choose Your Locums Tenens Agency Wisely

As with any partnership, there are the good and bad. When choosing a staffing agency, again, do your research and choose a reputable company. 


There are many out there to choose from, so how do you know if you are partnering with the right one? For starters, you’ll want to find one that is well respected, knowledgeable, and proactive. You can almost always tell if you are simply another clinical recruit, or an individual with unique goals hoping to work as a locum. 


Your goals as a locum tenens are as personal as you are. Partnering with a staffing agency that understands your goals and can assist you through each step with expertise and ease is your main goal.


Enter The Locum Tenens Field a Step Ahead!

Do you have any mistakes from when you started as a locum tenens that we didn’t include? We’d love to hear from you, contact us today!

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