As your ‘go to’ locum agency we thought it was important to inform you of the things you should know before becoming a locum Pharmacist or Optometrist. So last month we wrote a post detailing all of the necessary, but boring stuff. Now we’ve been through all that it’s time to educate you in the things you should really know about the locum lifestyle…
- Every little thing will be your fault. Something wasn’t put away properly? It was you! Issue with a customer? It must have been you! Toilet seat left up? Oh that was definitely you! As you’ll be working in various different stores the regular staff will have no problems with grassing you up once you’re gone, even if you didn’t do it.
- You’ll always be second best. Yep, along with blaming you for everything your temporary colleagues probably won’t like you as much as the person you’re replacing. Fantastic! You won’t work in the same way as them, and we all know that’s the best way, it’s the way things have always been done, so your way is wrong. On the other hand, you might occasionally work with people who hate the person you’re replacing, in which case get ready for lots of juicy gossip and funny stories.
- The customers won’t be your biggest fans either. “Where’s my regular!” you will often hear them bark. Now you must remember to always stay calm as this species can smell fear a mile off. But don’t worry, once you’ve been doing this for a while you’ll think nothing of seeing a patient exploding with rage and foaming at the mouth after being told there will be a short wait.
- You’ll never know where on earth you are. You’d better learn how to use a Sat Nav because it’s about to become your best friend, or your worst enemy. We’ve all been there, you’re halfway through a long journey, in the middle of nowhere, and then suddenly “signal lost”. The wretched thing might as well be screaming “time to play a game” because that’s what’s about the happen. Whilst the little gadget isn’t quite baying for blood, it does sometimes feel like it when you’re lost, alone, and potentially late for work. As a locum you’ll be here, there, and bloody everywhere, so it’s time to grab an A-Z road map and crack on!
- The road will be your new office. Who doesn’t love a good motorway? Oh wait, you don’t? Well tough. If you’re a big fan of working away you’re about to spend a good chunk of your time joining the rat race. It doesn’t have to be boring though, why not play a little game of eye spy with yourself? My favourites to look out for are; Doggos enjoying the ride, silly place names (special shout out to Scratchy Bottom in Dorset and Fanny Barks in Durham), dead animals on the road (double points if their entrails are spread out across the tarmac), and lorry drivers picking their noses – there’s always one.
- You’re about to become the most organised person you know, or you’ll die trying. Time to transform into your very own administrator, financial advisor, personal assistant, accountant, and more. You’ll soon get used to sorting everything out, your organisational skills will be on point, you’ll be a pro, and then the cancellations and shift changes will roll in, but such is life. Being self-employed isn’t always a walk in the park but I think we all know it’s worth it.
- Where did all that cash money go? Everyone knows locum work can be rewarding in terms of pay, but you don’t think you’ll be seeing much of it do you? If you’re not forking out for tax, insurance, or meal deals it’s likely being siphoned off by you other half. As a locum healthcare professional you will often feel undervalued on the job, so claim what you can on expenses and take some sarnies to work with you.
- Starting out as a locum can be a bit of a faff to say the least. You’ll probably need to register as self-employed, have your smartcard unlocked, get insurance, and make sure you have all the required accreditation’s, and that’s all before you can even start thinking about work. What next after you’ve dealt with all that? More paperwork and administration work of course! If you’re thinking of going it alone you’ll likely need to register with every single client before taking on shifts. Our tip? Just sign up with a locum agency. Yes we’re biased but there’s a reason we exist, we take the hassle out of finding locum work.
- Your inbox is about to explode. Once you’ve finally waded through the mass of locum agencies and decided which one to sign up with, they will forever be sending you available work. They’ll call, and text, and email, and send carrier pigeons to see if you can cover a new shift that’s just popped up. My top tips – Create a designated email address just for locum work and keep your calendar up to date so that anyone offering shifts can check if you’re available before picking up the phone!