Search
Find Temporary Work in Healthcare

Find Temporary Work in Healthcare

For healthcare providers who forgo permanent employment in favor of working through temporary agencies on a contract or per diem basis (or, for doctors, in a locum tenens capacity), their jobs truly are what they make of them.

Although staffing agency work has both its advantages (including flexibility, higher hourly wages and a steady stream of new challenges) and its disadvantages (poorer benefits and a sometimes-unnerving level of uncertainty), longtime healthcare temps say that the pros far outweigh the cons.

Temp Physical Therapist Enjoys Flextime

“I don’t know if I would ever go back to having a permanent job,” says Stephanie Sullivan, a physical therapist in Kansas who works through the Delta Flex division of The Delta Companies. Sullivan started out as a healthcare traveler who moved around the country every few months for temporary assignments, but she has remained in Wichita since 2008, first working at a long-term-care facility on an extended temporary contract and now working in home healthcare.

Sullivan cites the flexibility of getting to take time off -- albeit unpaid -- whenever she wants and a higher hourly rate as her primary motivations for working as a temp. Every three to six months, when she is renewing her current contract or getting a new assignment, she takes two to four weeks off. She also gets to use her skills in a variety of settings, which helps prevent “job burnout or getting into a rut,” she says.

Sullivan notes that temp work probably isn’t right for everyone. Successful temp workers have to be “self-starters, or they won’t flourish,” she says. For healthcare providers in small communities, temp opportunities are likely limited. And although temps can often obtain health insurance and retirement benefits through their agencies, the cost to the temp is usually extremely high. Finally, “If you’re the type of person who gets stressed out knowing that you’re in a temporary job and at any time they could hire someone permanently and eliminate your position, it probably wouldn’t work for you,” Sullivan says.

Need to Plan for the Slower Times

Edward Vinson, who has worked at more than 20 healthcare facilities during his 14 years as a per diem licensed vocational nurse in the Dallas area, has learned to deal with the uncertainty and prepare for the lean times. Vinson, who currently works through nursing employment agency Nursefinders, usually works short-term jobs that last anywhere from a day to a week, when the census shoots up at a facility or as a replacement for a permanent staffer who is on vacation or in training.

During most of the year, the demand for Vinson’s services is so high that he can work whenever he wants (he usually works 40 hours a week, days only). However, his options narrow right before Christmas and right before summer. “You may want to work, but you can’t because the regular staff is picking up extra shifts to pay for the holidays and for vacations,” he says. According to Vinson, who estimates that he typically earns $5 to $8 more an hour than a permanent LVN, “learning how to manage the slow times and knowing when they fall” is important for newcomers to temping.

Temps Shielded from Some Hospital Politics

Jaime Gottschall, a respiratory therapist who works through STAT Staffing in Pittsburgh, is currently on a long-term contract at a facility for the developmentally disabled and generally works 40 hours a week spread over three days. She chose to go the temp route in 2007 because of the flexibility. She didn’t want to work holidays or many weekends, as required of many permanent respiratory therapists. “I wanted to still have a life and see my husband and family, who live on the other side of the state,” she says. Plus, when she was a permanent employee, she recognized temp workers’ higher pay. Now she loves temp life. “The hospital politics [are] a little less,” she says. “You can come in, do your job, take care of clients and leave.”

According to Gottschall, the reception that healthcare temps receive is often -- but not always -- appreciative. “They either love you or they hate you,” she says. “Some hospitals will thank you from the time you get there until the time you leave. At other hospitals, the fact that you’re doing the same job and getting paid almost double makes people a little upset.”

LVN Vinson notes that occasionally permanent staffers “dump” the most undesirable tasks on temps. “I have to speak up and say ‘I’m here to help you and I don’t have to be,’” Vinson says. Finding equipment and supplies and learning how the unit operates are more common challenges, he says. “My philosophy is that nursing is nursing,” he says. “Wherever you go, it’s going to be the same. You just have to adapt to where you’re at, how they chart and where they locate things.”

Testing the Waters

Many healthcare temps test the waters when they still have a permanent job by signing up with a temporary employment agency and picking up a few shifts as a temp worker now and then. Other healthcare temps hear about temporary employment agencies through friends and colleagues.

Temping is “a great opportunity for nurses to pump up their experience and learn new things,” adds Vinson, who plans to continue temping for the foreseeable future. “Each day is different. If you decide to take a permanent job, you’re just that much more valuable because you know more.”

Latest Jobs

Edward Jones
Posted: 10/24/2014
Las Vegas, NV, 89101
Capital Placement Agency
Posted: 10/24/2014
St. Louis, MO, 63103
C&M Recycling
Posted: 10/24/2014
North Chicago, IL, 60064
Castle Aura Enterprise
Posted: 10/24/2014
Roseburg, OR, 97470
ProKarma, Inc.
Posted: 10/24/2014
Denver, CO, 80203

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.65.72-309
eTrustLogo