Provider-centric staffing for purpose-driven healthcare
Posted on
June 27, 2023

Exploring Locum Tenens Staffing: An In-Depth Guide

Locum tenens staffing is an increasingly popular solution for healthcare facilities and practitioners alike. But what exactly is locum tenens? Let's take a closer look at all things locum tenens, from understanding the basics to exploring the latest industry developments.

What Is Locum Tenens?

Locum tenens is a Latin term that means "to hold the place of." In the healthcare industry, it refers to a physician, nurse practitioner (NP), or physician assistant (PA) who works as a temporary fill-in for another healthcare professional who is absent due to vacation, illness, or other reasons.

Locum tenens providers can work in different healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and other facilities. They can also work in various specialties, such as family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and more.

Locum tenens work offers a flexible and rewarding way for healthcare professionals to use their skills, gain new experiences, and explore different areas of the country or the world while providing a valuable service to healthcare facilities that need to maintain continuity of care and avoid disruptions in their services.

What Is Locum Tenens Staffing?

Locum tenens staffing is a service provided by staffing agencies that specialize in connecting healthcare facilities with qualified locum tenens physicians and providers. These agencies typically have a large pool of providers that they screen, credential, and match with healthcare facilities based on their needs and preferences.

Locum tenens physician staffing agencies like Caliber handle all the administrative tasks involved in the locum tenens process, such as billing, insurance, licensure, and travel arrangements. They also offer support to both the providers and the facilities during the assignment, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and the quality of care is maintained.

What Is It Like Working as Locum Tenens?

Working as a locum tenens provides healthcare professionals with the opportunity to work on temporary assignments in various healthcare facilities. The positions can range from one day to several months depending on the need. As a locum tenens physician or nurse, you have the flexibility to select assignments that are convenient to your schedule, which provides a better work-life balance. You may also have the chance to work in different regions and healthcare systems, which exposes you to new experiences and enhances your professional growth. Although working on temporary assignments can be challenging, being a locum tenens healthcare professional is a fulfilling career that offers numerous benefits.

Benefits of Locum Tenens

Locum tenens work offers many benefits to both the providers and the healthcare facilities that use their services. Benefits of working locum tenens include:

  • Flexibility: Locum tenens providers have the ability to control their schedule and choose when, where, and how much they want to work. This allows them to pursue other interests, take time off when needed, or balance their personal and professional life.
  • Higher pay: Locum tenens providers typically earn more per hour than full-time employees, as they are paid on a temporary basis and often receive additional benefits such as housing, travel, and malpractice insurance coverage.
  • Variety: Locum tenens work allows providers to practice in different healthcare settings, communities, and specialties, which can broaden their skills, knowledge, and experience.
  • Networking: Locum tenens work can also provide opportunities for providers to build relationships with other providers, staff, and patients, which can lead to new referrals and job opportunities.
  • Continuity of care: Locum tenens providers provide a valuable service to healthcare facilities by maintaining continuity of care and avoiding disruptions in their services, which can improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.

Importance of Locum Tenens

Locum tenens work plays a critical role in the healthcare industry by addressing staffing shortages, improving access to care, and maintaining quality and continuity of care. Here are some reasons that locum tenens work is important:

  • Addressing staffing shortages: Locum tenens work allows healthcare facilities to quickly and easily fill in their staffing gaps, which is especially important in rural, remote, or underserved areas where full-time providers may be difficult to recruit and retain.
  • Improving access to care: Locum tenens providers can help improve access to care by filling in for providers who are on vacation, ill, or otherwise unavailable. They can also provide coverage during peak demand periods, emergencies, or disasters.
  • Maintaining quality and continuity of care: Locum tenens providers are typically highly skilled and experienced professionals who can provide quality care and maintain continuity of care for patients. They can also bring fresh perspectives, best practices, and innovations to the healthcare facility.
  • Reducing burnout: Locum tenens work can also help reduce burnout among full-time providers by providing them with much-needed time off, reducing their workload, or allowing them to pursue other interests or career paths.

Recent Locum Tenens Trends

The demand for locum tenens providers has increased over recent years due to a growing shortage of physicians and advanced practitioners in certain specialties and regions. This has led to an increase in the number of providers choosing to work locum tenens to fill these gaps. Additionally, more healthcare facilities are using locum tenens providers as a flexible staffing solution to manage unexpected spikes in patient volumes or coverage gaps due to staffing shortages. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, locum tenens providers have played a critical role in supporting healthcare facilities with surge staffing needs and addressing the impact of quarantine measures on healthcare providers.

Get Help from Caliber

If you are a healthcare provider looking for locum tenens work or a healthcare facility in need of locum tenens staffing, Caliber can help. Caliber connects qualified healthcare professionals with the facilities that need them most. We use a specialty-focused recruitment approach to connect the right providers with the right hospitals and clinics. Whether it's a few extra shifts or full-time locums jobs, we provide a comprehensive range of assignments for our clients supported by a robust pool of healthcare staffing resources.

If you're interested in finding locum tenens jobs, get in touch with Caliber today.


How long are locum tenens assignments?

Locum tenens assignments can vary in length, from a few days to several months or even years, depending on the needs of the healthcare facility and the availability of the provider.

Do locum tenens providers need to be licensed in each state?

Yes, locum tenens providers are required to be licensed in each state where they practice, although some states have exceptions or expedited licensing processes for locum tenens providers.

What happens if a locum tenens provider gets sick during an assignment?

Locum tenens staffing agencies typically have contingency plans in place in case of unexpected events, such as provider illness or travel disruptions. They also have liability insurance coverage to protect the provider and the facility during the assignment.

Can locum tenens work lead to full-time employment?

Yes, locum tenens work can sometimes lead to full-time employment, if the provider and the facility are a good match and both parties agree on a permanent arrangement. Locum tenens staffing agencies can also help facilitate this transition.

Share this article: