Moonlighters play a valuable role in healthcare facilities, providing an essential influx of talent when and where they’re needed most. But the right fit is necessary for both moonlighters and medical facilities to have a successful partnership.

Here are a few essential qualities for healthcare facilities to factor in when working with a moonlighting and locum tenens staffing agency to determine whether an applicant will be the right fit.

Qualifications & Experience

Moonlighting medical staff may not be long-term employees in your healthcare facility, but they need the same knowledge and expertise as any other medical staff. Short-term staff needs proper training and qualifications to provide patients with the required top-of-the-line care.

Many doctors and medical practitioners use moonlighting assignments to expand their work experience. While these applicants possess all the prerequisite knowledge and qualifications, they may have less direct experience working in a particular type of facility.

Many healthcare organizations benefit from such moonlighting staff, as they’re committed to learning from their new work environment while making valuable contributions. However, some healthcare facilities prefer moonlighters with established experience in their particular type of facility.

Before hiring, evaluate the necessary expertise requirements for your various moonlighting roles.

Patient-Centric Approach

Qualifications and experience mean nothing if medical professionals can’t provide patients with warm and compassionate care during their treatment.

For many medical facilities, their staff's bedside manner can be as essential as anything. Working with your moonlighting and locum tenens staffing agency will be vital for understanding the staff members you’re looking to bring in. With proper vetting, you can ensure you avoid a poor match before it even happens.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Adaptability and flexibility are necessary traits for all moonlighters and locum tenens medical staff. While moonlighters can help bring in valuable outside knowledge to help to improve your institutional processes—it isn’t unreasonable to expect new staff to adapt to your policies and procedures. After all, your facility's methods are in place for a reason.

Your moonlighting and locum tenens staffing agency can play a crucial role in identifying potential placements who are adaptable and willing to learn your facility’s practices. Your agency is also your first contact if you find your moonlighting staff doesn’t match the level of adaptability you require.

Don’t Overlook Local Talent

Too often, healthcare administrators fall for the misconception that to get the best talent you need to look far from home.

In reality, many of the best moonlighting and locum tenens medical professionals can be found in your local area. Local medical staff often understand your patient population better and have stronger ties and commitments to your community. Local moonlighting staff also come far cheaper than staffing that requires significant relocation.

It’s why a locum tenens staffing agency like OnCall Solutions specializes in providing healthcare facilities with top-of-the-line moonlighting and locum tenens medical staff from their local areas. With exceptional local staff, healthcare facilities benefit from reduced staffing costs and better patient care.

OnCall Solutions: Providing Healthcare Facilities with Talented, Local Medical Professionals

Are you a healthcare facility looking for quality moonlighting and locum tenens medical professionals? OnCall Solutions provides medical facilities with quality staff without the high costs of staff relocation.

Reach out to us today to learn more about moonlighting and locum tenens staffing solutions.

Locum tenens and moonlighting can be an excellent way for medical professionals to earn extra money, gain experience, and benefit from flexibility and freedom in their work life. And while navigating the business side of locum tenens work can sometimes be tricky—it doesn’t have to be.

With these six tips, medical professionals can be well on their way to connecting with the best moonlighting and locum tenens companies!

1. Stay Flexible–But Understand Your Limits

Flexibility is vital to finding and enjoying excellent locum tenens positions.

However, it’s equally important to understand the limits of your flexibility. Flexibility is great, but it’s unrealistic to assume medical professionals don’t have other important life, family, and work considerations to factor in. For that reason, don’t accept locum tenens or moonlighting assignments if they don’t sync up with your requirements. The best locum tenens companies will provide you with numerous options that consider your needs.

2. You Don’t Have to Travel

A common misunderstanding for locum tenens positions is that they require medical professionals to relocate to different cities or states for weeks or months. While locum tenens positions can be a great way to experience new areas of the country for the first time, you don’t have to move far away to find a locum tenens position.

In fact, certain locum tenens and moonlighting agencies specialize in finding assignments near you. So if relocating isn’t something you’re able to do—or interested in doing—you can still take part in the benefits of locum tenens positions.

