Rainy River, Ontario, is a small town of between 800 and 900 people, situated across the Rainy River opposite Baudette, Minnesota. One of the most talked about news items recently in Rainy River is the possibility of building a locum rental house that would provide temporary accommodations for locum medical personnel being assigned to the town. The local newspaper recently reported that fundraising is underway and most of the legal hurdles have been cleared, allowing construction to begin in mid July.
Though the need for a locum housing is not something we’re struggling with in the United States, the Rainy River story does illustrate one important thing: the need for staffing agencies and healthcare facilities to work together in creating new ways to attract medical locums. It is a fact of life that the medical locum is now an integral part of modern healthcare picture that appears to be here to stay. Using locum tenens workers is quickly becoming the only way medical facilities and doctors offices can keep up with demands.
Housing in the United States
Medical locum housing in the United States is slightly different than what’s found in Canada due to the fact that the Canadian healthcare system is government run. Staffing agencies here typically make arrangements with apartment complexes or individual real estate investors to provide housing for temporary workers. In some cases, where a community is home to a teaching hospital, housing can be arranged through the associated university.
The benefits of this type of arrangement are numerous, to say the least. First of all, the medical locum is more likely to have some choices about where he or she wants to live. Secondly, in communities where apartment complexes and real estate investors are competing for the business, the quality of housing can be higher and the rents more competitive. Third, it allows the medical locum to occupy his own space rather than sharing a community home as is sometimes done in the Canadian system.
Listening to Locum Needs
Finding new ways to attract locums is certainly about more than just housing arrangements. It’s about learning what workers are expecting and what they need in order to be the best they can be. The main difficulty here is the fact that locum tenens work is still relatively new when compared to the long time line of modern medicine, so it’s an area that is still evolving. As the number of locum tenens workers increases it stands to reason the industry will get a better handle on their needs.
In the meantime, the medical locum worker has plenty of opportunity to seek out a staffing agency he or she can work with. Finding the right agency is key to developing a good working relationship and advancing the goals of both. When there’s a good match between worker and staffing agency both benefit and, in turn, become a benefit to the general public as well.