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How And Why You Should Use Locums To Fix Your Emergency Department Staffing Shortage

By March 8, 2018 No Comments

Physician shortages are an increasingly concerning problem, particularly in poor and rural areas. And nowhere is this problem easier to see than in emergency departments.

About 12 percent of patient visits in the United States take place at hospital emergency rooms. But only 4 percent of U.S. physicians are emergency medicine specialists. That leaves ERs crowded with patients and staffed by overworked physicians.

Hiring locum tenens offers one possible solution to understaffed emergency departments. Locums are often used to fill-in for physicians on vacation or as temporary staff to help during peak seasons. But if you can’t seem to fill a permanent staff opening, then short-term or long-term locums can help fill in the gaps.


Why Use Locums?

More and more physicians, assistants, and nurse practitioners are turning to locums work. It’s not just for people who can’t find steady employment. For many, it’s their first choice since it provides a more flexible option for working in the medical field.

Some physicians also use locums work to try out a location and see if they’d like to take a permanent job there. So even if you’re looking for someone permanent, you might still want to give locums a try. They’ll help you fill-in until you can find a permanent staff member, and you might even find one who becomes a permanent part of your team.

Where Do You Find Locums?

Whether you’re hiring a temporary or permanent staff member, you want to make sure they’re qualified to be there. You can help ensure that you’re only looking at qualified candidates, and find more people who match your needs, by using a recruiting agency.

A recruiting agency will send you pre-vetted candidates they think will match your team. And working with a specialized medical recruiter will ensure the locums that you hire are the best ones you can find. Plus, recruiters are often able to fill your vacancies fast than you could on your own.

How Will They Fit Into Your Team?

One of the biggest challenges when first working with locums is making sure they integrate into your existing team. With a little planning and effort, you can accomplish this transition smoothly.

You’ll need to address bias against locums before they show up and make sure your people know what to expect. It’s also a good idea to define your standard practices in writing and make them available to locums, as well as clearly communicate your expectations early in the recruiting process. That’ll make it easier for temporary staff to adjust.

If you’re ready to start looking for locums, get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you find qualified candidates quickly.