Why Work as a Locum Vet or Veterinary Nurse?
What is a Locum Vet or Vet Nurse?
Locum veterinary staff are individuals employed or engaged on a temporary basis. A locum is a person who temporarily fulfils the duties of another while they are away from work and is a term associated with medical fields including the veterinary profession.
Locum staff are typically hired to help cover gaps in the event of permanent staff illness, holidays, resignations, maternity cover or retirement. Sick animals cannot be kept waiting and so locum vacancies can need to be fulfilled at very short notice.
Successful veterinary locum vets and vet nurses are ideally qualified, confident and competent veterinary staff, able to work at short notice and employed or hired on a temporary basis.
What does it take to be a locum Vet or Vet Nurse?
Before you can consider undertaking this flexible, mobile working role, you need to determine if you can fit the description. A vet/vet nurse locum first and foremost must be skilled in their areas. You are recruited for the time period purely on your level of skill. The irony is of course that the best way to hone your skill as a vet or vet nurse is in a permanent position. Working for a few years in a permanent placement builds the skills needed. And furthermore, it builds the confidence to be able to enter a new practice, assured of yourself. In our experience, a practice often requires 2 years of practical experience post qualification for vets, and expect vet nurse locums to be qualified, as opposed to a trainee.
It takes great confidence to work in the locum world, as you will enter a new practice every week or so. You are literally stepping into other people’s worlds, and you must ingratiate yourself within it. You must work as part of a team, and be able to understand the team very quickly. If that all wasn’t enough, you must learn new computer systems, and where things are kept, rapidly.
As your experience as a locum grows and you begin to build a reputation, you soon have a portfolio of references, giving practice owners more confidence that you can just “step into the role.”
Is locum work flexible?
Working as a locum can offer great flexibility which is perfect if you want to have the school summer holidays off. Equally, it can be demanding to be available at short notice when you’re looking for work. If you’re stepping away from a permanent position due to out-of-hours, late nights and weekend work, then a locum position may be for you, although some locums dedicate themselves and revel in the excitement of emergency & out of hours work only. Thanks to its flexible nature and our dedicated recruiter’s, we find locum job opportunities to meet your requirements.
Locum positions and vacancies are varied. From day practice, weekend work, positions with no out of hours to emergency work only, you can choose which direction you want to take. At Carlton Professional Veterinary Recruitment, we also cater to and take vacancies for practices across the animal species; small animal, mixed practice, equine practices, and any combination thereof.
What’s locum pay like?
Pay rates for locum veterinary staff are higher than that for permanent employment. You will earn more money per day as a vet or vet nurse locum than if you worked in a permanent role; this is to compensate for holiday pay and job security.
With the advent and development of dedicated Out of Hours emergency centres, there has been a growth in the demand for locums to work and cover these unsociable hours. These roles have the advantages of dealing with exciting and lifesaving veterinary cases, with the added benefit of often attracting enhanced pay loading for the short notice, required travel and unsocial hours.
If you are a veterinary locum that can step into any role, work sole charge, have your own transport and travel at a moment’s notice, then we believe you need to be remunerated appropriately and we would work to attain the rate you require. At Carlton Professional Recruitment we often have a salary range offered by the practice that is subject to experience (STE). So as an experienced, “can do anything locum”, we would look to attain these higher rates for you.
Many people choose to work as a locum in order to reduce their working hours. If this is the case, you can still earn the same. Keep reading to find out about other benefits of working as a locum!
Why should I work as a locum?
Veterinary locum work is not for everybody, however, it can be very beneficial for a number of reasons.
- 1. Locum work as an in-between-job filler
Whether you are waiting for a long-term job to start, want to “keep your hand in”, or want to get back into work following time off to raise children, veterinary locum work is great for filling in-between jobs.
- 2. Help pay for travel
Once you are qualified and have the necessary experience, it can be easy to locum while you travel and see Britain. You would need to check the visa requirements, but working as a travelling locum can be enjoyable and interesting. It also offers a way of funding your ongoing travel, and because you’re only ever working on short-term contracts, it’s easy to move around and pay your way. Accommodation can also be available for some vacancies to assist travelling locums.
If you’re interested in working while you travel in Britain or overseas, contact our office to discuss opportunities we have in Australasia, the Middle East, and more.
- 3. Locum work to fill the long pause
Locum work provides the ideal solution for returning to work after a period away, be it for travel, maternity leave or alike. Longer-term contracts are available and sometimes present opportunities for fixed-term employment.
