1st April 2008 turned out not to be “April Fools Day” for me. Instead it was the start of the ‘trip around Australia’ adventure I had wanted to set out on for 13 years! I qualified as a radiographer in South Africa and immigrated to Australia in 1995 having been lured here by my husband who is from Darwin. From the moment I arrived I was continually planning our ‘around Australia’ trip! They say patience is a virtue! I only had to wait 13 years to set off – not all bad as I used my waiting period to become a sonographer.
Prior to the start of our big trip last year I had been working for the same company for 10 years. During the early years, to get rid of the ‘itchy feet’ syndrome (not athletes foot!), I decided to do the occasional locum. My initial contact with Joanna and Tricia was prior to them starting up Global Health Source – they were both helpful and informative. When GHS set up, I registered with them – and over the past 10 years I have done a number of sonography locums through them.
The past year of locuming has been fantastic – being just shy of 40 and unemployed has not been scary at all! Both my husband and I were amazed at how easy it all seemed – I would ring GHS and say which direction we were headed and how long I wanted to work for. Everything else was taken care of. Not having to negotiate hourly rates, accommodation or reimbursement deals. There is always a phone call after your first day at a new locum to check that everything is going OK. On one occasion there was a problem with getting my fuel costs reimbursed from one of the employers – GHS took care of it, making sure it was paid back fully.
We also went over to New Zealand – my airfare was paid for and our accommodation was covered. I worked there for 4 weeks and then we spent time up in the south island skiing and exploring all I had to do was sign the contract which GHS had negotiated.
It has been great working in a variety of departments and I have met some fantastic people along the way. Some places have been more challenging than others, but on the whole, it’s been a fantastic experience – it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that every job you start is temporary. I no longer feel like the ‘burnt out’ sonographer I was a year ago.
I do dread the thought of going back to the 9-5 lifestyle when we head back home in July. However, I know that those enticing phone calls regarding locums in great locations will still continue to come from Joanna, Tricia and the GHS crew.
If you haven’t done locums before – do yourself a favour and register with GHS. I know there are quite a few locum agencies around, but all I can say is, you won’t be sorry if you sign up with GHS – what you will get is a company that cares about their locums – not only are they are out there looking for work for you but they are also looking after you and your interests.