Flexible bank and locum careers in eyecare

If you are still at school or college you may want to know more about which careers offer flexible ways to work. There are plenty of ways to work flexibly when you work in eyecare, and in this article we look at being a locum.

A locum is a stand-in for a regular member of staff. You can find locum doctors, optometrists and opticians. Nurses, support workers and health care assistants can also work flexibly.

You might hear about working as ‘bank’ staff. The NHS relies on pools of workers to cover staff illness, staff shortages, holidays and times when there are more patients. You still work for an NHS trust, but will have a range of shifts and cover different departments.

Working as a locum is for you if you are flexible and reliable. You will need to take the initiative in some situations to make sure you have enough work. This could involve promoting yourself directly to potetial employers, registering with an agency or signing up for a bank.

You will also need to be a fast learner who is happy to adapt their routine to fit each new setting. You’ll be good with people as you will have new staff colleagues and patients to meet possibly every session.

You may also need to be financially savvy. Pay rates can be higher for locum staff and unsociable hours, but you may work less some weeks than others and still need to cover your bills. You will also need to save to cover holiday and sick days.

On the plus side, you can control your schedule and get a wider range of experiences in different workplaces. You will need to plan your own career progression too. Working as a locum or bank staff can help you make contacts and can lead to more permanent roles if you find a setting you like.

You can read more about other flexible ways to work here, or explore some career guides here to learn more about the options open to you.