When embarking upon your first locum position, we understand it can be an overwhelming and a nerve-wracking experience. Whether you’re covering a new ward for the first time, starting out in a new hospital, or working with different doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, you may feel worried about how to navigate this new situation.
To help relieve some of your anxieties and fears around your new role as a locum doctor, we’ve collated some top tips to provide you with advice on how to ace your new locum position.
Work with a healthcare agency
Working with a healthcare agency, such as Athona, can provide you with the support and guidance you’ll need to ensure all of your relevant documentation is up to date and in place before starting a job role. Working with an agency also gives you priority access to jobs that haven’t even hit the market yet, meaning you’ll be first in line to apply. Don’t forget you should keep discussing your working requirements with your recruitment consultant, so they can ensure they’re finding you relevant locum work that fits your lifestyle and meets your work-life balance needs.
Don’t forget your annual appraisal
As a part of the GMC requirements, ensuring you have prepared and completed your annual appraisal is mandatory for all doctors. The purpose of your annual appraisal is to prove you continue to meet the principles and values set out by the Good Medical Practice and to enhance the quality of your work by planning your professional development. At Athona, we assist with over 500 appraisals every year and have one of the lowest deferral rates of all leading agencies.
Keep your references up to date
As an on-framework agency, we require a minimum of two references on file which cover your last 3 years of employment history. These are more often than not the first things NHS trusts will ask for. When submitting your references, they must be of a higher grade/position than yourself and be able to comment on when you were employed and your overall performance in that role. You can update your references with Athona by filling out our quick and easy short form.
Keep a record of the hours you’ve worked
Some doctors tend to photocopy their timesheets before sending these in to their agency and keep a copy of it to remind them when they worked each week. Alternatively, you can log the date of the week you worked and your hours into the notepad on your phone to remain organised and to make sure you are being paid correctly.
Familiarise yourself with the hospital
Before your first day in your new locum role, we recommend taking time to research the hospital and review their policies and procedures. By doing so, this will help you understand how things are done within the hospital and what is expected of you in your role. It could also be useful to familiarise yourself with the layout of the hospital, including where important facilities and equipment are located to make yourself feel more confident and prepared for your first shift.
Pick a familiar specialty
By choosing to work in a specialty you’re most comfortable with, this will make your first shifts much easier in a new setting. If you select a specialty you’re familiar with or had your most recent experience in to begin with, once you have settled in further, you could then always ask your healthcare agency to find more work in another specialty.
Get all your paperwork organised in advance
Avoid any unnecessary stress by sorting out your timesheets and other documents well in advance to your start date. To ensure you are compliant to work in a role in the NHS, there are many things you will need and documents to complete prior to your first locum role. Documents such as your CV, passport/Visa, qualifications, GMC certificate and many more will be required by your compliance officer. View our full list of requirements here.
Want to start your journey with Athona? Register your CV and a few other details to let us know your working requirements and our team will get to work finding you your next dream role.
T: 01277 217 777