Have you ever considered a career in locum dentistry, but remain unsure as to whether the venture will benefit you? If so, you just need to ask yourself one simple question: Would people take the plunge and wave goodbye to the safety of a permanent contract unless it was really worth it? The answer is, of course – no, they wouldn’t.
For those that are brave enough to give it a go however, the rewards are plentiful.
Good day rate: The reality is that the profession is crying out for locums, and as such, practices are willing to pay what is necessary to make the job attractive to potential candidates. In some roles, the flat day rate can be as much as £400 – not including expenses.
Hotel and travel allowance: To make it worth your while, most practices will contribute to your accommodation and travel expenses for the duration of your contract. This is a great incentive, especially if you love to explore and meet new people.
Flexibility and freedom: Working as a locum offers a level of flexibility that you just can’t get with other types of contract. You choose where you work, when you work and, to a certain extent, how you work. Being a locum also provides a great deal of freedom when it comes to training, meaning you get to assemble your own bespoke CPD schedule.
Variety: Just think of the range of jobs and dental settings that would be available to you – such a great opportunity if you want to broaden your horizons.
If you commit yourself, the benefits of locum dentistry are limitless – so what are you waiting for?
Naturally, locum dentistry isn’t for everybody, and you should decide whether you are the right person for the job sooner rather than later.
So ask yourself, are you willing to be away from home for long periods of time? Are you prepared to be out of work for parts of the year? Can you be frugal during times when work is quiet? If you have any doubts in your mind at all about whether you can do any of these things, then it may well be that locum work isn’t for you. This also goes for those that have family responsibilities or are the sole breadwinner in their household.
Locum dentistry, then, is ideal for those with less family ties and financial burdens, though of course it can also be a suitable pathway for a parent wanting to work around their children and school holidays. It would also suit someone looking to reduce their hours to spend time on other commitments, such as studying or travelling.
Ultimately, if you want to be a locum, you have to be flexible; you have to be able to deal with spending time away from home; and you have to be willing to be out of your comfort zone on a regular basis.
Like everything else worth having, being a locum can be hard, so if you want to make the career change there are a few things you should know.
The harsh reality is that being a locum isn’t always perfect. If you can accept that, you are already half way there.