Relief work - Getting to Day 1

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You’ve done it! You’ve successfully marketed yourself as a locum professional and landed a relief gig. What can you do in advance to make it a successful shift?

  • Create a cache of resources for yourself (drug calculators, reference articles, client handouts) on a Google Drive or jump drive to use at each clinic to make it easily accessible for your use

  • Look up how long it takes to get to the clinic and set up a time to meet with the manager ~ 15-30 min prior to your shift start to set up a login for the computers, get yourself set up at your workspace and introduce yourself

  • Bring your tools (stethoscope, bandage scissors, hemostats, penlight, etc.), a clean change of scrubs or lab coat and name tag (or have non-clinic branded scrubs dedicated for your relief work) so your fellow co-workers and clients can get to know you

  • Print off a copy of an up-to-date W-9 form and fill it out for each clinic so they can document your earned income

  • This should include your employer identification number if you started your own business for relief work (see previous articles)

    • This will have to be updated annually for each clinic you serve
    • If you did not set up a business, you can just use your social security number instead and file as an individual
  • Create and share a general set of guidelines for how you expect to be utilized for the work - often this involves a legally binding contract that also outlines your payment structure

  • For doctors:

    • What type of appointments do you feel comfortable seeing?
    • How long do you need per appointment?
    • Will you perform surgeries, see emergencies or perform health certificate inspections?
    • Do you have the appropriate licensure and USDA accreditation for this?
  • For licensed technicians (LVTs):

    • What type of procedures do you feel comfortable assisting with?
    • Do you have limitations on what types of patients you work with (ie: no exotic patients, etc.)?
    • Will you assist with surgical procedures or not?
  • Prepare a portfolio of your necessary documents to take to each shift - you should have an original copy of your active veterinary/technician license for that state, a copy of your DEA licensure (if applicable), NAN accreditation number (if applicable) - see our checklist for a quick reference!

  • Don’t forget about lunch!

    • If purchasing lunch, coffee, etc. for the day, keep a copy of your receipt for business deduction
    • A water bottle and snacks are always a good idea too
  • Keep track of mileage from your home to/from the clinic for another deduction

  • During the shift, record your time worked and ensure you got a full lunch break per your contract. If overtime was accrued, note that as a separate line item in your invoice to the clinic and make sure to appropriately bill for it

  • After the shift, create an invoice for the shift including date worked, daily/hourly rate, +/- overtime and send to the management and billing contact at the clinic (Sound Vet Med does this for you - check it out!)

  • Collect your $$ and feel proud of a job well done!