3. Do Your Research When Applying for Locum Tenens Positions . . .

Medical professionals can reach out directly to hospitals to find work under per diem rates. But be careful—you’ll be required to negotiate your salary and working requirements. Without proper research, you may not receive fair compensation for your work and level of expertise. Before reaching out to any medical facilities, research your preferred compensation, working hours/conditions, and the type of environment you’ll be joining.

4. . . . Or Sign Up with a Locum Tenens Agency

Many medical professionals prefer to partner with the best locum tenens agencies to put aside their worries regarding fair compensation and working conditions. After all, it can be extremely time-consuming to do significant prerequisite research and cold-calling to find your assignments.

Thankfully, locum tenens agencies make finding assignments easy. The best locum tenens companies have established relationships with hospitals, so they know first when positions are open, can help medical professionals achieve fair compensation rates, and can provide doctors valuable advice even before they arrive. In addition, a locum tenens agency can help prevent poor matches before those matches even happen!

5. Oversharing is Better Than Undersharing

When working with a locum tenens and moonlighting medical staffing agency, your experiences and interests are valuable tools that help your agency locate the right assignment for you. Even seemingly minor forms of previous experience can help—and agencies will always benefit from more information about you. Communicate your experiences, interests, and career goals to your locum tenens staffing agency so they can help connect you with the optimal partners.

6. Have Fun!

Locum tenens and moonlighting assignments can expose medical professionals to a multitude of new experiences and allow them to grow in many ways. Discover new cities and areas of the country—or find a new work community in your area!

With the freedom and flexibility of moonlighting and locum tenens assignments, there’s no reason not to enjoy yourself and your work.

OnCall Solutions: Your Locum Tenens and Moonlighting Medical Staffing Agency

Do you have other questions about the business side of locum tenens and moonlighting positions? Are you looking for more tips on choosing and preparing for your moonlighting or locum tenens positions? Proudly one the best locum tenens companies out there,  OnCall Solutions has the insights to set you off in the right direction—and we can help you find the perfect locum tenens or moonlighting assignment.

Reach out to OnCall Solutions today!

By benefiting patients, medical staff, and administrators alike, OnCall Solutions allows hospitals to continue to provide their highest quality of care. Here are 8 ways how locum tenens and moonlighting medical staffing services like OnCall Solutions can help your healthcare organization.

1. Quality Assurance

Evaluating potential medical staff hires can be an involved and complex process. Assessing applicants’ qualifications, capabilities, and fit is not easy—and mistakes sometimes happen. That’s why it’s helpful to outsource medical staffing to firms specialized to strategically match the best candidates to their ideal workplace fit.

2. Accelerates Medical Staffing

Quality assurance of new hires is not only difficult, it’s significantly time-consuming. Even in the best of times, medical staff hiring can be a drawn-out process. But when staffing shortages or emergencies occur, the delay required to hire suitable candidates can adversely affect the quality of a hospital’s care. On call medical staffing solutions can respond quickly to a hospital’s staffing requests with a ready roster of specialized candidates to fill their needs.

3. Flexibility

Whether it’s flu season or the accident-prone evening of The 4th of July, certain times require additional staffing to address patient needs. But maintaining staff during slow months can be a debilitating expense for hospitals. On call medical staffing solutions allow hospitals to adjust staffing easily according to patient flow.

4. Better Care for Patients

By using on call medical staffing, hospitals can ensure they avoid staffing shortages, which can be responsible for significant dropoffs in the quality of patient care. By remaining properly staffed, your organization provides enough qualified medical workers to respond appropriately and fully to patients’ needs.

5. Prevent Nurse and Doctor Fatigue and Burnout

While many committed doctors and nurses are willing to pick up extra hours in times of medical staffing shortages, their additional commitment can lead to exhaustion and burnout. It’s important to protect your medical staff over the long haul by ensuring they don’t need to work overtime to cover their organization’s staffing needs.

6. Reduce Patient Cost

Studies have shown proper medical staffing reduces the duration of patient stay, in-hospital injuries, and chances of readmission. Simply put, more staff ensures better procedures that ensure patients receive the proper care and treatment to convalesce.

