Is Per Diem Work Right for You?

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Per Diem Healthcare WorkerPer diem work provides a variety of pros and cons. Could your schedule use a change?

What is the Meaning of a Per Diem Job?

Have you ever considered working per diem? Not sure what per diem actually means? “Per diem” is latin for “per day” or “for each day.” In healthcare, it is a type of position in which the professional’s work hours vary from week to week, depending on how much the professional prefers to work and how much work the facility needs. Many medical professionals work per diem to pick up some extra money in addition to their full-time positions, but others choose to only work per diem shifts without having a full-time job.

What is The Difference Between Per Diem and Part Time?

In the world of travel nursing per diem vs part time can become rather confusing, especially when different state laws are in the mix. Generally speaking, part-time employees are placed on the schedule, just less than their full-time counterparts. Per diem simply means “as needed.” You are never guaranteed hours a per diem employee unlike full-time and part-time employees. However, you might work just as much as a full-time employee. You are typically used as a substitute for vacations, sick days, and any other reason a facility might be short-staffed.

How Many Hours Can a Per Diem Healthcare Employee Work?

The amount of hours a per diem healthcare employee works varies from week to week. There is no per diem schedule because as previously mentioned, anyone on a schedule is considered part or full time. As a result, there is no limit on how many hours a per diem employee can work. The time they put in will depend on the needs of the specific healthcare facility that week. Generally speaking, per diem employees won’t work as much as full-time employees.

What Rights Do You Have As a Per Diem Employee?

Per diem employee rights are very similar to that of part and full-time employees. The major difference is that per diem employees are not entitled to benefits from the healthcare facility. However, you are oftentimes paid at a premium rate. When you work as a per diem employee with Soliant you are eligible for a wide range of benefits such as insurance, housing assistance, and much more. A good healthcare facility will treat it’s per diem employees just like their other staff members. That means they should receive announcements, professional feedback, and any other pertinent news.

Benefits of Per Diem Work

Per diem work pays a lot better than full-time or part-time work because the pay is used as an incentive to fill staff-to-patient ratios that aren’t being met, and the shifts may need to be filled at the last minute. You can work in a variety of settings, such as the following:

    • Hospitals
    • Clinics
    • Labs
    • Outpatient Facility

You can discover which services and facilities you like the best, and take only the work you want. You choose your own schedule by accepting the shifts you like – no mandatory overtime.

The Downside of Per Diem Work

Although you have a lot of flexibility when you work per diem, you don’t have a lot of stability. It may be harder to find per diem work in some specialties more than others.  (Nurses will probably have an easier time finding per diem work in their area than speech-language pathologists or occupational therapists simply due to the fact that medical facilities employ more of them.)  Most per diem health professionals receive no benefits like health insurance or vacation time because they are not affiliated with any particular hospital or institution.  We all know how expensive health insurance can be, and even more so when you don’t have an employer helping to pay the cost. Without sick time or vacation time, you don’t get paid unless you work, so you need to keep your finances in order in case of emergencies.

There is a way to get the best of both worlds. You can enjoy all the flexibility of per diem work without sacrificing the benefits of a full-time job if you work with a staffing agency.

Let Soliant help find your next per diem, temporary, or full-time job! Check out all of our available per diem healthcare and school-based jobs here.

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Patrick Dotts
Contributor Patrick Dotts

Patrick, who’s grown with Soliant over the past 8 years, was promoted to the managing director of the healthcare division in January of 2018. Before that, Patrick was the division director for Soliant’s nursing and allied health division. Patrick has worked very closely with not only hospitals and other healthcare facilities but also the healthcare professionals that make up their workforce. This experience has given Patrick a unique insight into the ins and outs of the medical field, especially regarding its workforce. Before Soliant, he graduated from Bowling Green University and cherishes his free time with his wife, daughter, and son. Make sure to read more of Patrick’s other blogs on nursing and allied health.