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Endless Opportunity: 4 Reasons to Grow Your Mental Health Career As a Locum Tenens Clinician

By: Kevin Thill, Executive Vice President | Updated on October 03, 2022

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There is a growing need for behavioral health services. That presents an opportunity for clinicians to grow a career while making an impact on the world around them.

With more people seeking treatment for mental health conditions, and access to care not increasing at the same pace, patients are having trouble getting the care they need.

We’ve seen a significant increase in the utilization and need for advanced practice professionals (APPs) in locums work; and behavioral health is no exception. Many clinicians are working at or beyond capacity. According to the American Psychological Association, 41 percent of behavioral health clinicians report being unable to meet the demand for treatment. Nearly half of clinicians said they felt burned out, according to a recent survey.

During Mental Health Awareness Week (October 2-8, 2022), we are looking at the impact psychiatric services can play on the healthcare system and the opportunity from a locum tenens perspective. Here are 4 Reasons to Think Locum Tenens When You Think Behavioral Health.

Nothing But Growth Ahead

As we mentioned, the need for mental health services is growing. Psychiatric care is a particular area of concern for many hospitals. Numerous studies have shown the need for access to psychiatric care and the gap in access to necessary services. That is clearly visible in certain areas of the country where the rate of psychiatrists per capita is a fraction of that of more populated areas.

This shortage presents an opportunity for behavioral health clinicians. The time has never been better to begin a locum tenens career.

Flexible Schedule & Strong Pay

With a growing need for behavioral health services in the U.S., many roles are in demand – including Psychiatrists, Psychiatric APPs and Psychologists. (Yes psychology locum tenens is an option!) By marrying need and opportunity, clinicians of all experience levels can find an assignment that provides a valuable service to the community and is financially beneficial.

Flexibility has emerged as a key benefit for clinicians working locum tenens. Clinicians have the ability to travel and control their schedule. That level of freedom, while still practicing in your chosen profession, is leading more clinicians to look to locum tenens for the next career step.

Telehealth is Here to Stay

Technology has changed the healthcare industry and provided new opportunities for clinicians to deliver care. Telehealth, more than any other technology, can redefine comprehensive care and the speed with which we deliver that care.

Telehealth provides a great experience for clinicians. By removing geographical barriers, care givers can work remotely and still deliver excellent patient care. It’s become a popular option for clinicians and patients alike. In fact, some patients have said they prefer the virtual appointment for psychology services. It’s a great option for clinicians who want flexibility in location.

Making a Difference

Last, but not least, locum tenens clinicians have an opportunity to make a difference in the community and world around them. There is something to be said about doing meaningful work. By bringing mental health services to more places, locum tenens clinicians are filling a vital need in our country. It’s something clinicians can feel good about as they are positively impacting patients and entire communities.

Mental health services are an important part of the care continuum, but many communities are experiencing major gaps in access to care. By providing mental health care in a locum tenens setting, clinicians are delivering more access to more places while growing a career on their schedule.

If you’re interested in learning more about working locum tenens, we’d love to talk with you or you can look at some available opportunities for psychiatrists and psychologists on our website.

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About the author

Kevin Thill

Kevin's career with LocumTenens.com began in 1998 when he was hired as a researcher for the psychiatry division. Since that time, Kevin has transitioned through responsibilities in the Psychiatry division as a sales account executive, managing director, partner, vice president and ultimately senior vice president. Throughout his career here, Kevin’s impact has been extensive including launching the Neurology division and assuming responsibilities for other areas such as the Account Representative team as well as leading AdvancedPractice.com. Kevin was also an integral part of initiating the Virtual Medical Staff business and is heavily involved with the operations of the company’s proprietary database. Kevin earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa.