Cavity Dental Staff Blog

Common Misconceptions about Locum Dental Nursing

5th Feb 2024
Misconceptions about Locum Dental Nursing

We hear time and time again the fiction that surrounds locum dental nursing. We have compiled some of the most common and have the reality at the ready for you..

 Dental locums are told on the day their work assignment

Definitely not! This will be so stressful for us as a company not to mention our wonderful team of nurses. Organisation is key! We send rotas out on Fridays to let our nurses know where they'll be each day the following week. Also, where the nearest place to park is and station for those that are travelling by bus or train. Of course, things can change as practices may cancel or the jobs may be juggled around to help cover more bookings, but our team will let you know the day before.

Locum nursing is exhausting - you’ll be in a new place every day

Not really, because of the standardisation that exists in dentistry. Every place, although it will be different, follows the same rules to ensure patient safety. For this reason, you could be in any place and still know how to manage your way through the day because you have the knowledge of what a dental nurse's role is. Every practice that you’ll work in will give you a small induction in the morning and this will be your chance to ask any questions that you may have. You will also have time in the morning to check where things are and acclimatise yourself to the place. As locum nurses love seeing new places every day and I guess that is what makes it exciting.

Locum nurses can’t take holidays because they aren’t paid for time off

Locum nurses are paid a higher salary than permanent positions because of the adaptability and flexibility that is required of that role. The increased pay allows staff to save money for holidays in advance. This help compensate for the lack of income during periods when locums don’t work.

Locum nurses have to travel really far to get work

You are in total control of how large your work radius is. When you join Cavity, you will be asked which postcode areas or how long you’d be willing to travel to get to work. This is updated on your profile and always considered when bookings are being placed. Based on that we would only assign jobs to you within the agreed terms. For example, some nurses don’t drive so their work radius will be much smaller than someone that has car. This can also be reviewed at any time and amended to suit your current circumstances.

Locum nurses do not have opportunity for professional development

One of the main benefits of locum work is the experience that locums get through their diverse work assignments. Nurses can continue to pursue their interests, gain qualifications, or specialise in different areas of dentistry. At Cavity, we receive requests to cover all types of practices; from hospitals to prisons, charity mobile units to community clinics, our nurses get opportunities to foster their skills and learn new skills through the diverse clients that we work with.

Being a locum  is unstable and unreliable 

Dental nurses are in short supply and very much needed everywhere. Therefore, locum companies are now busier than ever which means that our nurses are more likely to have regular work. We have a great diversity of nurses, which have worked with us for 5 or even 10 years!

Being a locum nurse is such a lonely job

Absolutely not, quite the opposite in fact, I would say it is a really social position. Beside getting to know and work with new people every day, at Cavity, you are in close contact with your Regional Manager who will liaise with you about any aspect of your job. Outside work, our nurses keep in touch with one other via our work app. Staff can put updates, ask any questions, share any info from holiday ideas, food pictures, work life updates and tips. Even our big boss Sharon is on the app so it is a very inclusive way of communicating where everyone can stay in touch.

Locum work is for those that can’t find a permanent position

Having been established for many years now, we have found that nurses like to locum for many reasons, it suits their needs at that time. Locumming offers flexibility with days and hours allowing you to work around childcare or other commitments. People like the diverse experience that it provides, a lot of nurses get fed up with practice politics and so enjoy going in to 'save the day' and then leave after a hard day's work. Locumming offers a competitive salary that is often more than practices offer. There are lots of reasons of course, it can be an entirely deliberate decision that suits their lifestyle and fulfils the vision that they see appropriate for their career development at that time.

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