5 Key Benefits of Working Out Of Hours

Working as a GP provides the opportunity to work in a number of fields, each with its own unique set of challenges. Out of hours working is becoming more popular amongst doctors for a variety of reasons, including a different approach to working as well as suiting different lifestyles. As out of hours GP surgeries are becoming more popular with those looking for a more flexible approach to their care, the demand for out of hours GPs is increasing. Learn more about the benefits of working out of hours and find out whether this change could be exactly what you’re looking for as part of the next step of your career.


1. It offers a change of pace to 9-5 GP hours

A typical GP will deal with the same patients again and again, helping them throughout their care. Whilst this sort of relationship forming may appeal to some, for those who prefer not to become too involved with their patients, working out of hours can be more suitable. Working out of hours often means dealing with different sorts of patients who require more urgent care, meaning you’re less likely to deal with chronic cases.


2. It helps to sharpen your triage skills

Triage involves skills that all doctors should have, but these can begin to wane after years of practicing as a GP. Much of the work involved in working as an out of hours GP can include telephone triage; trying to help patients identify what is wrong with them and whether or not they need urgent care. In most cases, you will diagnose a patient and then refer them on to treatment, whether this is at a hospital for more urgent cases or through selfcare until they can make an appointment with their regular GP. This kind of work can be satisfying and challenging and can make a nice change from working with ongoing patient needs.


3. It offers flexibility and the chance to pursue other interests

Out of hours care involves a number of different working patterns, including weekends, evenings and bank holidays. Those who are looking for a more flexible approach to work – such as those who are nearing the end of their career, new parents or even those looking to study or train in other areas can benefit from working out of hours. Even retired GPs can benefit from working in out of hours care to stay in touch with the profession and maintain knowledge and skills. Some people prefer to work nights so their days are free to pursue their hobbies and other interests or to reduce their commute time – an increasing concern for many.


4. Out of hours can present some more interesting cases

Often, the work of a 9-5 GP can be repetitive, with the same kinds of cases appearing over and over again. Out of hours GPs however often talk of dealing with more unusual cases, which can help to encourage interest and enthusiasm for the work once again. Whilst many of these will involve urgent care, the out of hours GP won’t be continuing the care once the shift is over. This also provides a greater bonding opportunity for out of hours workers, who benefit from the shared experience which comes from having a smaller workforce and team to work with.


5. Out of hours is challenging, but a great thing for those who are organised

Out of hours GPs need to be sharp in order to ensure the most accurate diagnosis for patients. This can be a challenge with unfamiliar patients, as no existing relationships are there to provide reassurance for the patient. However, a doctor who has worked on their triage skills, is organised and confident can thrive in the out of hours environment, but it is not for those who think the experience will be easy. There are some risks which come with being an out of hours GP, but they can be avoided by careful preparation and making sure you stay up to date.

If working out of hours sounds like something that appeals to you, you can browse our latest vacancies on our recruitment site.

Working out of hours has many benefits and can make a great change from your current role, giving you a new range of skills and experience to boost your career. If you want to find out more, please contact us for an informal discussion.