Locuming now AND after COVID-19 – NOT Business as Usual 

author/source: Ivana Novosel




As new information (and misinformation) keep coming at us not daily, but hourly, I will keep myself brief and to the point while being absolutely cognizant that in a matter of days, some of the “current” knowledge, recommendations, information, might not only be outdated, but bluntly absurd.


Nonetheless, some of the knowledge we have thus far has been saving lives and will continue to do so.


What do we know about the virus/situation?


  1. The easiest way to spread the virus is still believed to be via contact with an infected person. However, the virus can live for days on plastic and metal and hours on cardboard and paper surfaces.
  2. AND Infected persons can be asymptomatic and still pass it on if proper hygiene is not being implemented.
  3. Doctors and nurses are getting infected worldwide and this is having a harmful effect on the already understaffed medical system.
  4. “The psychological devastation […] is going to be almost as big as the damage of the infection.” —Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D.


What is working? What can we do to set ourselves up for success – or at least not fail?


ISOLATION WORKS - All the urgency to help as animal health professionals, should be actually channelled to “inaction”, as the best contribution to our community right now is to stay at home and stay well until the moment we are really needed. 


"Unless you are needed in the emergency and critical care, exposing yourself to the potential of getting ill will have exponential effects."


LOCUM WORK AND EXTRA HANDS – As the effects of this progress, we will be seeing more and more of our own people get sick,  and possibly incur life-long damage to their lungs, and clinics having to do good work understaffed.  The idea, however, to “keep on working to keep making money” is absolutely dreadful and appalling and will have detrimental effects on the workers (locums and employees), the clinics, and ultimately the whole industry.


“Locuming, for now, in my opinion should be ONLY done to help the clinics who are doing emergency and critical care work AND adhering to proper hygienic protocols."


TRAIN AND BE READY WHEN YOU WILL BE NEEDED - During the time of isolation and perceived standstill most of us have time we have not had previously – training is the thing we can focus on. If you have tinkered with the idea of becoming a locum – now is a good time to figure out how, what, when and where. Visit IMThriving.vet and check out our past and upcoming webinars on this subject. Join the locuming community. Check out IMLocum.com and be in the know when positions start coming up. 


"For the next while, the need for extra help and locum professionals will likely only increase. If this is something you always wanted to explore, now is a good time to act. Learn how to start, how to set yourself up like a business entity, learn about rules and regulations, about how to protect your health, your finances and your long-term career."


UNDERSTAND AND PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS - Right now most of our reactions will be driven by our emotions and will not be useful as we are surrounded by anxiety. Be mindful of the fact that when we are wound up – we are essentially useless; useless to those that depend on us at work, useless to our children, partners and family, and at the end useless to ourselves. Having empathy for those around us comes naturally to us - now we have to have empathy toward ourselves, as putting the O2 mask on ourselves first has never been so important. If not already, become part of an online community that speaks to your needs. Check out IMThriving.vet for past and upcoming wellness webinars and community initiatives.


"Having empathy for those around us comes naturally to us - now we have to have empathy toward ourselves, as putting the O2 mask on ourselves first has never been so important." 


THIS WILL BE A LONG ROAD TO TRAVERSE - And aside from the obvious health effects this situation right now potentially has on us, the real impact will be seen economically as we try to navigate through this over the course of next months and even next few years. How will this impact the way we work now, in 3 months and next year? 


"We need to prepare ourselves for a marathon, not a 10k race, and if it turns out that we overreacted - great! The worse scenario would be that it turns out that we under-prepared despite all the indicators." 




March 24, 2020. Julie K. 

Thanks for this article on locuming and Covid-19.  These are tough times indeed and it is clear we all have a civic duty and personal and social responsibility to follow public health measures in the face of a rapidly changing and worsening situation.  it is scary to not know or understand or have any control over what is happening, in both our health and our finances.  I appreciate that your article is a calm voice of reason in these times, for this profession specifically.  It is good to hear a calm reminder - take a deep breath, we're in this together and we will all simply do what we all have to do.  We will get through this time and we will reconnect then, and in the meantime, we are well set up to stay connected virtually.  
Certainly, the very last thing any RVT wants to be responsible for is becoming a vector for Covid-19 as we travel clinic to clinic......we could have a broader impact than those RVT's only working with one set of colleagues in one clinic could have.  Thank you, again, for your calm words to our industry.  



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