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10 Things To Do Before Working As A Locum

Working As A Locum

So, you think you’re ready to work as a locum? Just like any job, there is some preparation and thought that goes into the process that you may not have necessarily considered. Whether you’re working as a locum doctor, a physiotherapist, or a casual nurse, there are some things that you can do before you get started to make it a smoother, more enjoyable, and lucrative process.


1. Talk to your partner 

If you have a partner, whatever you do, make sure you communicate with them first about your intention to locum, especially if it’s going to take you away from them, the family, and home. If you plan to bring your family along with you, make sure the location can accommodate them appropriately. Of course, if you are going to be travelling as a family unit, don’t forget about organising something for Fido and Mittens.

2. What is your ideal job?

Depending on your profession and specialty, there might be a narrow or broad range of jobs for you to consider. For example, as a GP you might be considering a family medicine practice, or procedural locum (e.g. O&G, anaesthetics, or emergency) as options. Naturally, you should also review your qualifications and experience and find out what type of jobs match your professional profile.

3. Locations

Even if you’re locuming close to home, there will probably be a few places you can choose from. The decision becomes more complex when you start travelling to locum. Location dictates a number of factors, including job availability, level of responsibility, and pay rate.

4. What are your goals?

Why do you want to work as a locum? Is it to travel? Make some more money? Expand your experience? It will likely be a combination of factors, but it’s important to align your work with your goals. Write down your goals, and find jobs consistent with those aims.

5. Timing

Are you going to work for a few hours at a time, or for six months? In either case, think about when you would like to start, and finish. If you are working nights, in a FIFO position, or regularly on call, be conservative about the length of time you sign up for for the first few jobs to avoid burnout.

6. Finances

Even if money isn’t your main concern, you should have an idea of your minimum conditions you will accept, and stick with it. The only time you might consider doing something for less money is if it is a very unique or interesting position that may not come up again.

7. Get your CV in order 

If you don’t have a CV, or yours is a bit long in the tooth, start getting it ready. Your CV should have an emphasis on the type of locum or casual work you’ll be applying for. There are plenty of resources on this site to learn how to maximise the potential of your CV.

8. Referees

You’re going to need at least three referees, preferably people who have supervised you in a clinical capacity. If that isn’t possible, they should at least be clinical colleagues. Make sure you speak with them, and let them know your intentions, and the types of positions you are going to be applying for.

9. Documents

Do you know where your original medical degree is? How about your fellowship certificate? Could you find your marriage certificate if you need to? Depending on the employer, there are a range of documents that you will need to work as a locum, and you’ll need to have them ready to go. It’s a good idea to visit your local JP (Beat Medical has in-house JPs) to get some key documents certified once you find out what you will need.

10. Recruitment Agency

You’ll need to decide whether to work with a recruitment agency. If you can easily organise work with friends, you might give agencies a miss. However, if you are new to locuming, and don’t have personal connections to rely on, speak with a recruitment agency about what your options are. Although it can be tempting to register with multiple agencies, by choosing a single agency to work with, you will build up a relationship that will ultimately result in you getting the best work over time.



 If you are currently considering a locum job, speak with one of our medical career experts. Beat Medical works with all of the healthcare professions, and the full range of medical specialties, including GP, Surgery, Anaesthetics, JMOs, ICU, and more. Complete the form below to become a Beat Medical insider today, and receive our free CV and Interview eBooks. A recruiter will be in contact with you quickly to discuss your options.

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