If you love to travel, you may have assumed that those days ended once your career began. Medical imaging and physiotherapy professionals are not only in demand: they also work long hours to make a difference in patients’ lives. Aside from scheduled vacation time, when will you find an opportunity to travel across the province or state, let alone internationally?
Becoming a locum can give you the best of both worlds. You may have heard about this option from friends, educators, and other healthcare professionals, but what is a locum and why is it so popular? How can you find a job as a locum? If you’re (for example) an x-ray technologist, how much do x-ray techs make as a locum vs. an in-house position?
This blog answers all of these questions and provides an overview of what you can expect as a locum medical imaging professional or physiotherapist. It also explains how ProMed HR Solutions can help you find the best opportunities for your career goals.
What is a Locum?
When you were in school and university, you probably encountered ‘substitutes’ who filled in when your regular teacher or professor was unavailable. A locum diagnostics technician or physiotherapist is a substitute who covers leaves, retirements, shortages, and patient overflow at hospitals, practices, and clinics.
At one time, locum technologists and physiotherapists usually fell into one of two categories: recent graduates looking for fast experience and professionals nearing retirement who wanted a more flexible work schedule. Today, healthcare specialists of all ages are embracing locum work because of the freedom, flexibility, and opportunity to travel.
What is It Like to Work as a Locum?
If you’re considering locum opportunities, you’re probably wondering what a typical day will look like. In that respect, locum work is often similar to in-house salaried positions. For example:
- If you’re a sonographer on a six-month contract in the Northwest Territories, you’ll be carrying out ultrasound exams on patients to detect normal or abnormal structures.
- As a locum physiotherapist covering maternity leave in Nova Scotia, you’ll provide movement and exercise therapy, manual therapy, education, and advice to patients with injuries, illnesses, and disabilities.
You’ll be using your skills and qualifications to make a difference in people’s lives, just like you would if you were on staff. The main difference is that the work is temporary, and once your contract ends, you’re ready for the next exciting opportunity.
Wondering How to Travel and Make Money? The Advantages of Locum Work for Technologists and Physiotherapists!
If you enjoy travel and new experiences, working as a locum could be perfect for you. Other benefits include:
- A better work/life balance
- Greater job stability
- Enhanced income opportunities
- Exposure to a wider range of patients
Let’s look at them all in more detail.
A Better Work/Life Balance
As a locum healthcare provider, you have both the freedom and flexibility to choose the days you want to work and even the hours. This means that you can enjoy a better work/life balance than you would if you had set hours at a hospital or clinic. You have more time to focus on other important areas of your life, such as your family or favourite hobbies.
Greater Job Stability
Traditionally, locum work was how clinics and hospitals filled unexpected and last-minute vacancies. Today, it has expanded to include more long-term positions too, with personnel shortages being common in certain locations and even busy city practices engaging locums to support patient care.
Although locum work requires you to move from one clinic or hospital to another, one thing is relatively constant: job stability. You don’t have to worry about losing a position or cutting your tenure early due to workplace politics and other distractions: the job is for a fixed term, and if you’re not happy with the location, you’ll soon be moving on, without the blemish of a termination or early resignation on your employment record.
There is no shortage of locum opportunities in today’s market. Medical facilities are resuming full operations after pandemic-related restrictions, and they are needing additional staff to provide care. When you combine that with an aging population who will increasingly need medical services, the demand in many locations will rapidly outstrip the supply, especially in rural and more remote areas. If you enjoy traveling and are flexible in your choice of location, locum work may be for you!
Enhanced Income Opportunities
Income is always a key consideration for any new career path. For example, if you are an x-ray technologist, you may be wondering: how much do x-ray techs make doing locum work?
Your actual salary will generally depend on the company or even hospital you work for, but it’s usually highly competitive, and you’ll be in regular demand. These positions are especially great for:
- Someone who wants to learn something new in different clinical environments.
- Experienced professionals who enjoy sharing their knowledge with others.
- Retirees who want to keep their skills relevant and earn extra income. You can supplement your income with locuming instead of dipping into your retirement fund.
Try Out Different Settings
Locum professionals move from practice to practice, so you can get a better feel for where you would like to work. Do you prefer a hospital setting or a smaller practice or clinic? If you’re a physiotherapist, is there a certain type of patient you prefer to work with? If you’ve been thinking about moving to a particular city or even country, taking a locum position can help you better determine whether the location meets your expectations.
Exploring the World
If you’ve ever wondered how to travel and make money doing the work you love, being a locum may be the answer.
The prospect of traveling is one of the biggest draws for locum professionals. Since your locum assignment covers most, if not all, your transportation costs, you have the opportunity to both travel for free and see a broader network of patients and work environments, which can improve your skillset and advance your career.
Another great aspect of being a locum is the freedom! Since locums are temporary, you can choose the work you want to take on. If you don’t like a certain position, you won’t have to stay there for too long. If you do like a particular hospital or clinic, you can extend your contract or sign up when the next opportunity arises. All of the possibilities are yours to choose!
Find Your Next Locum Opportunity Today!
As a locum, your options are endless. So how do you find them?
Start by deciding where you want to work. Do you want to stay in your current area, move across the country, or travel abroad? Your choice will influence the kind of locum role you end up working, the salary you earn, and the patients you see or the clinical work you do.
Getting a clear understanding of the type of work you will be expected to do will help you succeed in the position, and a reputable locum recruitment agency will vet your requirements before hiring you. An agency can also:
- Provide more information on the types of jobs available for your specialization
- Outline the salary you can expect
- Find opportunities for you and look after all the negotiations and paperwork
ProMed HR Solutions Ltd. works with physiotherapists and medical technologists in most modalities, including:
- Ultrasound and Echo
- Nuclear Medicine
- CLXT (Combined Lab and X-ray)
We offer an extremely competitive salary and bonus structure and pay for your job-related travel and accommodation. In addition:
- The minimum commitment is only two weeks.
- We always do our best to place you in your preferred locations.
- You are not obliged to accept a contract offer if the date, location, or duration do not work for you.
For years, ProMed HR Solutions Ltd. has been helping skilled locum professionals find exciting and rewarding career opportunities. We are a trusted leader in healthcare staffing in urban and rural communities across Canada. To learn more about our company and why we are recognized as one of the best places to work, reach out to us today!