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Clinician Resources / Locum Tenens / What is the Gig Economy in Healthcare?

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A healthcare gig economy is one where physicians, nurse, Advanced Practice Providers (APPs, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, or certified nurse midwives), respiratory therapists, medical assistants, certified nursing assistants, and other healthcare clinicians work independently of one specific employer. Locum, temporary, and per diem local shifts are some examples of flexible work opportunities for healthcare clinicians. Benefits of temporary positions typically include higher hourly rate and a more flexible schedule. However, licensing and credentialing requirements can often cause delays in start dates. Because healthcare requires a high level of safety and quality, it is also especially important for clinicians to have a good reputation.

What is a Healthcare Gig Worker?

Healthcare is different from most other industries because most clinicians working on gig assignments such as locum and per diem local shifts need to be licensed and credentialed by the state, insurance companies, hospitals, and certifying agencies, before they can legally provide patient care. Additionally, a clinician's candidacy for a position is impacted by their individual provider licenses and lawsuit history. Other healthcare workers such as medical assistants, certified nurse assistants, and surgical techs are required to complete the required education and certifications to be hired into their role, whereas some roles, such as  patient navigators, can be trained onsite in their roles.  As a result of these requirements, once hired, gig healthcare workers may not be able to start their assignment for a few weeks to several months after recruitment.  Some state licensing processes can even take up to 6 months. Clinicians who keep track of their documents and licenses, including ensuring that they are up to date, can help expedite this process.

Gig Healthcare Locums and Per Diem Local Shifts Are Looking for High Quality Clinicians!

A clinician's reputation is very important. Clinicians who intentionally manage their reputation can positively impact their career and their hiring opportunities.  Reputation management includes learning to work well with patients and other healthcare team members. The number of lawsuits or licensing issues a clinician has can delay a hiring process or result in the clinician not being hire worthy. The best investment anyone can make to secure their reputation is in a lifelong journey to improve their communication skills. Providers should consider finding a good assessment tool to identify their communication style. Then read books, practice with a friend, pay attention, and consider enrolling in public speaking groups to improve skills. Some of the areas that are most important to develop are conflict resolution, speaking up when safety is a concern, organizing thoughts for clarity, speaking clearly, and being intentional, however, the most important communication skill for a healthcare provider to possess is listening.  Listening includes being curious, attentive, and genuinely engaged. Committing time and energy to developing communication skills is the foundation for a successful career and a good reputation.

Why do Clinicians Work Per Diem Local Shifts?

Per Diem local shifts is a form of healthcare gig work that provides physicians, APPs, nurses, medical assistants, certified nursing assistants, and other healthcare workers the opportunity to work flexibly at local clinics or facilities where they are licensed and credentialed. There are many reasons a healthcare worker may choose this option. They may have a full-time job, but want to earn extra money in order to pay for travel or pay for a child's college education. They may want flexibility in their schedule to care for children or an elderly family member, or be at the tail end of their career and want to cut back on their hours. They may want to travel part time for fun then work when they are back home. There are many reasons that healthcare workers would decide to work a flexible schedule through different employers near where they live.The benefit to per diem work is that because the healthcare worker works for a set number of clinics or facilities, they get to know the people they work with. They also get to know the procedures and processes. Per diem local shifts also provide employers with a greater pool of candidates for roles with higher turnover areas. Healthcare gig opportunities also provide exposure to a variety of work environments, patient populations and illness, and thus creating a richer learning environment and variety in the role.  Another example of the benefit of per diem work is a general surgeon who works one weekend a month for a group of local hospitals where needed. The physician is exposed to a variety of environments and also makes extra money. Their employers can give their general surgeon a break while continuing to meet the needs of their patients. Employers can rely on a contingent local healthcare workforce to deliver high quality care, reliably, and hit the ground running on day one of their assignment.  For employers that do not provide a good work environment, they will find it hard to attract local healthcare gig workers.  The same is true for healthcare clinicians who are not reliable and high quality, they will find it difficult to find local work assignments. Another form of temporary assignments are locums and contingent staffing jobs.

Why do Healthcare Clinicians Work Locums and Contingent Staffing Jobs?

Locums and contingent staffing jobs provide healthcare clinicians the opportunity to enjoy traveling to interesting places to work at different times in their life.  For example, a clinician may want to work in New York, California, or Colorado to enjoy the lifestyle.  They can sign up for four-to-thirteen-week assignments, or sometimes six months to a year, with facilities that need their help.  An Employer may need a locum or temporary healthcare worker to fill in when a department is growing, or someone is out sick, or they are in a rural area and are not able to attract a full-time person for that role.  To provide services a healthcare clinician needs to be certified as a provider, licensed in the state, credentialed at a hospital if working in the hospital, and eventually credentialed by the payor, such as an insurance company.  This can take some time, so this workforce is not always as readily available as a local per diem shift worker.  It can also be difficult to track the reliability and quality of the workforce or the employer.  It is important for the work environment to provide good onboarding, a positive work environment, and a focus on safety and quality to attract any staff but especially temporary clinicians to their roles.  It is also important for the physician, nurse, APRN, or PA to provide high quality care, work well with their peers and patients, and be reliable.  When providers travel, that can be difficult to track.  Employers are regularly challenged to know what type of candidate they will bring on for temporary work.

How Can DirectShifts Help?

DirectShifts works hard every day improving processes to build a highly reliable, excellent quality workforce for gig healthcare Per Diem Local Shifts, locums, and a sourcing platform for permanent jobs.  Clinicians can store their documents and receive alerts to keep them up to date.  When it comes time for them to consider a locum, travel, or per diem job, they are ready to go. DirectShifts targets high quality employers that consistently receive positive feedback to provide healthcare clinicians with the best experience possible.  Clinicians enjoy being on the DirectShifts platform to access their licenses, and other documents when needed or to share them with employers.  They also value access to permanent, temporary, or per diem local shifts to satisfy their employment needs.  Employers value ease of finding the best candidates, with reviews, who are ready to accept the jobs they offer. If you are a healthcare clinician, sign up on the DirectShifts platform, upload and track your documents for easy access, and view opportunities for work that fits your needs and lifestyle. If you are an employer and would like to discuss finding clinicians for gig healthcare per diem local shifts, locums, and a sourcing platform for permanent jobs, contact DirectShifts to learn more about the opportunity to find high quality candidates for your jobs, when you need them.  We also help you find budget friendly healthcare workforce staffing solutions that meet your needs.  Sign up on DirectShifts Platform to track your credentials, licenses, and track your opportunities!

This article was originally published on Melnic by Jill Gilliland. Melnic was recently acquired by DirectShifts.

Post by DirectShifts
January 4, 2022


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