The Complete Guide to Negotiating Locum Rates

1. Start high
2. Look for an agreeable outcome
3. Be aware of supply in the area
4. Rates are not permanent
5. Negotiate other aspects of your rates

Locum Jobs

An advantage of taking up locum jobs to boost your income is that you have some flexibility to work. You choose the schedule that you are available to fit into. Also, it can improve your CV for future job applications at other institutions by showing that you have a diverse set of employers.

For new nurses, doing locum allows you extra time and exposure to choose how you want to plan out your nursing career. Like selecting a specialization. You can read more on the advantages of doing locum to increase your income here.

People seem to be paralyzed into inaction when it comes to setting rates, simply accepting whatever the clinic offers to pay you. While this article focuses on nurses doing locum jobs at private practices, we hope that these points will still be able to help doctors, pharmacists, dentists, and other healthcare practitioners as well.

1. Start high

Start by negotiating high

source: @dan_carl5on

Start out by always proposing a rate higher than you would. It doesn’t have to be a lot.

Say your desired rate is RM20 an hour. Just mention RM25 as your starting rate. You can slowly reduce it to the price that you sought out initially when discussing with the clinic or institution.

You don’t want to be working with people who feel like they have to squeeze the most out of their budget to accommodate you. Such scenarios do not lead to healthy long-term relationships. It’s better to make them feel like they’ve got a good deal.

2. Look for an agreeable outcome

Agreeable outcome

source: pixabay

Remember, the owner of the clinic wants to fill some gaps in his workforce, and you want to get paid. Think of it as a bridge. Both of you are on either side. The best outcome is if you both meet in the middle.

Don’t rip people off. Good negotiation is about both parties walking away feeling like they both got a good deal. If you think that milking out money from people to the point where they are reluctantly agreeing to your prices, think again. That relationship isn’t going to last very long.

The best employer (whether they employ you full-time or otherwise) is one that continuously offers you work. They can’t do that if they don’t like you.

3. Be aware of supply in the area

Oversupply

source: pixabay

A lot of nurses doing locum jobs in the area? That might affect your locum fees. Try to look for clinics or institutions that have an under-supply of part-time nurses. The main reason why your locum employer is paying you below average is probably because a replacement for you is so easy to find.

Price is a reflection of the demand for the locum jobs and the supply of those capable of doing it in the area. This is commonly known as the law of supply and demand in economics. It applies here as well.

4. Rates are not permanent

Not set in stone

source: here

Rates are not set in stone. Even if you’ve negotiated quite a while ago, you can still make some changes if you approach the employer tactfully.

Explain that you’ve been here for a while, and that you haven’t let him/her down. So you’d like an increase in your rates.

The worst thing that can happen is they say no. Don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. At least you tried.

5. Negotiate other aspects of your rates

emergency

source: pixabay

While there is a fixed rate for your schedule, try to consider other aspects as well. Things like emergency calls, or last-minute requests to come in for locum.

Make it clear to the employer that these are out-of-the-norm occurrences, and that you would like to be compensated accordingly.

6. Losing locum jobs is not necessarily a bad thing

why

source: blupics

When increasing your rates, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Doubling your rates but losing half of locum opportunities is great. You get the same amount at the end, but work half as much, which frees up your time.

Plus, sometimes someone who charges RM40 per hour looks more professional and qualified than someone who charges RM20 per hour.

Conclusion

Don’t just look at financial rates; benefits are important as well. Is the job good for your reputation? Are they likely to recommend you to others?

Is the work consistent and secure? Do you trust the employer?

Remember these 6 steps when negotiating your fees. If you don’t value your time, no one else will.

Browse through MIMS Career for an easy way to find locum or part-time jobs in your area. MIMS Career is a premier, healthcare-focused job portal site for Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. Our simple sign-up process allows you to easily apply for jobs you might be interested in with a single click. Job locations include hospitals, nursing homes, and private practices. It’s free, easy to use, and safe.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Set up a job alert and we’ll notify you by email whenever positions that suit your preferences are available. All of our pages are mobile-responsive, so you can take your applications with you on the go.

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 Gynaecology is the medical practice of dealing with the health of the female reproductive system and the breasts. Literally the term gynaecology means “the study of women.” The opposite of gynaecology is andrology, which deals in male-specific medical issues. 

