5 reasons why you should consider locuming

Locum vet doing dog examination

Many vets and vet nurses are turning to locum work; whether this is full-time or as a supplement to their existing job. Alison Price, a locum vet who works across the North of England, says that her decision to move to locuming was down to job satisfaction, flexibility and money. Alison is not alone. Vet Chloe Hannigan works as a locum across the UK and abroad, alongside teaching yoga to vet professionals. She says that the flexibility of locuming allows her to take better care of her health and welfare.

Working as a locum can provide a host of benefits. This article takes a closer look at 5 reasons why locuming could be right for you.  

1. Locum work can help you achieve a better work/life balance

One of the most compelling reasons to consider locuming is its flexibility. If you’re feeling you have little control or direction over your current work/life balance, locuming can be tailored to fit most situations. Working as a locum has the potential to free up time for you to fit in hobbies and activities that you may have struggled to find time for previously. Having no fixed working hours means you only have to accept work that suits you, allowing you to take control of when you work and how often.

2. Locum work can help boost your finances

Financially, locuming gives you the ability to top up your current income. You are free to negotiate an appropriate fee, meaning the additional income from locuming can offer a nice financial cushion. 

Some who choose locum work full time often find that there is a financial edge compared to permanent work, but remember you are responsible for your own tax, National Insurance, pension contributions and sick pay. If you need to find work quickly, locuming allows you to find it.   

3. Locum work allows you to expand your knowledge of the profession

With the clinical freedom available through locuming, you are constantly keeping up with new medicines and the latest clinical techniques. As different practices tend to approach cases in slightly different ways, locuming allows you to expand your knowledge about handling a variety of different cases. As you are always learning, this gives you the opportunity to coach and mentor those with less experience than yourself. 

4. Locum work gives you the ability to travel or work overseas

Locuming can take you anywhere in the world. Whether you’re early on in your career or an experienced vet or vet nurse who is looking for a geographical change – the global possibilities for locum work are endless.

If you are looking to travel and want to top up the experience with some clinical practice, locuming can easily fit around this.

5. Locum work allows you to diversify

Through locum work, you have the option to diversify. You may have a part-time permanent role in practice or you may work in charity, pharmaceutical or academia, but still want to keep a  hand in clinical practice.  Locuming allows you to explore other roles and commitments that you may not have had the opportunity to do so before.  

It’s important to note that while locuming has its advantages and can be a very satisfying way to practice, it may not be for everyone. You need to be organised, independent and professional. You also need to think about where you will find work (for example, through agencies, through social media or by word of mouth) and operational aspects such as setting yourself up to pay tax and national insurance. 

There are a lot of things to think about – but hopefully this read has given you some conclusive reasons as to why locuming could work for, but most importantly, why locuming can be a great way to experience the veterinary profession. 

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