You may remember that a while ago we sat down with Kelly-Marie and had a quick chat about her experience transitioning from a permanent member of staff to becoming a locum. Well, you guys seemed to enjoy that one so much, we thought we’d do another!
This week we’d like you to meet Sonia, some of you may already be familiar with her as our locum of the month from July. We don’t pick favourites here at QLS, but quite frankly if we did Sonia would definitely be worth placing a bet on. Without further ado then, let’s crack on.
By way of a quick introduction, Sonia is not only capable of assisting our clients with clinical pharmacist based roles, she also happens to be a specialist locum pharmacist in Oncology and Aseptics. Now, from a client perspective, how good do we look! We already know from previous conversations that Sonia finds the oncology work rewarding, rightfully taking comfort in the knowledge that she is helping to treat a person in need.
As with Kelly, what we really want to know is why Sonia felt the urge to transition from a permanent member of staff to a locum. After all, everyone has different reasons for making the decision.
“I have now been a locum for 3 years. I wanted to become a locum as it gives you flexibility and choice, and not to mention I don’t have to do wretched on calls anymore! I love being able to move from different hospitals and gain more experience and ways of working from each place I have been to. “
In fact, one thing we do hear quite often is how some locums really appreciate the experience they pick up from different hospitals. As Sonia mentioned, the opportunity to work with different systems and rub shoulders with so many similarly experienced professionals and incorporate all that knowledge it into what she already knows leads to some great life experience. Not to mention, Sonia has the added advantage of great pay rates, more flexibility with holidays and the chance to meet so many people and work in different environments at the drop of a hat, Sonia is an employers dream!
One issue that we did want to discus with Sonia, was that of her previous experiences with other agencies. As much as it breaks our hearts we’re aware she may have loved other agencies before she found us.
“When I first started out I was signed with other agencies and got jobs through them. I have been lucky that most of my locum assignments have been long term so I haven’t had to switch to lots of agencies, must be my hard working persona they like! I was recommended QLS by a good friend and since then life has been great working with them! It’s coming up to a year now almost…gosh that has gone fast!”
Sadly, we are well aware that many of our locums have worked with other agencies, and often have bad experiences. It’s usually our job to comfort them and nurture their trust. It’s one of the reasons we try so hard not to be seen as ‘colleagues,’ but as friends.
“A good friend recommended QLS to me, and to this day I am so glad! I love that they are so friendly and easy going. What attracted me to them is that they make you feel like an individual and not just another locum on the books. Chantelle and Tom have been fantastic and get down on a personal as well as professional level. I love that sometimes they ring for a chat to see how you are getting on, visit you and bring goodies (always a winner with me!).”
We’re so glad that so many of our locums see us this way. It’s one of the chief reasons that we really do love our jobs here at QLS (honest!). We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, our locums really are our favourite people to work with. Plus, on a night out with them, you don’t often get to have that much fun at work! Work hard, play hard; that is how we do it!
“From a professional perspective, they ensure that the role is totally suitable for you and they are never pushy about jobs.”
At the end of the day, we are here to represent incredibly talented people in the medical world. As a locum, you choose who you want to represent your best interests. You want someone who understands what sort of roles you are looking for, where your experience fits in best and can offer you a role in an NHS or private setting based on your preference. You don’t necessarily want someone representing you who will fire your CV out anywhere, book you in and then let you know about it afterwards or pressure you into a role you didn’t even know about until a client has already ‘booked you’. Don’t fancy travelling too far? Want to try something new? Not a problem, we’ll do everything we can to find a role for you.
We pride ourselves on how happy our locums are. After all, if you guys are happy, we must be doing something right! It makes our week when you tell us that we’re doing our job well. If we were locuming, we would want to work with someone who offers us options, and lets us be the judge of what suits our needs best.
“I love that QLS are more like my friends rather than a stiff agency. I like that they are able to balance professionalism with socialism. Professionally, they conduct everything how I would expect an agency to– even the emails to say I haven’t sent my timesheet in!
They are really approachable to any of my needs and as mentioned the support they have provided me is phenomenal. I like how they have something unique to offer – for instance they threw a Christmas social event, which was so much fun and also good for networking with other locums.
I would definitely advise any aspiring locums to talk to QLS – they are truly amazing, and I am grateful that I am part of such an amazing agency! If you have any hesitations in locuming, they will discuss them with you and make you feel at ease.”
As with Kelly-Marie, we feel the need to state that we in no way bribed Sonia to say all these lovely things about us. We hope you enjoyed reading about Sonia’s experience, and if you have any questions or queries, please feel free to get in touch!