Per diem work provides a variety of pros and cons. Could your schedule use a change?
Have you ever considered working per diem? 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.
The 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 – you can work in a psychiatric setting like I worked in one day, and the next day be in the ICU. 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.