Working in healthcare – in positions such as a nurse, occupational therapist, and physician assistant – can have a lot of benefits. In addition to being rewarding, there is often flexibility in the types of jobs you can work. For example, not all jobs in healthcare are full or part-time. Many healthcare workers also work per diem.
Working per diem can be a great way to supplement your full-time job. Before deciding if a per diem job is right for you, it is helpful to have a thorough understanding of what is involved.
Per diem work involves working when the need arises as opposed to a set schedule. For example, a per diem employee may fill in during an unexpected or planned vacancy, such as when a regular employee is out sick or on vacation. Per diem employees may also be needed during periods when the hospital census is high, such as during flu seasons.
A per diem position may be a good choice for people who already have a regular job. Although it may vary, many people in the medical field, such as nurses, work 12-hour shifts. Working three 12-hour shifts a week allows for four days off and time to pick up an extra shift.
There are several benefits of working a per diem job. In many cases, per diem employees are paid at a rate higher than regular employees because they are not receiving benefits like health insurance. You may also get opportunities to work in various settings. For instance, if you are a nurse working per diem at a staffing agency, you may have the chance to work in an ER of a hospital one shift, and the next assignment may be in a different department or facility.
Another advantage of working of per diem is that you can work additional shifts when needed and cut back at other times of the year. The flexibility to work when you choose is attractive to a lot of people.
Finding the Right Per Diem Position
Most hospitals hire per diem employees. In addition, some staffing agencies also hire per diem employees to fill in at various facilities as needed. Working per diem along with a regular job takes a little bit of organization, but it can done.
Before you accept a per diem position, make sure you know the requirements. Some healthcare facilities or staffing agencies may require you give a set number of days of availability each month. Although you may not always be scheduled, you may still be required to be available. In some cases, your availability may need to include a certain number of weekend shifts or holidays.
In other instances, you may not have to provide days you are available to work. Instead, you may just be called as the need arises. Guidelines on requirements for per diem employees will be stated in your contract or employee handbook.
Once you secure a per diem position, it is essential that you stay organized. It can sometimes be difficult to juggle a regular full-time job and a second job per diem. Finding an organizational system that works for you is essential to keep things straight.