Locum, short for the Latin phrase locum tenens, is a person who temporarily fulfils the duties of another. For example, a locum nurse is a person who fills in for the full-time nurse when that nurse is absent, or when a hospital/practice is short-staffed.
Any healthcare professional can choose locum shifts, although typically hospitals require at least six-month’s experience.
Now, let us explore why choosing locum shifts can benefit your career.
Below are the 5 biggest reasons to get started booking locum shifts today.
1. Increase your income: fast, easy payments.
There are incentives in place to make locum shifts worth your while. This includes a higher hourly/ day rate than salaried positions. This presents the opportunity to supplement your annual income. Payment is often received weekly offering a quick cash injection. Maybe you are a student who wishes to pay off your loan or earn money while studying. What’s more it can support you to reach financial goals or simply give you more expendable income. Furthermore, travel costs are subsidised, which is designed to ensure a larger pool of locums can work in hospitals they are not commonly stationed at. Finally, it is worth mentioning that if you choose to work night shifts, weekends or bank holidays you can receive pay increases up to 30%, a faster way to increase your income.
2. Locum shifts offer flexibility.
Looking to earn some money on the weekend or in your evenings? Locum shifts are a great, flexible way of picking up extra work when you have a few idle hours on your hands. Locum shifts offer you complete autonomy to choose hours that suit your personal schedule. Even if you are retired, this flexibility provides the option to continue working in a non-contractual capacity and offering a little income.
Navigating personal life transitions is often a complex and challenging time, particularly when managing full time work; locum shifts allow you to prioritise workload and personal circumstances. This helps reduce stress, provide relief and keep pay checks coming through. Students also find this very helpful as they can schedule shifts around lectures and study.
Hospitals, by their very nature, require a workforce operating 24/7, no matter your schedule, there is a locum shift that needs filling. In a world where work-life balance plays a crucial role in whether you get satisfaction from your work, locum shifts are a viable answer.
3. Locum shifts are great for career development.
Firstly, working locum shifts will diversify and expand your skill set. These new hospital environments will provide you with fresh perspective on working practices, culture and teamwork. This newfound experience instils confidence, giving you the platform to challenge established beliefs, while learning best practices and becoming a leader in your discipline. In a nutshell: new opportunities, career development and improved patient care.
4. Enhance your professional skills.
By choosing locum shifts you will have the opportunity to expand your discipline, working in differing settings and placements not limited to one specialism: gaining you valuable experience in these new areas, can facilitate career advancement and provide you the network opportunities to learn and develop further.
This is by no means a denigration of the irreplaceable role full time nurses perform a on day-to-day basis in their respective hospitals. Fundamentally, hospitals require a workforce of full-time staff to successfully function. This is worth indicating.
5. Digital platforms are transforming the locum experience.
Locum shift bookings are no longer the paper centric, time consuming, potentially error prone task they once were. The innovation in technology is enabling your locum experience to be one of efficiency and simplicity. Paper time sheets have been replaced by electronic timesheets, back and forth phone calls between recruitment consultants, ward managers and healthcare professionals has been superseded by one dedicated platform (such as the ROMHE app!). Bookings, payments, and compliance can all be achieved from your mobile phone. Locum shifts are at the cornerstone of technologies rise
Miscellaneous frequently asked questions:
Is there an age barrier in nursing?
No there is not. You will be happy to know there is no age barrier to begin your nurse training or take up locum shifts. In a time where the medical sector is in desperate need of more healthcare professionals, your application is welcome.
How much do nurses earn?
Nursing pay is calculated under the ‘banding system’. Typically, qualified nurses begin on Band 5. Gaining skills, experience and further study can progress you through this banding system. Nurses must also demonstrate they are capable of safely practicing the extra duties necessary in the role. If you are looking for specific figures, please refer to the NHS banding system.