  Almost all modern gynaecologists are obstetricians : physicians who deal in the branch of medicine and surgery of childbirth and labor. These two fields overlap in many areas, therefore in many institutions Obstetrics and Gynaecology are lumped together as O&G. 

 Gynaecology is concerned with the health of the female reproductive organs and the ability to reproduce. It also encompasses paediatric and adolescent problems to post-menopausal ages. 

 History 

 From ancient Egypt circa 1800 BC, the Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus is the oldest known medical text of any kind. It writes about women’s complaints; gynaecological diseases, fertility, pregnancy, contraception, etc. In the 4th century BC Hippocrates wrote texts about gynaecological diseases that were common afflictions to Greek women at the time. 

 J Marion Sims is widely considered to be the father of gynaecology. He operated during the 19th century at Jefferson Medical College, New York. However the title is now being scrutinized due to his unethical development of his surgical techniques. He operated a lot on slaves, many of whom were not given anaesthesia. 

 Training 

 Post-basic courses on midwifery, gynaecology, and obstetrics are considered to be part of gynaecological training. If desired, a nurse can opt to pursue a Masters in order to carry out research work in the field, and proceed to doctorate studies. 

 Training is given out to encourage the study and advancement of the practice of gynaecology. It is also done by the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision. 

 Gynaecology is a vast field. Nurses who work in this area have sub-specialties in high-risk obstetrics, fertility care, or minimal access surgery. The job most deals with healthy women, where unexpected challenges can present themselves on a daily basis. Work includes a large number of hands-on procedures, and training reflects that. 

 Common Cases 

 Patients range from those who have chronic disorders which are not life threatening, to those who require immediate acute emergency treatment. 

 Nurses in this field are often required to provide assistance during operative procedures. Some of the common procedures a gynaecological nurse with oversee include: 

 
	 dilation and curettage 
	 Oophorectomy 
	 Exploratory laparotomy 
	 Treatments for urinary incontinence 
	 Cervical excision procedures 
	 treatment of polyps 
	 surgery for cancers 
 

 A major part of a gynaecology nurse is the delivery of infants. Their work includes: 

 
	 assist delivery using instruments (forceps or vacuum) 
	 C-sections 
	 Foetal health 
 

 Career Opportunities 

 
	 Independent Nurse Consultant 
	 Educator 
	 Training programme director for gynaecology nursing 
	 
	 Research in public and private sectors 
	 
	 - 
 
   

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Career Highlight: Gynaecology Nursing

Gynaecology is the medical practice of dealing with the health of the female reproductive system and the breasts. Literally the term gynaecology means “the study of women.” The opposite of gynaecology is andrology, which deals in...

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 1. Midwifery 

  What : Interested in obstetrics and gynaecology? Taking up a midwifery course can land you jobs in O&G offices, clinics, or hospitals. In O&G settings, emergencies can arise at any time, so expect some pretty hectic days. You can even open up your private practice as well. 

  How : A lot of teaching institutions offer midwifery courses in Malaysia. You can check out MAHSA, IMC, UKM, and others. Course duration takes about 1-2 years. 

  Why : Nurses with Midwifery skills can earn up to 33% more than normal registered nurses. Search high-paying Midwifery jobs now. 



 2. Administrative Skills 

  What : This is a part of nursing that not many will look at. With good administrative skills, you can take on behind-the-scenes roles and oversee the “business” aspect of nursing. You can review budgets, HR functions, management, and more. 

  How : Take up administrative tasks, or courses. A lot of universities and colleges offer full- and part-time programs that you can fit in your schedule. Otherwise, online courses work as well. You can find more here. 

  Why : Nurse Administrators earn about 30% more than unspecialized nurses. 



 3. Telemetry and Informatics 

  What : As global advances in electronics become more and more sophisticated, technology companies have been producing better instruments to help healthcare workers better understand their patients. Reading these instruments require skill, training, and critical thinking in order to use the data to make decisions on treatments. 

  How : You’d need a Masters in nursing, or computer science and its equivalents. This is an emerging field, so don’t expect it to be so widespread, but you will be in high demand and paid more. 

  Why : The salary ranges from USD58,088 to USD105,034. 



 4. A different language 

  What : The advantages are numerous. You can expose yourself to new settings. New people. Take more opportunities you wouldn’t have done without that third or fourth language. Right now Mandarin is very highly prized in this side of the world. 

