Locums tends to be harder than a regular job. You have to walk into a new place cold and go to work. They have staffing issues of some kind or you wouldn't be there. You may or may not have the support/backup you need. One uncommon phenomenon (but it happens) is to dump on the temp help because they are...well...temp help. Too many patients, too high complexity etc.
Just be careful if you decide to try it. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions about where you are going and what will be required of you. Take everything the recruiter tells you with a grain of salt. They make their money but putting warm butts in chairs and they can be dishonest in trying to get you to take an assignment. I had one try to convince me to take a short fill in assignment with a neurosurgeon including OR time. I haven't been in an OR in 25 years and never participated in neurosurgery.
^^^ OMG so true! I have found locum recruiters to be at best incompetent and at worst deceitful. Having said that, I am now a full-time locum. Mainly because I just could not stomach working for yet another 24 year old high school educated "administrator" within the corporate Urgent Care structure. Who knows, I might go back FT employee someday, but right now I am rather enjoying just doing locums. Here are a few things to consider:
1. You will almost alway be paid as an independent contractor. If you don't know what that is, I would advise against locums. Basically though, you pay all your own taxes usually quarterly. You have to pay your FULL social security amount, get no benefits, not even workers comp. If you get hurt on the job, it's on you.
2. I locum with a few different agencies and one of them took literally 6 months to get my pay processed correctly. I don't know if they were incompetent or just stupid, but yea it was a pain. Thankfully things seemed to be sorted now.
3. Most agencies ONLY pay you when they are paid. So if the place they farm you to takes forever to pay? You have to wait. AND if they get stiffed? You don't get paid. A few agencies have a "guaranteed pay" benefit, and I highly recommend looking for one of those agencies.
4. Deceitful agencies are everywhere. I took an assignment to a well known occmed company a while back, and was told by the recruiter that my sup physician and I would do the Texas computer dance (those in TX know what I am referring to) for supervision. I showed up, introduced myself and told him we need to get me plugged in with him. He said, I don't know you. I'm a locum to, and refused. I turned around and walked out. I literally could of lost my license had I stayed and worked, not to mention the medical liability of working without a sup physician.
5. 30 day call off notice. My two agencies both have a 30 day call out, which means that if for ANY reason you call off a shift within 30 days of the shift? THEY CAN CHARGE YOU FOR THE LOST AMOUNT. You read that right, if they are charging $120/hr for a 12 hour shift and you can't make it for any reason...you get a bill from them for $1440 bucks...Plus, they can cancel any shift you have scheduled if they give you 30 days notice, regardless of cause.
6. This is pretty obvious, but worth mentioning as well. If you get locum'ed into a place that you LOVE and they LOVE you...most agencies charge around $30k to "let you go full-time" with them. Just an FYI. Be very sure you want to stay a locum, or you will be restricted from working at the facility you locum at, usually for 2-3 years.
These are just a few little pearls to know. Even with all that, I still do it. The ability to create my own schedule WHERE I want and WHEN I want is glorious. Plus I make around $70/hr so that's not bad. I am a write off king as well, so I maximize the independent contractor thing.
Hope some of this helps.