It’s increasingly common to hire temporary staff, known as locum tenens, to fill vacancies in a medical team. Sometimes they’re filling in for a physician on vacation. Other times we use locums to address a staffing shortage.
Whatever the reason you choose to hire locums, you’ll want to make sure they can work well with your existing staff. Part of this is something you’ll do in the recruiting process when you select a candidate who matches your needs. But to successfully integrate temporary employees, you’ll also need to take a few extra steps.
Sometimes, there’s a certain bias against people looking for temporary work positions. People might assume they couldn’t get work elsewhere or that locums aren’t as competent as full-time medical staff. In addition to that, regular staff members are sometimes reluctant to work with temporary employees and interpersonal problems develop.
You can head this off before it becomes an issue by talking with existing staff before locums arrive. Let them know why you’re hiring a well-qualified temp. Also, take the time to address issues like workspace use, goals, and expectations beforehand. Most people are perfectly happy to work with locums if they know what to expect.
Define Standard Practices
There’s a certain way you do things in your practice. You share a preferred method of communication, such as e-mail, phone, or meetings. People on staff also know how decisions are made, when they’re expected to act on their own, and how they fit into your team.
Your existing staff is familiar with the professional culture in your practice, but new temporary employees are not. To help them integrate with your team, make sure existing policies and procedures are written down and available to locums.
If you want new employees to fit in quickly, you can’t leave them on their own to figure out the culture and unwritten rules of your office. Provide orientation for your locums and make sure you’re conveying expectations clearly, including who they should go to if they have questions about standard practices and procedures.
Remember to keep lines of communication open after the initial orientation as well. Establishing a policy of regular communication and feedback helps ensure temporary staff members are integrating with your team.
With a little planning, you can successfully integrate locums into your medical team. Setting yourself up for success by talking with your existing staff, making standard practices available to locums, and communicating expectations helps locums settle in quickly. It also helps if you start out with a locum who’s qualified for the position and ready to work with your staff. Contact us today and RadCoverage will help you find a quality Oncology Professional to fill your staffing needs.