You may be considering making the switch from full-time optometry work to becoming a locum optometrist. Naturally, people have reservations about doing this and that’s perfectly fine. Especially in the current times of financial upheaval and the cost of living crisis, no one wants to take a risk with their jobs. We’re here to reassure you of the various benefits that locum optometry offers and also insight into the readily available shifts we can provide you.
Plan your rota months in advance
With locum optometry work, you can book shifts months in advance so you know where you will be working, when, and how much you will be earning each day. This is a huge relief for people who fear that there might not be enough locum work if they make the switch from a full-time career. With our digital diary, you can view all your shifts, payments and expenses in one place - making your self-employed journey even easier!
Gain experience in multiple sectors
In addition to planning and scheduling your time months in advance, you are also able to gain varied experience in the field. As a locum, you have the ability to work in many different practices and gain insight into different companies and work with different people. This variation allows you to try different sectors that you may not have had access to before. This gives you the chance to see where you excel, where you want to work and similarly, where you don’t want to work.
Within the UK, the optometry market is relatively small, yet you have access to a supportive network of optometrists, whether full-time or locum. There is a lot of advice online that locum staff share with their peers and we’ve picked out some key pieces that locum optometrists should know before their shifts.
- Research the referral guidelines or criteria and the pathways for the area you are working in. If you are new to that area the paths may be different to where you’ve previously worked.
- Visit the area’s local optical committee website - find out referral guidelines, how to refer, pathways, email or fax etc. You can’t be doing this when a patient is sitting in front of you.
- Get to know the staff in practices you visit - they want their patients/local communities to have the best service so work with them. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions - they’re the experts within the practices. Ask where things are and patient requirements.
This is golden advice to those of you who are starting out on your locum optometry journey. Prevention is certainly better than cure when it comes to preparation. Due to the small network of optometrists, it is vital that your reputation precedes you, in a good way.
By researching guidelines, how practices work day-to-day and building relationships with permanent teams, employers will want to work with you. These behaviours are desirable and show your interest in supporting their business, customers and employees.
What’s the best thing about being a locum optometrist?
We are often told about some of the best things about being a locum optometrist. Whether it is the flexibility of time and locations to developing your experience both professionally and personally.
All of these combined increase your confidence, when you are repeatedly accepted for shifts and often our clients repeatedly return to branches, that’s a little ego-win for you. It shows that your work, skills and personality reach the high standards employers instil in their business.
In addition to this is the added income boost you will receive by working high paying shifts. You can view all our available shifts here and see for yourself what our clients are offering for the right locum optometrist.
Get in contact
If you have any questions about getting started with Locate a Locum contact us here. Our team will be able to answer any of your questions. You can also view our Help Centre where we have multiple articles on the essential documents required to register with us and how to get started working with our clients.