 What about Arabic? There’s a huge market for nurses there. Knowing Arabic would create better patient-nurse relationship that’s beneficial to treatment. 

  How : Take up language classes! Learning centers are abundant. Online classes are available here as well. 

  Why : It opens a world of job opportunities, gives your brain a boost, and develop priceless intercultural relationships. 



 5. Use MIMS Career! 

  What : MIMS Career is an effective, one-stop application platform for nurses in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines. Signup today and enjoy our unique 1-click application process to countless high-paying nursing jobs. 

  How : Signup. Fill in your details and resume. Apply.  

  Why : Find high-paying nursing jobs in the comfort of your home, or wherever you are. Get connected with top healthcare employers in the country, for free, in a safe, secure manner.

5 Things Nurses Need to Know to Be Paid More

1. Midwifery What : Interested in obstetrics and gynaecology? Taking up a midwifery course can land you jobs in O&G offices, clinics, or hospitals. In O&G settings, emergencies can arise at any time, so expect some pretty...

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 A close relative of mine is a young nurse. Two years ago she started taking care of this nice lady who was partially paralysed; her breathing muscles would no longer function autonomously, hence a tracheostomy was done so she could breathe. The condition left her bed-ridden on bad days, and wheel-chair bound on good ones.   

 She cared for the lady to the best of her abilities, for about 18 months. One day the lady started feeling cold. She was sweating and shivering at the same time. She went unconscious, and had five cardiac arrests within 36 hours.  

 After unsuccessfully trying to stabilize her blood pressure, she died of heart failure.   The young nurse was devastated. It wasn’t her own mother, but it might as well seemed like it. It was her first patient death while working as a nurse. It affected her so much she found it difficult to work for the next week.   

 This experience is shared by many nurses in the country.   How nurses bond with their patients depends on circumstances and the length of time they provided care to them. A strong bond between patient and nurse is essential to effective nursing, but when death happens, it can deal a very significant blow.   

 The first death of your patient can massively impact you as a nurse. So will subsequent ones.    

 It is extremely important that this doesn’t mentally compromise your ability to do your work. 

 How can you, as a nurse, deal with it? 



 1. It’s okay to feel emotions. Embrace it fully. 

 You are human. You are in a compassionate profession: the very basis of nursing started on the principle to relieve pain, assuage suffering, and provide help to those of ailing health.  

 It is okay to feel overwhelmed at first, especially when you have cared for the patient for so long. 

 Empathy is good for your job, it makes you a better nurse, but it makes loss more painful.  

 Allow yourself some time to feel, and understand your emotions. 

 Your line of work is to care for people, the noblest of all human traits. Your grief on the death of your patient means that you have done your job. 

 2. Try to accept the death happened. 

 Some wards have it harder than others for this. 

 A geriatric ward would have the oldest, most needy patients. Conducting CPR on these patients can be cruel, especially if you or your team are not willing to “let go” of the patient. 

 However, death in these parts of the hospital would be a routine part of the day. It is wise to accept it, so you can continue giving out the best care to the other still-living patients without letting it affect the quality of your work. 

 Accept their deaths, and the fact that you have done all you could to alleviate their suffering. Know that you have done your best to keep them comfortable and retain their dignity. 

 3. Remain in control and neutral if breaking the news to the family. Don’t add to the problem. 

 It is okay to share your emotions with the patient’s loved ones. 

 Respect the family; if they do not wish you to partake in their grief, then kindly leave them alone. They have also gone through much, just like you. 

 Some relatives will blame the doctor/nurse for causing the death. Don’t take this to heart. The Kubler-Ross model of grief lays out five stages, and anger is one of them.  
Find your own ways to vent, either through support groups, family, or colleagues. 

 4.  Talk about it. Don’t bottle it in. 

 One of the best things about being in the nursing workforce is that you’re surrounded by people who have gone through similar experiences too. 

 Death is prevalent amongst healthcare professions, and sometimes just talking to a senior can help a lot. 

 Find someone you’re comfortable with. It can be a senior nurse, a matron, or even your other colleagues in the ward. 

 Ask them how they managed to overcome such periods of distress. Pour out whatever you’re feeling to them; it is very likely that they have felt everything you are feeling right now. 

 Talking about it helps you make sense of what you’re feeling. By articulating it into words, you can pinpoint exactly what’s bothering you, and help you to come to terms. 