7. Emergency Staffing On Call

In the event of emergencies when numerous patients require intensive care, medical staffing solutions are available to help. With a simple call, medical staffing can begin directing qualified medical staff to your facility.

8. Increased Patient Satisfaction

Finally, proper medical staffing and care will result in higher patient satisfaction. Your patients will be grateful for the care your medical staff can provide them, reflecting well on your facility, your doctors and nurses, and your organization’s values.

OnCall Solutions: Your Medical Staffing Provider

OnCall Solutions is not your traditional locums company. We provide you local physicians and APPs who are committed to their community. Our methods save your organization money and ensure it benefits from all 8 of the points mentioned above—and more.

We’re happy to provide your healthcare organization with medical staffing resources that can provide your patients with the highest quality of care. Contact us to learn more about what we can offer you, or request highly-qualified staff today.

Moonlighting and locum tenens assignments are excellent avenues to maintain flexible medical careers. Contacting a medical staffing agency is the first step for moonlighting and locum tenens assignments. But with multiple moonlighting and locum tenens assignment offerings, how can you know which to choose?

The medical staffing experts at OnCall Solutions often receive questions regarding how to choose and prepare for moonlighting and locum tenens assignments. It’s why we put together this list to help out medical professionals.

For any questions not included in this list, feel free to reach out to OnCall Solutions. We’re here to help!

1. Where is the Moonlighting/Locum Tenens Assignment Located?

Location, of course, is the first thing to note. Even a short-term moonlighting or locum tenens assignment can become taxing if it requires a long commute. That goes double for assignments that require you to move to a new city!

If you aren’t interested in moving for your position, consider seeking medical staffing agencies that specialize in finding positions near you.

2. What are the Length Requirements?

Moonlighting and locum tenens assignments will vary with their requested time for staff. Be sure to assess whether a position fits your timeframe.

Does it suit for goals for your career and personal life? If all else seems good besides the length of the position, it may be worth reaching out to your medical staffing agency to see if there’s flexibility with stay requirements.

3. Does the Position Align with Your Career Goals?

Similarly to stay requirements, you want to ensure the assignment suits your career goals.

Will the position give you the tools, skills, and experience to further yourself? Not all positions are equal in this regard, so you’ll want to choose wisely!

4. Compensation?

Compensation will be one of the most critical factors in deciding your position. Will you be paid enough for your labor and expertise?

If you’re unsure whether the compensation is fair for the commitment and your level of expertise, consider reaching out to your medical staffing agency for advice.

5. What’s the Type of Medical Facility?

The roles of medical professionals in hospitals, private practices, and other settings will vary greatly, and you want to ensure the fit is right for you.

Moonlighting and locum tenens assignments can help you gain valuable work experience in different facilities. But if you have a strong preference against a specific role, there’s no reason to work in a facility that will require it of you.

6. Assess the Patient Population

The patient population in every community is unique. When selecting your moonlighting or locum tenens assignment, it’s helpful to assess the general age, socioeconomic makeup, and common medical issues of a particular community.

Understanding your patients and the kind of ailments you’ll regularly be treating will be a great way to find early success.

7. Learn About Your Coworkers

Your interviews for moonlighting and locum tenens assignments aren’t just an opportunity for the hiring committee to learn about you. They’re a chance for you to learn about the work community you may be joining.

After your interview, do you have any remaining questions? Your medical staffing agency can help put you in touch with additional resources if you’re still looking for more insight.

8. Reach Out to Former Staff

Your medical staffing recruiter can help facilitate communication with other locum tenens and moonlighting medical professionals who have worked on a particular assignment.

Their insight can help you learn about the facility, the work culture, and the patient population at large to help you assess whether it’s the right fit.

9. Remain Flexible

Moonlighting and locum tenens assignments can sometimes make for unpredictable work, so it’s essential to remain flexible.

The added confidence you gain from succeeding in new environments can be invaluable. Being prepared is sometimes as simple as expecting the unexpected. It’s also important to recognize that your standard practices may need to adjust in each new setting.