- 4. Locum work instead of permanent employment
Working as a locum long-term is popular among vets and vet nurses for a number of reasons. Locum work offers better flexibility, the opportunity to travel around the UK or overseas, and is a great way of building your professional network by meeting and working in and with different practices. The locum pay rate is better than permanent salaries, you have the option of unlimited holiday and you choose where to work.
Whatever type of locum or permanent work you are looking for, contact the Carlton Professional Veterinary Recruitment team to discuss your requirements.
What are the benefits of working as a locum?
Working as a locum offers many benefits depending on your personal situation and requirements. We’ve already discussed how flexible and profitable locum work can be, but it doesn’t end there.
- 1. You can learn and discover a lot
Working in a veterinary locum capacity exposes you to a range of different practices and techniques. Locum work offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the kind of practice you would like to work in while learning different techniques from a range of people.
- 2. Exposure to greater opportunities
One of the exciting things about working as a locum is that you never know who you may meet along the way or the opportunities that may present themselves. You may meet people who can help further your career, make friends for life, or even be offered to return on a part-time or full-time basis.
- 3. Your personal well-being can improve
If, like many before you, you have been with a veterinary practice for some time, you may be feeling the pressures and stresses of your job. If you’re turning up to work each morning, only to be inundated with questions, problems and issues, you’ll be sheltered as a locum. It’s much easier to turn up for work, do an excellent job, and leave at the end of the working day, as a locum.
- 4. You’re appreciated
Everybody likes to be praised for doing a good job. We often find that after years of service, our successes and continued commitment becomes an expectation as opposed to a reason to be commended. Call it ego feeding, but as a locum, you’ll often hear “we’re so glad to have you here!”, “I don’t know how we would cope without you”, “you’ll come back again, won’t you?”.
- 5. Extra benefits with Carlton Professional Veterinary Recruitment
To thank you for your hard work as a veterinary nurse or vet locum, we pay for 2 hours of CPD Learning for every week of work you complete through our veterinary recruitment agency. And what’s great is that you can complete your CPD learning at a time that suits you, and all completed CPD will be certified for your records, helping you to grow your knowledge and experience.
We’ve partnered with the Webinar Vet to offer quality CPD for our vets and veterinary nurses in a manner and time that is convenient for you. Find out more about CPD for Vet & Veterinary Nurse Locums.
We also offer a referral scheme. You can earn £50 for every person you recommend once they have completed 5 days’ consecutive work through our veterinary recruitment agency. We’ll even give 2 hours of paid CPD as a welcome to your contact.
What are the con’s to working as a locum?
It’s important to say that locum work is not for everyone and there are a few cons’ to working as a locum.
- 1. You must be confident in your abilities
It is important that you can confidently work unaided. The point of a locum is to fulfil a staff role. Veterinary practices will be grateful for as little interruption as possible so being able to get the job done is essential. At the start of any new placement, you will be introduced to the clinic’s systems and pricing structures, be briefed on their requirements and always able to ask any questions.
- 2. You’re never truly “part of the team”
Working in a practice offers a great opportunity to work as part of a team you know well and get on with. When you work as a locum, you are forever the “new kid.” And while your new practice will make you feel welcome, you are only there for a limited period. But, you’ll meet more interesting and knowledgeable people working as a locum, and you may get the opportunity to go back there to work.
- 3. You will be asking questions
When you work as a locum, you experience ‘first days’ more often than if you were in a permanent position. You’ll find yourself asking where things are and how to use certain systems, but it’s best to ask and try to remember than get it wrong. In most practices, you’ll find that the staff are really friendly and helpful. After all, they’re usually very grateful to have you there! And if they’re not, you don’t have to go back.
- 4. You’ll never be the “family vet”
It’s hard to build up a relationship or rapport with your clients and their pets as you’re often not in their veterinary practice long enough. You won’t know your client’s pet’s history, but you can always read through their notes before their appointment and ask how they’re doing. Equally, the client’s often like to know their vet and not be faced with a stranger.
Is a Veterinary Locum career for you?
Our team of recruiters are on hand to answer any questions you may have and can discuss various veterinary locum jobs.
If you feel that being a veterinary locum isn’t for you, you don’t need to worry. Our extensive network of veterinary practices and surgeries enables us to cater to all requirements including permanent vet and vet nurse positions. Take the next step in your career and discover your new role using our vacancy finder.