 5. Realize that these things happen. 

 Things happen. Death is part and parcel of the life in a hospital. Some areas will be more prone to dealing with death than others, like the ER, surgical ward, the ICU.   
You might find yourself poring over the moments that led up to the death in your mind, going over what you could have done better, what you could have done differently. 

 This leads to a general feeling of guilt. This can be very destructive to your well-being, and can affect the performance of your work to other patient who also need your care. This is not a good coping mechanism if it jeopardizes the health of your other patients. 

 6. Believe that you are making a difference. 

 The death of a patient does not equal to failure. 

 How you deal with the patient’s relatives is an extension of how you treated their late relative. 

 For all the grief that you may be feeling right now, the patient’s family has it harder. 

 Showing that you cared provides a monumental difference, and leads the family to a safer path of acceptance. 



 Conclusion 

 The trait that sets humans apart from other species is our ability to empathize for our fellow brethren. 

 Other fauna have demonstrated this to a certain degree, but only humans have been able to take it to their very core, make it into their reason to live, and deliver it back to their community. 

 Nursing is more than just facts or skills or the amount of certifications that you can obtain to move your career. It is founded on empathy; the ability to understand others’ suffering and pain. 

 During times when you feel overwhelmed or devastated by the loss of your patient, stand firm and be proud of who you are, because nurses do things that not many will have the capacity to accomplish. 

 You will find your way to deal with it as you become more experienced, and become better at learning what is the best way to help families cope with grief over time. 

 Steel your heart, adjust that uniform, and carry on providing the best that you can give to your other patients.

How to Cope with Death and Loss, as A Nurse

A close relative of mine is a young nurse. Two years ago she started taking care of this nice lady who was partially paralysed; her breathing muscles would no longer function autonomously, hence a tracheostomy was done so she could breathe....

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 For those nurses serving with  Kementrian Kesihatan Malaysia  (KKM), the start of your work life will present you with one of the toughest choices you’ll make: 

 
 EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund, also known as KWSP), or choose the pension fund? 
 

 Both are viable options in securing your financial health after you retire. Although retirement might seem like ages away, a good amount of planning and successful investments can mean the difference between being able to live comfortably in your golden years, or struggle with daily or medical expenses. 

 So which to choose? We’ll break down the points below. 

 Pension fund 

  What is it?  
It’s a monthly stipend of a set amount, provided by the Public Services Department upon your retirement. In addition to that, you also receive a  gratuity  payment, and medical/health benefits. 

  Calculation  
Here we will be assuming that you start work at 20 years old, with a starting salary of RM2,000, and continue working until you retire at 55 with a salary of RM5,600 (3% annual pay increase). 

 Your monthly pension will be your last drawn salary, divided by two. For example, if your base salary is RM5,000 when you retire, your monthly stipend will be RM2,800/mo. 

 In addition to that, you will receive gratuity payment, which is calculated as such: 

 
 gratuity = 7.5% x 35yrs x 12 months x RM5,600 (final drawn salary) 
= RM 176,400. 
 

 RM176,400 will be given as a lump sum, while RM2,800 will be given per month. Again, this is all assuming you retire at 55, with a final salary of RM5,600. 

  Benefits  

 
	 No subtraction from base pay. 
 

 Unlike EPF, as we will see later, there is no subtraction from your base salary. 

 
	 Guaranteed monthly retirement funding 
 

 Again, unlike EPF, where your money can be withdrawn for other uses, pension takers are guaranteed to have a monthly source of income. 

  Disadvantages  

 
	 You have to start and end your service in the public/government sector. It might hamper your ability to seek work overseas, better base salaries, or even some chances to study. 
 

 EPF or Employees Provident Fund (KWSP - Kumpulan Simpanan Wang Pekerja) 

  What is it?  
EPF is the accumulation of savings generated from deductions of your base salary. Currently, you can choose either 11%, or 8%, as  recently announced . 

 This accumulation of money is further grown by annual dividends. On average the dividend is around 6%, depending on the GDP (gross domestic product) of the country. 

 What makes EPF great as long term savings is due to the magic of  compound interest. . Your employer also contributes to your fund (12% of your pay). These two things make an EPF account grow substantially when properly managed. 

