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Starting Your New Emergency Medicine Locum Tenens Job

Congratulations! You've been invited to start a new emergency medicine locum tenens job. As you know, however, there are many aspects to such a position beyond a start date and financial compensation.

The following checklist can help you prepare for your new job and ensure a smooth start:

  • Make sure to plan your commute in advance of your first shift. How easy/difficult will your commute to work be? What are typical traffic conditions during the expected travel times for your shifts? What means of transportation will you be using?
  • While we're on the subject of transportation, what parking facilities are provided for staff? How far are they from the ED?
  • Be sure to provide enough time before your first shift to obtain any ID badges/photos, computer passwords, etc.
  • If a tour of the ER isn't offered, ask for one so that you can orient yourself to the work environment before actually starting your first shift.
  • You may also want to check out any overnight facilities provided for staff.

In addition to the considerations above, you should also take the time to check out the following aspects of this emergency medicine locum tenens job before you start work:


About the Facility

  • What are the annual patient volumes for this emergency department (ED)?
  • What is the average number of patients per hour per physician?
  • How many beds, bays, and exam areas is the ED equipped with?
  • Is there a "fast track" at this facility? If so, how is it staffed?
  • What is the percentage of trauma, and what types of trauma does this ED handle?
  • What is the turnaround time on test results?
  • How will admissions be handled?
  • What type of documentation system does this ED use? If it's one you haven't used, what is the anticipated learning curve for it? Is training/orientation provided?

About Supporting Staff

  • What specialty backups are available to you in this emergency medicine locum tenens job?
  • How many nursing personnel are assigned per shift, and what is their experience level?
  • What are the shift schedules for mid-level staff? What support is available per shift for lab, x-ray, respiratory therapy, etc.?
  • About the Schedule
  • What are the physician shift schedules at this ED? How many shifts will you be working per month in this emergency medicine locum tenens job? Are block shifts available?
  • What are the total hours of physician coverage per day?

About the Schedule

  • What are the physician shift schedules at this ED? How many shifts will you be working per month in this emergency medicine locum tenens job? Are block shifts available?
  • What are the total hours of physician coverage per day?