10. Expand Your Network

Whether you’re assessing moonlighting and locum tenens assignments across the country or in your town, selecting a new assignment is a great way to learn about new communities. The process itself can help expand your network and learn more about medical providers at large.

Even if you don’t end up working at a particular facility, the connections you make through your moonlighting and locum tenens selection process can help lead to future opportunities.

OnCall Solutions: Your Moonlighting and Locum Tenens Staffing Agency

OnCall Solutions prides itself on connecting the right moonlighting and locum tenens assignments with medical professionals. We prioritize giving medical professionals opportunities to work in their communities, which helps improve the overall experience of both medical professionals and patients.

Are you interested in finding a local moonlighting or locum tenens assignment? Connect with an OnCall Solutions medical staffing recruiter today, and learn how we can find the perfect assignment for you.

The medical industry is changing rapidly, and many nurse practitioners are ready to escape the traditional hospital or clinic environment. Two paths offer popular nursing alternatives: locum tenens and travel nursing jobs. So which of these options is right for you? The medical staffing experts at OnCall Solutions are here with insight.

What is Travel Nursing?

Travel nurse practitioners take temporary roles in high-need areas. When a hospital or practice is experiencing a staffing shortage, they will hire travel nurses from across the country to relocate temporarily and provide aid.

Pros of Travel Nursing Jobs

At times, travel nursing opportunities can sound too good to be true. However, these roles offer some real benefits for nurses:

Cons of Travel Nursing Jobs

While it might sound like the perfect job opportunity on paper, there are some downsides to working as a travel nurse that you might consider before diving in:

 

Additional Considerations of Travel Nursing Jobs

You might have more flexibility and control over your practice in filling temporary travel positions than in full-time roles. However, depending on their staffing agency and the market demand, travel nurses can also lose some of their control.

While many agencies will let you pick where you go as a travel nurse, your options are often limited to where there is high demand. Simply stated: travel nurses usually have to go where the work is.

Additionally, your agency might require you to meet a minimum shift requirement. In these cases, it can be hard to balance taking the leave you want while meeting the shift minimums.

If you are looking for an alternative to travel nursing, locum tenens nursing opportunities might be right for you.

What is Locum Tenens For Nurse Practitioners?

Locum tenens roles are similar to travel nursing roles only in the fact that they are both temporary positions to fill a staffing gap. However, locum tenens positions do not require travel, as these temporary roles are for hospitals, practices, and clinics in your area.

Locum nurses frequently fill the gap when a full-time nurse practitioner is out on medical or maternity leave. You might also find locum roles filling staffing gaps while a practice works to hire and train new full-time nurses.

Pros of Locum Nursing Jobs

You can access a wide range of benefits unlike those in any other nursing opportunity with locum tenens:

Cons of Locum Nursing Jobs

Naturally, locum nursing positions also come with a few considerations for nurse practitioners:

Travel Nursing Jobs vs. Locum Tenens Nurse Practitioner Jobs: Which is Right For You?

Ultimately, only you can decide which nursing position is right for you. Thankfully, the flexibility of these roles can help you try both to experience these kinds of opportunities firsthand. In some cases, you might even be able to switch back and forth between roles. When you are ready to give locum tenens nursing a try, the experts at OnCall Solutions can help.

Find Locum Tenens Nursing Positions with OnCall Solutions

OnCall Solutions partners nurse practitioners, physicians, and physician assistants with hospitals, practices, and clinics in their areas. We offer comprehensive support for locum tenens and moonlighting roles—helping you get credentialed, covered by insurance, and connected with opportunities in your area. You can contact OnCall to learn more or get started today!

As a locum tenens physician, things are slightly different on the financial planning side compared to your colleagues in academic medicine or private practice. To help support our locum tenens physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, OnCall Solutions partnered with Chad Chubb, CFP, CSLP—founder and lead advisor at WealthKeel—for insight. 