  2 accounts  

 Your EPF savings are divided into two accounts. 70% goes into account 1, and the rest to account 2. Account 1 is your retirement funds. Account 2 is withdrawable, under a few conditions: 

 
	 more than 50 years old 
	 Housing downpayment for your 1st house 
	 housing loan payment 
	 education 
	 medical costs 
	 Hajj pilgrimage 
 

 Upon reaching the age of 55, you will be able to withdraw from account 1. You will have to choose to withdraw one lump sum, or as a monthly stipend like a pension. 

  Calculation  

 Let’s take the same example as just now. Start work at 20, salary RM2,000, retire at 55, salary RM5,000. 

 
 Deduction from pay = 11% = RM220 
Employer contribution = 12% = RM240 
 We will assume no withdrawals are made over entire working period  
EPF annual dividend = 6% 
 

 The interest adds up year over year, and with the help of EPF’s  online calculator , 

 Total EPF savings at 55 years old = RM461,900 

 It is a marginally higher amount than RM176,400 gratuity you will receive from a pension. 

  Benefits  

 
	 Flexibility. At the age of 55, you can withdraw that money and invest in another scheme, venture, or fund that offers greater returns. 
	 Faster growth. As shown, even with a contribution of 11% of your pay, over the course of 35 years it balloons into a large amount of money. 
	 Freedom of employment. You no longer have to work within the constraints of the government or public service. You are free to pursue study or work opportunities as you wish. 
 

  Disadvantages  

 
	 Sometimes things don’t go as planned. You might hit a financial roadblock that forces you to withdraw from your EPF fund. An example of this is a medical emergency. 
	 It subtracts 11% of your base salary. 11% might not seem like much, but for people who live paycheck to paycheck, it can be a bitter pill to swallow. 
	 Annual dividend from EPF can decrease, depending on economic climate. 
 

 Making a comparison 

 Monthly funds 

 Assuming that you live until the mean life expectancy age in Malaysia, which is 76 years old. 

 
 Years to live off retirement fund (pension) = 76-55 = 21 years 
 

 To make a fair comparison, let’s subtract the gratuity amount of a pension scheme from the lump sum of EPF savings. 

 
 EPF at 55 years old - gratuity of pension at 55 years old = RM461,900 - RM176,400 = RM285,500 

 Stipend per month that EPF provides = RM285,500 / 21 years / 12 months = RM1,132.94/month 
 

 Even if we did not subtract the gratuity value, it would be: 

 
 RM461,900 / 21 years / 12 months = RM1,832.94/ month 
 

  It is far less than RM2,600/month from a pension scheme . 

 What if we invest all of EPF savings? 

 Say at the age of 55, you embark on another investment with better returns. We will assume 8%. You pile up all your savings into it. 

 Investment return x EPF savings = 8% x RM 461,900 = RM36,952/year or RM3,079.33/month. 

  It is more than what you’ll obtain from a pension.  However you’ll need to ensure that the second investment has better returns than EPF dividends. That in itself can sometimes be a challenge. 

 Conclusion 

 They both have their advantages and drawbacks. It seems like it is up to you to play it well, to ensure you can lead a comfortable life upon retirement. 

 However the main question of choosing either EPF or pension as retirement savings often boils down to your choice of employer. 

 Will you stay with the government sector for another 30+ years? You don’t want to end up with no retirement fund… No EPF or no pension. That’d be the worst. 

 If yes, go for the pension scheme. It is safe, guaranteed, and offers great peace of mind in your golden years. 

 However, with EPF, you are free to take up opportunities that come your way. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Australia are actively seeking out Malaysian nurses with extremely attractive pay. Opportunities for post-graduate education are more limited in the government sector; if in private, you get to choose when you want to do it. You can also fund it with your EPF savings, something you can’t do on a pension. 

 Choose the freedom of choice. Search for high-paying nursing jobs, and overseas jobs on MIMS Career. Browse, save, and apply for nursing jobs, all in one-click. Take the opportunity for higher pay and better work locations. Our pages are all mobile-responsive, allowing you to take that leap for a better job whenever, wherever you are. All our job postings are heavily screened to prevent scams and mistrustful behavior. 
   

 
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  Think About These 5 Things Before You Decide On A Specialization  

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EPF (KWSP), or Pension? Which to choose?

For those nurses serving with Kementrian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM), the start of your work life will present you with one of the toughest choices you’ll make: EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund, also known as KWSP), or choose...

Read More