April 29th, 2013
It’s not easy for physician groups, hospitals, laboratories and other healthcare organizations to find well-qualified job candidates. That’s why a growing number of employers are turning to outside staffing services that understand today’s complex recruiting process.
Today, there are three key challenges for employers who use their in-house human resource (HR) departments to fill open positions. The first issue is time. It can take weeks or months to sift through hundreds of online resumes to identify potential candidates – especially if the HR professional must also juggle other, more pressing tasks. Second, those candidates must be carefully screened to be sure they have the appropriate educational background, adequate experience and right certifications and credentials. Finally, the HR professional must also be able to attract and engage the candidate by articulating the reasons for joining the practice, hospital, company or system.
Since all these steps must be taken before the first interview occurs, it’s not uncommon for a vacant position to remain open for an extended period, while other employees pick up the slack. The HR professional must dedicate considerable time to the identification, screening, and pre-interview process, rather than focus on other organizational priorities. Finally, there’s always the risk that a new candidate won’t be a good match for the employer, regardless of how good those credentials looked on paper.
For all these reasons, healthcare employers rely on staffing firms like All Medical Personnel to find, screen and present appropriate candidates for open positions. Today, effective recruiting requires specialized expertise and a distinct set of skills that may not be readily available in a small HR department. Experienced recruiting firms know where to find suitable candidates and narrow the list to a small and manageable group. Perhaps equally important, they understand how to appeal to the candidate by conveying both tangible benefits of working for the employer, and the intangibles like mission, values and culture. For healthcare organizations seeking to fill open positions quickly and efficiently, hiring an outside recruiting firm can be a key step to filling vacant positions quickly and efficiently.
December 3rd, 2012
It always seems like the month of December sneaks up on everyone. Suddenly, it’s time for holiday parties, client luncheons, charitable activities and other seasonal events. At the same time, many healthcare staffers realize they have unused vacation time and decide to take off for a week or two before the end of the year.
As a result, physician groups, hospitals, laboratories and other healthcare organizations often find it difficult to stay fully staffed during the late December – early January season. Many organizations already have temporary staffing plans in place to fill those gaps in the schedule, while others find themselves looking for help at the last minute.
Since December staffing issues are a highly predictable occurrence, All Medical Personnel urges healthcare organizations to take a proactive approach. That might involve reviewing last year’s employee schedules to determine how many people took vacation or personal days during the month. That can help in projecting staffing needs for this December. Planning ahead for staffing coverage is also important when arranging a holiday party or charitable event.
If everyone in the office is volunteering a half-day to serve meals to the homeless, deliver gifts to needy children or contribute in another way, then be sure to have temporary staffers in place to “hold down the fort” in the meantime. It may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how temporary staffing issues are often left to the last minute amid the busy activities of the month. With the biggest holidays of the year just ahead, All Medical Personnel recommends taking a careful look at your December staffing plans to be sure you can continue to provide seamless care to patients and clients during the 2012 holiday season.
September 4th, 2012
If you’ve just earned your healthcare degree or certification, now is an excellent time to apply for that first job. After all, there’s a steadily rising demand for nurses, therapists, phlebotomists, lab technicians and other professionals. You can also tap into the vast pool of online information - including All Medical Personnel’s extensive resources - for tips on preparing an application, writing a resume, and getting ready for the interview.
Here’s another strategy to consider to get that all-important first job: Become a volunteer. Many hospitals and health systems have formal volunteer programs that allow you to contribute your time, helping patients, clients or employees. This can be a great way to get your foot in the door, since you meet people within the organization and get a firsthand understanding of the organization’s culture. And when you apply for a paid position, you can put that experience on your resume and get an “insider” reference from your supervisor or manager.
However, many job applicants don’t realize that a similar approach can also be used at physician offices, outpatient centers, laboratories and other healthcare employers. Most of these organizations can benefit from volunteer assistance, even if they don’t realize it. So, think about how you might use this strategy before you go into the job interview. Then, you can “raise your hand” and offer to help during your conversation with the recruiter.
The nature of that assistance can vary from workplace to workplace. For instance, a medical office may need clerical help to convert paper charts to electronic medical records. A rehabilitation center might need help in researching what supplier to use for its next equipment order. And almost every healthcare organization can use a new or improved social media program.