Sure, you have to do more things on your own now regarding your financial planning, but truthfully, this position can be financially advantageous for physicians. In this post, we will take some time to dig into two vital topics for you to focus on as a locum physician.

  1. Risk management: The ball is in your court; unfortunately, you didn't get to go through open enrollment and check a few boxes to lock in disability insurance and life insurance. If you want to protect yourself and your family, you need to customize it on your own. 
  2. Retirement savings: "Yes, hello, is this HR? Great, it is Dr. Smith. Please increase my contributions to max out the 403b and 457b this year. Great, thank you." Nope! Not for you, my friend. If you want to build a nest egg, you better get online, open an account, and invest your funds. 

While it might sound complicated, you can find yourself better off by taking your financial future into your own hands with a locum position. By the end of this post, you will have the insight you need to take your financial plan bull by the horns! 

Financial Risk Management for Locum Tenens Physicians

You may be wondering why we would start with insurance. To help you feel comfortable with everything you are about to read, I will mention that we don't sell any products or insurance—and we are listed as a top-10 advisor in the country by Dr. Dahle. I start with insurance because what would happen to you or your family if you could not earn an income tomorrow? It would be pretty bad, possibly devastating for locum tenens physicians. 

Let's take a few minutes to review the most common three insurances for locums: disability insurance, term life insurance, and umbrella insurance. 

Disability Insurance for Locums

Without a doubt, if you are sitting there without any disability insurance, you need to stop reading and contact an independent agent to get a policy application submitted as soon as possible. (If their company's initials are NWM, you need to run and get a 2nd opinion.) 

Pro-Tip: If you have any medical conditions, discuss them with the agent/broker before you apply for disability insurance as a locum tenens physician. The last thing you want is an official decline in your records. 

Additional Pro-Tip: If you are reading this and still in training, ask your HR Department if you have access to a policy called a "GSI," which stands for Guaranteed Standard Issue. The main benefit is it involves no underwriting, so if you have some medical items, this may be your only chance to lock in a great deal and policy. Also, if you are a female, this may be your only chance to lock in a "unisex" rate, which will save you A LOT of money now and in the future (like a lot!). 

Disability insurance for locum tenens physicians is a bit complicated because the fine print is vital—and your state, your specialty, your sex, your health, and other items can all dramatically affect the policy. 

Larry Keller (listed on the WCI page) was nice enough to write a guest post for our blog last year, and he did a great job covering all the details. I won't duplicate the info here, but here is the link if you want to read more. 

Term Life Insurance for Locums

Emphasis on the word "term," Sure, your 2nd cousin who sells insurance will tell you permanent life insurance is the best thing since sliced bread, but don't take the bait. Instead, buy term and invest the rest. I could stop here, but let's add a few more details. 

If you have a family or someone who relies on your income or cosigned on your student loans, I can likely make a case on why you need life insurance. When I speak with resident programs, I tell them that $3,000,000 - $4,000,000 in term life insurance should not catch you off guard. I have built hundreds of plans for physicians—and that is a common range. Heck, we see higher often as well. Your individual circumstances are essential here, but I am just trying to provide some guide rails. 

If none of those three scenarios apply to you, then sure, you may be able to punt on the life insurance topic for now. 

Umbrella Insurance for Locums

As a doctor, you have an extra target on your back. Heaven forbid you are to hurt someone with your car, or someone gets injured on your property—they will likely sue. And any decent attorney will quickly find out that you are a doctor, and then the dollar signs appear in their eyes.

An umbrella policy is the easiest (and very affordable) way to protect yourself. An umbrella policy will add extra liability insurance on your car and home (renter or homeowner). We suggest starting with $1,000,000 and increasing to always match your net worth (round up). The good news is that this coverage is low-cost; on average, you are looking to pay $250 - $300 per YEAR for a $1,000,000 policy. Now, this will vary based on you, your history, and your state, but that should be a "fair estimate" for most. 

We can't cover it all, but here are a few bonus topics on risk management & asset protection for physicians in links to other posts from us:

Retirement Savings for Locum Tenens Physicians

We are fortunate to work with many locum docs, and this seems to be one of the more frustrating topics when they first come to us. They are so overwhelmed that they have done nothing to save for retirement—or they may have opened the "wrong" accounts. I use the quotes because while they are still saving, they may not be optimizing their savings. 

