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Fast-Track On-Boarding For Locums

Fast-Track On-Boarding For Locums

From time to time, a Practice may need to fill a schedule ‘hole’ with a Locum vet surgeon or nurse. Finding the time to on-board them effectively can be tricky, as the day-to-day operation of the Practice needs to continue and those days are generally busy! However, getting the formula right is well worth the effort, and once you have the process in place, it can be used again and again.

Using a Locum is an expensive option, so as a Practice, you want to ensure they can hit the ground running, quickly beginning to work and operate as effectively as possible. For Locums, arriving at a new Practice is disorientating. For some, they may be in a new town as well as a new Practice. Even those professionals who have been ‘locuming’ for a while will need an introduction to their new workplace and their new teammates. However, due to the short-term nature of their assignment, following the same on-boarding process as you would with a permanent employee is unlikely to be helpful, especially as the process is probably on-going over a matter of a weeks or more. Many Locums will only be around for the short term, so designing a fast-track, need-to-know on-boarding process specifically for them is good practice.


There are always forms to fill out with regards to insurances, payment, contracts, and so on, that all need completing before your Locum can start working with you. This can be time-consuming and often doesn’t need to be filled out at the Practice. Get the paperwork to them, have them complete and return it even before they arrive for their first shift. It’s one part of the admin out of the way.


Once the booking is confirmed, phone them to welcome them and let them know you will be emailing out a welcome pack. A welcome pack with some orientation details can be really helpful for a Locum. Include such details as a schedule of work, a staff map so they can see who does what within the Practice, a flow map for the process of care particularly for outsourced procedures such as longer surgeries or MRIs. It’s also a nice touch to include details of break schedules and facilities, and what staff typically do for meals on shift – do they bring their own sandwiches? Is there a rest area? Are there facilities such as microwave, toaster, kettle, etc.? These sorts of personal details will mean a lot to a new Locum trying to quickly get their feet under the table so they can best do their work!

Show & Tell

On arrival, a quick tour of the facilities is essential. Show them where everything is including break rooms, toilets, consultation rooms, principle equipment, etc. It can be helpful to have signs on the exterior of the doors – removing the uncertainty factor when a door is closed and to prevent unwanted interruptions.

Computer Systems

IT systems can vary widely even though they’re largely based on a similar premise. A guide to using the computer system and their details for logging in will help ensure notes are kept up to date ensuring continuity of care for the patient once the Locum has moved on. It will also help to avoid patient billing issues (and potential conflict!) A guide to the equipment can be helpful too, as even recognisable equipment may differ in operation depending on how old or new it is, or which manufacturer it is made by.

Point of Contact

Give the Locum a ‘go-to’ contact for any questions they may have during their tenure. It must be someone who is both approachable and knowledgeable as to how all the systems and processes work. Set up a meeting between them on the first day of the assignment. It may be practical to have them complete the rest of the on-boarding process to give them the opportunity to get used to each other as ‘buddies’!

It’s a nice idea to arrange for the Locum to arrive earlier than they would normally to begin work – this will allow time to go through the on-boarding and orientation process without also having to deal with the general hustle and bustle of the Practice. Remember, anything you can do to make the Locum feel welcome and confident in their new surroundings will only increase their ability to provide the highest standards of care for your patients.


Pet Medic Recruitment is a leading recruiter for the veterinary industry and supplies staff nationwide, including part time, full time, Locum and permanent roles. For more information on any of our services, or if you’re looking for a new opportunity, please get in touch with us at