So, ask the interviewer for an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and commitment by taking on a project or assignment as a volunteer. It’s a very effective way to separate yourself from the crowd.
June 18th, 2012
In the next few years, U.S. healthcare organizations will need to consider new strategies to combat the increasing shortage of physicians. Among the possibilities are “sharing” physicians with other providers, engaging locum tenens physicians on an as-needed basis, and bringing older physicians back from retirement.
Recently, U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) introduced the Physician Reentry Demonstration Program Act, which would allow primary care doctors to return to practice at hospitals and clinics in a pilot project under the direction of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
While the act itself is given virtually no chance at passage in an election year, Sarbanes’ bill takes a creative approach to addressing this national healthcare issue, and raises some important questions about physician credentialing and competencies. To assist state regulatory authorities in determining if a retired physician could return to practice, Sarbanes’ proposal would require HHS to develop programs to help physicians reenter the field and create evidence-based assessments regarding competency. Those latter two steps – developing reentry programs and competency assessments – could be implemented in the future, regardless of the outcome of Sarbanes’ bill.
After all, the growing demand for medical services from aging Baby Boomers, and the relatively smaller size of the Gen X demographic segment means there will be a continuing shortage of experienced physicians in their 40s and 50s. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians expects the shortage of primary care physicians alone will reach 40,000 in the next decade.
In the meantime, hospitals, physician groups and other providers will need to rely on flexible approaches, such as locum tenens staffing, in order to accommodate the increase in demand for medical services.
June 11th, 2012
Successful healthcare organizations know that one of the best ways to build a pipeline of strong candidates is to offer a referral program. That’s because current employees are excellent sources for recruiting new physicians, nurses, therapists and other healthcare professionals.
Since employees have a firsthand understanding of the mission, people and culture of the healthcare organization, they are likely to refer candidates who are a “good fit” for a vacant position. That can lead to longer tenure with the organization and decrease overall turnover, producing cost savings as well as improved performance.
When developing a referral program, it’s important to consider how best to reward employees. On the tangible side, it may make sense to offer a financial incentive such as a $100 or $200 bonus for referring a new hire. But cash isn’t the only type of incentive. You could offer an extra vacation day, a gift certificate from a local department store (perhaps purchased at a discount) or a “goodies” basket delivered to the employee’s work location.
In fact, the value of the reward may be less important than providing some type of recognition for the referring employee. For instance, you might thank the employee in a monthly newsletter or email message. That’s a nice way to honor the employee, while reminding other people about the organization’s reward program. In general, there’s no need to mention the name of the new hire - the focus should be on the current employee.
In today’s competitive job market, it makes good sense to offer an employee referral program. It’s a small investment that can make a big difference in future performance!
April 30th, 2012
When most people think of healthcare staffing, the first locations that come to mind are physician offices and community hospitals. Certainly, these types of healthcare organizations are regularly in need of qualified doctors, nurses, therapists, lab techs and other professionals. But that’s just the start of the career opportunities now available in the healthcare field.
Today, qualified professionals are needed at every point on the continuum of care, including pediatric clinics, adolescent counseling centers, senior living facilities and specialized treatment providers. For example, nursing homes and assisted living facilities like to hire healthcare professionals who enjoy working with their residents on an ongoing basis. Unlike a hospital or physician office where the patient population changes every day, an assisted living facility may house the same residents for months or years at a time. That’s an important consideration for nurses, therapists and other professionals who would like to build long-term relationships with facility residents.
Another option is going to work in the home care sector, which continues to be one of the fastest growing areas of the healthcare industry. Since home care is typically much less expensive than acute hospital care or 24/7 residential care, staffing demand is expected to increase substantially over the next decade. Greater independence and flexibility in scheduling are among the advantages of a position in home care. So if you’re looking at the next step in your healthcare career, be sure to consider the many types of professional opportunities before making a decision.
March 26th, 2012
Healthcare organizations continually wrestle with the issue of employee burnout. In hospital and clinical settings, many physicians, nurses, lab techs and other care providers work long hours in stressful situations that tax their physical, mental and emotional stamina. Although many professionals are able to cope with these challenges and provide quality patient care, others exhibit the classic signs of burnout: lethargy, absenteeism, health problems and a drop in the quality of work.