We will discuss three accounts that locum tenens physicians should be familiar with. 

SEP-IRA Retirement Accounts for Locums

First up is the one we don't want to see. However, if you have this account, don't worry. The SEP-IRA is ubiquitous for 1099 earners. The problem is the SEP IRA ruins the Backdoor Roth IRA from something we call the pro-rata rule. Essentially, to complete a Backdoor Roth IRA cleanly, you can not have ANY balance in an IRA, SEP IRA, or Simple IRA. 

If you have a SEP IRA, you can easily convert it (rollover) to a Solo-K. What is a Solo-K? Well, keep reading. 

Solo-K Retirement Accounts for Locums

Our favorite account for 1099 earners! It is sometimes called an individual-k, solo-k, and even a Keogh Plan. Whatever the name, it is an excellent retirement account for 1099 earners. 

The solo-k operates similarly to 401ks provided by employers, except they are designed for businesses with no employees (besides the owner's spouse). 

In 2022, these accounts allow you to save up to $20,500 ($27,000 if age 50 or older) in "employee" contributions, just as a standard 401k would. In addition, since you are technically both the employee and employer, you can make a further "employer" contribution. As of 2022, your contribution can equal 20% of your net income, up to $61,000—this maximum includes the employee and employer contributions.

You can also set up your solo 401k to allow for Roth contributions for your employee contributions—the employer portion will always be pre-tax. However, given your significant income as a locum tenens physician, usually, we would favor the pre-tax contributions. 

In defense of the SEP IRA, you can also save $61,000 (2022) to that account, but the major downside is that it blocks one of our favorite strategies in the Backdoor Roth IRA. 

To this day, I am still a bit shocked as to why we see so many SEP IRAs for physicians. My best guess is that:

Cash Balance Plan Retirement Accounts for Locums

You get bonus points if you have heard of a cash balance plan (CBP)! A CBP is a defined benefit plan, whereas a 401k is a defined contribution plan. There are many defined benefits plans, but CBP is the most common we see and use with our clients. 

In full disclosure, you will want to be earning some serious income before starting a CBP. You should be maxing out the Solo-K for $61,000 (2022), your Backdoor Roth IRA for $6,000 (2022, under age 50), and likely saving a good amount to a taxable account. If you check these boxes and still have excess funds to invest, a CBP may be your new best friend. 

Cash balance plans are built out over ten years. So in a perfect world, you are timing this with your ten highest earning years (or highest tax years, but good luck predicting those rates). 

This gem has the advantage of being able to make significantly higher pre-tax contributions. These contributions can range from $100,000 to $200,000 per year. Here is one of our favorite calculators from July Business Services. 

For example, here are a few numbers for a physician in the early 30s making $500,000/year. They are estimating that between a 401k with profit sharing and a cash balance plan, this physician can save $162,883 per year (pre-tax!). 

Example of a Locum Tenens Physician's Financial Plan

An Overview of Financial Planning in Locum Tenens Roles

We can't cover every financial consideration in a single post, but we can offer a few bonus topics on retirement savings in the following links to other posts from WealthKeel:

Here are two other posts that we wrote for our locum physicians that add more context to the above topics: 

Yes, as a locum tenens physician or hospitalist, you are a business owner, which undoubtedly comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. However, from a financial planning perspective, we think it gives you much more flexibility and the ability to save even more for your longer-term goals. You are in a beautiful spot; enjoy every moment and take full advantage of your opportunities!

Written by Chad Chubb, CFP, CSLP

Founder and lead advisor

Disclosures

The Nation's Leading Medical Staffing and Recruiting Experts
Even before physician burnout was the number one issue facing organized medicine, we sought to offer a solution. Our comprehensive staffing options give physicians control over their schedule and facilities control over their costs - the best of both worlds for hospitals and medical practitioners alike.
Scott Shapiro MD, FACC
CEO & Founder
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