In 2022, burnout was the buzzword in healthcare, affecting healthcare workers nationwide. The pandemic and its ongoing challenges have left many feeling overwhelmed and defeated. However, for those seeking a way out of burnout, locum tenens may be the solution. With the ability to work flexible schedules and take breaks when needed, locum tenens offers a unique opportunity to reclaim control of your life and your career. Learn how locum tenens can be your escape from burnout today.
What is Burnout and How to Recognize It?
Excessive work-related stress can cause burnout, a condition that can leave you feeling empty, mentally exhausted, and unmotivated. It can also cause a lack of interest in your surroundings and can last for years if left unchecked. It can be difficult to recognize when you’ve fallen into a state of burnout, as you may continue with your daily routine without realizing that anything is wrong. Help Guide offers a helpful analogy, explaining that while excessive stress can feel like drowning in responsibilities, burnout can feel like being all dried up.
How can you recognize if you’re experiencing burnout, am issue that is not easy to identify? If time off or vacations don’t alleviate your issues, if you’re turning to substances like drugs or alcohol to cope, feeling exhausted and withdrawing from others, or experiencing problems in your work or personal relationships, you may be experiencing burnout. Since burnout is a significant form of stress that can have long-term effects, seeking assistance as soon as possible is critical.
What is Locum Tenens?
Locum tenens physicians are professionals who travel outside of their home state to fill temporary healthcare staffing gaps. They provide vital assistance to hospitals and facilities during staffing shortages, seasonal fluctuations, increased patient loads, or when a regular healthcare worker is on vacation or medical leave. This concept has been around for decades and is an effective solution for healthcare facilities to provide top-quality care to patients, even in challenging times.
Locum tenens work offers a flexible alternative to traditional medical employment, with contracts or assignments lasting anywhere from a single day to a year, and assignments available across the entire country. Due to high demand, income can be substantial, with potential for even higher earnings based on specialty. Plus, locum tenens providers receive benefits and enjoy flexible scheduling, and can work with agencies that provide support with recruitment and paperwork.
Locum Tenens vs Burnout
The healthcare industry is under a constant bombardment of burnout, and it doesn’t appear to be improving. While it was once a common occurrence behind closed doors, it’s now a topic of discussion everywhere. In particular, physicians are experiencing a surge in burnout rates. According to a 2023 Medscape report titled “I Cry and No One Cares,” burnout has risen from 47% in 2021 to 53% in 2023. Additionally, those who reported feeling depressed were categorized as colloquial depression (67%), characterized by feeling down or sad, or clinical depression (24%), which is a constant state of depression. With a survey of 9,100 U.S. physicians, it is clear that burnout and depression are taking a heavy toll on healthcare providers across the country.
On the other hand, there is good news from a recent survey of 2,500 clinicians published in Urology Times, which reports that “71% of locum tenens contractors have reported little to no burnout.” This is a welcome relief, as physicians have been known to seek alternate options within the following year when unsatisfied with their current positions. The survey also reveals that 73% of those who participated would be happy to work locally, while 63% would be open to the idea of travel, making locum tenens a viable and attractive option for physicians who want to work in a more flexible and rewarding environment.
It is possible to attribute the lower levels of burnout experienced by locum tenens physicians to the flexibility of this work model. With the healthcare industry incorporating more technological solutions and prioritizing clinician satisfaction and well-being, the focus is shifting towards addressing the mental health of physicians. This is vital since a motivated and well-rested clinician can provide better patient care compared to one who is experiencing burnout or depression. By prioritizing the health and well-being of healthcare providers, we can create a stronger foundation for patients to receive the best possible care.
To thrive in the competitive world of locum tenens, it is crucial to have a clear direction. At TheraEx Locums, we understand the intricacies of this field and can provide expert guidance to help you achieve success as a locum tenens physician. With our extensive experience in the healthcare industry, we can anticipate your needs and offer personalized support to help you excel in this lucrative role.
If you are feeling the impact of burnout, it may be time to consider taking on the role of a locum tenens physician. By stepping into the locum tenens role, you can potentially travel across the country, earn a high income, expand your skills and experience, and most importantly, alleviate the symptoms of burnout. It is vital to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being, and if exhaustion has taken over, seeking help and changing your path could be the best decision for your future. TheraEx Locums can help guide you to a successful path if as a locum physician. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.