Therefore, it’s important for hospitals, physician groups, laboratory companies and other organizations to have strategies in place for reducing employee burnout. A good example is providing a variety of professional education, training and career development opportunities. These programs provide employees (and employers) with three key benefits: “taking a break” from day-to-day stressful activities, learning new career skills, and improving engagement. Professionals often feel recharged by these programs when they “re-enter the trenches.”
Job rotation is another approach to reducing employee burnout. For instance, a nurse or therapist can get a fresh perspective on the workplace by switching to a new department or working a different shift. Another strategy is to include professionals for organizational committees or task forces that tap their leadership skills or special talents.
In implementing these types of strategies, temporary staffing services can play a vital supporting role. Having quality “fill-in” professionals ready to step into the shoes of permanent employees, allows healthcare organizations to focus on implementing their training and development, job rotation or other career enrichment strategies. In that way, flexible staffing can help an organization preserve and protect its human capital – its most important asset.
March 12th, 2012
If you’re considering a career in healthcare, take a look at becoming a physician assistant (PA). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to grow much faster than average, and job opportunities for PAs should be particularly strong in rural and inner-city healthcare facilities.
There are two key reasons that physicians, hospitals and other healthcare institutions are expected to hire more PAs in the next decade. The first is growing overall demand for healthcare services with the continued aging of the 77 million Boomer generation. The second is productivity. By providing primary care services and assisting with medical and surgical procedures, PAs help physicians make better use of their time.
In general, PAs are valued members of an organization’s healthcare team, providing diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive services under the direction of a physician. PAs must complete an accredited education program and pass a national exam to obtain a license, and many professionals have college degrees and other healthcare experience.
While the exact duties vary from employer to employer, PAs typically take medical histories and examine patients. They may order laboratory and radiology tests and make diagnoses. Many PAs can treat minor injuries as well. They advise patients and may be able to prescribe some medications.
Recognizing their importance to the healthcare system, many states are allowing PAs to take on more responsibilities under their licensing programs. In medically underserved areas, such as rural communities and urban clinics, PAs may become the principal providers of healthcare services. They may consult with physicians via regular meetings or phone or video conferences as needed. As a well-established healthcare staffing provider, All Medical Personnel is continually seeking qualified PAs for potential assignments, and we invite you to explore these career opportunities.
December 27th, 2011
For many of us, the last week of the year provides a brief respite from the daily barrage of emails, phone calls and work-related projects. For others in the healthcare field, it’s business as usual. After all, diagnostic, treatment and patient care services are needed 24/7/365.
Whether you are working, on vacation or somewhere in between, All Medical Personnel would like to invite you to take a few minutes to reflect on the past year. Have you been able to move ahead toward your achieving your most important personal or professional goals? What challenges have you had to face and overcome? What have you learned from your experiences in 2011?
In an increasingly hectic world, it’s a challenge to find quiet time for yourself. But it’s important to carve our a few minutes a day to think about your goals and direction in life. Turn off the mobile phone, step away from the computer, let go of the steering wheel, and get back in touch with yourself. It’s like using a GPS device to establish your current location on your life-long journey.
As 2011 draws to a close, we invite you to take advantage of your downtime and reflect on the future. All of us at All Medical Personnel wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
December 5th, 2011
Both hospitalists and healthcare organizations are benefitting from the flexibility provided by locum tenens employment. Salaried hospitalists who often work a seven-day-on/seven-day-off schedule are working as locum tenens on some of that free time in order to generate extra income. At the same time, healthcare employers can bring in experienced physicians as needed to fill gaps in their regular staffing patterns.
As a national leader in healthcare staffing, All Medical Personnel connects locum tenens hospitalists and other physicians with available positions in their local and regional markets, or farther afield if desired. The benefits of temporary assignments as locum tenens include schedule flexibility, exposure to different hospital and physician practice settings, and ability to expand clinical skills through exposure to more varied patient populations.
A recent survey of hospitalists conducted for Today’s Hospitalist magazine and Locum Leaders, found that one in ten hospitalists has worked as locum tenens, usually in addition to full-time employment, in the past 12 months. More than 80 percent of respondents said they were employed full-time, 11 percent were self-employed and 7 percent were employed part-time and also working as locum tenens.
The survey noted that hospitalists are typically younger than other medical specialists, and more likely to carry large student debts, making the prospect of locum tenens employment particularly appealing to them. If you are interested in discussing locum tenens employment options, we invited you to contact All Medical Personnel.