A wide variety of doctors decide to take up locum work, and for many different reasons too. However, one recent trend spotted by recruitment professionals and hospital consultants is that increasing numbers of graduates are now deciding to work locum instead of having a permanent full time. There are many reasons for this, as locum work can be very advantageous for new doctors. Here’s why…
1) Get your teeth stuck into clinical work
Fresh from hospital placements assigned by your university, hitting a hospital ward full pelt with your new title can be a daunting experience. Many graduates decide to build their confidence and experience base by taking on locum shifts in their spare time, maybe on an ad-hoc basis or regular weekends. Taking on this additional work enables graduate doctors to view more patient cases and not only improves clinical skills of procedures you may not have too often, but also allows you to develop communication and bedside manner traits too.
2) Bolsters your CV
Every graduates’ CV is a little light on the ground as they begin to launch their careers in their chosen fields. The same is true of medical graduates as well, however locum experience is the ideal way to cover this situation. Any locum shift or placement that you accept and complete can go on your CV, so not only can you show your dedication to your chosen career but you can also demonstrate a naturally hard working demeanor and the motivation to improve. It’s a win win all round.
3) Helps choose your specialty
Deciding what area of medicine to fine tune your skills in is a mammoth task, with so many options before you. If you happen to be toying with a couple of different departments, then locum work provides the perfect way of having a trial run without having to commit. You can easily pick up a couple of weeks work in a few different fields of medicine, whether at the same or different hospitals. You can then compare your experiences and what you liked or disliked about each genre. This should hopefully make it easier to narrow down your choices for when you do need to make a specialty decision.
4) Helps choose your location
Again, finding the right area to put down roots is never easy, so the fantastic travel benefits of being a locum doctor can assist you with this decision. You can have your pick of the hospitals across the UK, sampling both urban and rural situations. You can then check out the pros and cons of top areas or hospitals you are interested in, helping you to finalise any decisions you need to make about where to base yourself for your medical career.
5) Fills career gaps
Looking for the right permanent position can be time consuming, as you have to make sure that it suits you as a successful home – work balance is all important for medical professionals. Whilst you are mulling over decisions, or waiting for an opportunity in your chosen field or region, you can skill earn a tasty wage packet by completing locum shifts. This way, you won’t be out of pocket whilst engaging on your job hunt, and if you want to work in a certain hospital, doing locum shifts there to get better known is never a bad thing, and could in fact lead to a full time position if you play your cards right. Locum placements can provide opportunities and it also looks good on your CV if you have worked there at all in any capacity.
6) Pay off student debts
We’ve all been there and student loans are not pretty in any way, shape or form. Despite this, locum work tends to have a higher rate of pay than the normal permanent position doctor, so signing up for some shifts could in fact help you to pay off any loans or debts faster than normal, and help relieve that particular burden giving you one less thing to worry about as you progress into your career.
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