In the United States, locum tenens providers have served the healthcare industry’s staffing gap since the 1970’s. When a hospital or facility is in need of quickly filling an open position with a skilled clinician, locum tenens providers are there. Over time, the locum tenens’ role has developed into an imperative component to almost every hospital system’s success.
This brings us to our present day where a global pandemic, aging population, and chronic illnesses are all affecting the U.S. healthcare system. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was already a projected shortage of clinicians, meaning the healthcare industry is now balancing a unique issue of staffing shortages coupled with burnt-out healthcare workers.
Ongoing COVID-19 surges have continued to present challenges to healthcare, particularly when it comes to providing and maintaining a high level of patient care. Healthcare staff are spread thin, to put it lightly. Clinician job roles have become less defined and more demanding, making it difficult to keep up with the patient intake spikes amongst challenging illness treatment.
A shift in healthcare is also bringing a shift in demand for locum tenens clinicians. Filling an open position quickly with a skilled and qualified hire is possible thanks to these unique healthcare workers. Staffing shortages put added pressure on almost every role, trickling down to an ultimate lack in patient care. By bringing in a locum clinician, the staff have a valuable, capable team member to rely on to better balance their workloads.
Locum tenens clinicians benefit the healthcare facility team members, the organization as a whole, and most importantly the patient.
Not only is locum tenens the ideal solution to staffing issues facing the healthcare industry, it also sheds light on the shifting paradigm of industry employment.
The gig economy has transformed many industries, from hotel to delivery. Using freelance and part-time workers to supplement full time staff, it allows for employers to hire based on immediate needs. This also gives employees the opportunity and freedom to pursue more customized work, creating an opportunity for things like travel and supplemental income.
The healthcare gig economy is the right direction for healthcare, boosting both business and patient-care success. Everyone benefits from hospitals and healthcare providers working with locum tenens clinicians.
For the healthcare facility, these benefits include :
For the part time clinician, these benefits include:
While the U.S. can’t predict a slowdown for the healthcare challenges that are continuously evolving, leaders can do their part to find solutions. Locum tenens clinicians are an ideal solution to staffing shortages across the healthcare industry.
Ultimately, the locum solution helps provide quality patient care, freeing up the full time staff to better develop their skill set, knowledge, and feel more refreshed in the process.
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