Working as a medical professional is rewarding but can also take its toll on one physically, working from home is not an option, and face-to-face contact with patients is a norm from my experience. The risk of contracting an infection is relatively high and ironically this group of professionals are probably the least likely to allow themselves time to rest and recover from an illness by taking a sick day. Calling in sick is not merely a small inconvenience and a missed meeting or two, it requires arranging cover for your missed shift or cancelling and rescheduling patients.
A Locum medical professional has the added burden of losing income for the shift missed and the impact on reputation to consider which mostly leads to the decision of committing to the Locum booking despite poor health and showing up with a smile on your face and the care for your patients.
Having worked as a permanently employed medical professional and a Locum, I have had to make these decisions many times. One on hand considering the negative impact taking a sick day has on a practice, patients and my income and considering the negative impact of being sick and in close contact with patients and co-workers. The question that always to come to mind is – how sick is too sick to work?
The answer may vary greatly from person to person, depending on one’s work ethic, age, general health and financial situation. The important thing to note is that once a Locum has made the decision to take a sick day off, communication is vital. Cancelling a Locum shift due to illness or some other unforeseen circumstance is always going to be an unfortunate and unwanted occurrence but with most things in life, communication will be the ultimate driver on how the situation is dealt with.
Communicate the cancellation of your Locum shift as soon as possible. This should be done directly, preferably by a phone call, to the practice or hospital’s contact person .Contact the LocumBase team directly by phone call or WhatsApp and cancel your booking on your LocumBase dashboard so that an urgent request for a Locum can take place timeously. While some things are out of your control, how you handle a situation is what will set you set you apart as a Locum.
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