In the big picture, all physicians carry (or should carry) the basic requirements to become a Locum Tenens. However, when a recruiter or employer is seeking someone to enter and fill a position, these basics are not all that they are looking for. Hospitals like to see some other soft skills and adopt the necessary precautions to hire someone who can not only fill the shoes but help to improve and strengthen the organization over the assignment time.
Think about it like your personality, characteristics and behavioral skills. These factors generate a significant difference in the day-to-day life of all of the staff working around you and can have a big impact on how patients respond to you. Are you enthusiastic about being a doctor? Are you capable of working well in various environments? Most importantly, are you someone they can rely on to do the job that needs to be done?
Below we include the top traits to keep in mind when interviewing for your Locum Tenens position.
How you treat your patients will be critical for hospitals. Alongside your own personality traits of being respectful, calm, thorough and confident, they are also looking for physicians who can be empathetic and compassionate to not only patients but their families. You should have a patient-centered focus, be able to initiate solutions to problems and of course, be optimistic. Be ready to be asked what your most admirable and worst traits are!
As a Locum Tenens, your demographic could be vastly different depending on what state you end up in. This doesn’t merely mean for patients but staff members too. Therefore, hospitals look for physicians that are culturally aware by being transparent and ethical with their patients. You need to be able to showcase your morals, thoughtfulness and kindness so that you can embody what hospitals are looking for in a physician.
Never Stop Learning
While you will have your head wrapped pretty tightly around all of your education and the experiences you have had thus far, there is a need for hospitals to see you will continue on with that learning. No matter how much you know now, the healthcare industry is continuously changing. You will be needing to stay up to date with modern techniques, technology and procedures, as well as show enthusiasm for further learning. On top of this, it’s vital to note that this commitment should also stretch out to your peers and mentors.
When patients enter a hospital setting, they are placing all of their trust in your hands. The last thing they desire is a doctor who doesn’t allow them to feel seen and heard. As a doctor, it can be challenging to be compassionate consistently when you are dealing with so many different tasks and roles throughout your day. However, despite the busyness of your schedule, keeping a warm smile and high-quality service is crucially important to employers.
Being A Leader
Although you are filling in the shoes of another physician, that same leadership quality that they have most likely held also needs to come from you. This allows for you to be in a position of trust from your fellow colleagues, patients and the organization itself. This doesn’t mean to be overbearing, but to highlight your strengths in decision-making while demonstrating your humility.
You carry out a lot of decisions on a daily basis, but with these decisions comes accountability. Even if 90% of your decisions are perfect, there is nevertheless that 10% that you have potentially made a mistake or need to veer into a new direction. Physicians need to be able to step up and admit when they are responsible and of course, never blame others for any mishaps. Mistakes happen and are a part of the job. The best thing you can do is take control and work on the new solution rather than dredging on the old. For your interviews, consider putting forward a moment where you took ownership in your field.
Every organization embraces their personal visions, missions and values. It is imperative for them to hire physicians who stand up and stand by all of these. If you want to remain a step ahead of the game, do some research on where you are being interviewed. This way you can see if you match the ideals of the organization. Avoiding any forced matching or interest.
One of the most significant skills is communication. Hospitals don’t only require someone who is able to talk the talk, but can also listen and be efficient communicators with their colleagues and patients. A distinguished physician can make everyone around them feel seen and heard. It is best to be someone who is positive, approachable, open-minded and focused.
In a hospital setting, the vibes can be high-pressure and fast-paced. Physicians will be needing to work efficiently and be continuously productive until the task is complete. The goal is to complete everything you need to get done for the day so that you can start off fresh the following day. This additionally includes knowing when to sprint to the finish line or when rest is necessary.
Are You Passionate?
Are you proud of your work? You should be, and it’s what many hospitals are looking for. While income remains an important factor in becoming a physician or doctor, it is the fact that you want to help people that should be at the forefront of why you are doing what you are doing. When you are passionate about your work, you thrive. In a hospital setting and in all honesty, thriving is the best thing you can be doing.
You’ve obtained your degrees, have gone through years of residency and know everything inside and out, but that doesn’t mean you’re done. Your personal skills can generate all of the difference in how you practice and what you can get out of every experience. Make sure to embody these skills on your next assignment and watch those around you fill with trust and relief when they know they are in safe hands.