What is locuming, and could it be for you?

Written by Harry Marshall Reading time: 3 mins

A locum temporarily fills the position of a permanent member of staff. Locums can be all types of vets and nurses and sometimes non-clinical staff too. Paid daily or hourly, locums choose the days and times they work, along with their preferred practice(s). Some locums travel across the country, taking advantage of accommodation which can be offered along with employment at a veterinary practice, whereas others choose to stay closer to home, working with 1-3 local practices.

Locuming works for different people in different ways. One often overlooked benefit of locuming is the chance to meet new people. Whether you are combining locuming with travelling around the country or just in your local area, you will be working with new teams regularly. It also allows you to meet new clients and of course, new animals. Working as a locum also help you to become more involved in both the local and wider veterinary community. With the distinct lack of locums currently available, when going into a new practice and joining a new team you will be appreciated which is incredibly rewarding. In smaller practices, it may allow the owner or lead vet to have some time off for the first time in months!

Locuming also allows for a flexibility in hours not seen with a permanent role. Don’t want to work Saturdays? Fine. Need to pick the kids up from school early every Tuesday? The practice will likely accommodate that. Whether it is life commitments, hobbies or just wanting to take things a little slower, locuming allows you to take back control of your diary. We aren’t saying you can just leave early whenever you want and if you have made a commitment to a practice, please honour it, but if you are open with your preferences and hours from the outset, there is incredible flexibility to work to YOUR schedule. Some people choose to work full time; some just the odd day and everything in between on locum contracts. What we are finding to be more and more popular is working for a few months followed by taking some time off. We think once travelling opens up once again, we will be seeing much more of that!

When working full time as a locum it often has a financial edge on permanent work. Some choose to work less (normally for similar money), freeing up time for other projects, and that elusive work:life balance. Some of our locums have started to branch out into blogging or their own online businesses whilst supplementing their income by locuming.

Locuming is not for everyone, we get that, so please keep an eye out for our next piece, which will be discussing some of the problems with locuming, and why it might not be for you. In the meantime, if you do want to find out more about locuming and joining Simply Vets on a zero-hour contract, please get in touch on info@simplyvets.com.

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