Short-Term Locum Tenens Assignment


Upon completing my assignment in Sacramento, I had a few weeks to spare before a planned vacation departing from Miami, FL. I thought it would be a good idea to pick up a short assignment as I made my way back to the east coast.

Luckily, I was able to find a 2 week assignment near San Diego, CA. The assignment made a lot of sense for me because it offered quick credentialing, provided me with housing and a break in between traveling to my previous and upcoming assignment, and fit the time frame I needed. Not to mention I was able to get round-trip mileage from Sacramento to San Diego, CA, which I could add to my travel fund.

I was a bit nervous on my first day because usually short-term assignments do not entail much of an orientation. Upon arrival to the site, I was given a 15 minute orientation on their EHR program. Fortunately, their EHR system was pretty straightforward and I was able to jump in and start seeing patients.

My first day went well because the staff was helpful and the patients were pleasant. The following day I was working in their ‘walk-in’ clinic. I found myself overwhelmed in the morning because the clinic was really busy and I ended up seeing 5 patients per hour! Although it was a walk-in clinic and patients often come in for basic things like earache or rash, I wasn’t thrilled about the patient to provider ratio.

After discussing the activities of the day with both the site and agency, I opted to stay for the remainder of my assignment. It turned out that the clinic I would be working in for the remainder of my assignment had a low patient volume (8-16 per day average). The walk-in clinic was just the anomaly. This ended up being the case and the rest of my assignment went smoothly.

Although the majority of locum tenens positions are 3 months long, there are plenty of short assignments ranging from a day to a few weeks. Each have there advantages and disadvantages. For short-term placements, make sure you are a quick learner and easily adaptable!

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