What Does "Per Diem Shifts" Mean?


If you are in the medical profession and looking for a flexible work schedule, a per diem shift can offer this to you. When working on per diem, you only get paid for the specific day that you work. Many medical professionals will pick up this kind of work to make extra money to supplement income earned from their full-time job. But some choose to only work these shifts.

How Per Diem Shifts Work

  • When a hospital has a high number of patients and a low number of staff members on a particular day, it uses per diem work to fill in the gaps. This allows the hospital to maintain patient needs without staffing more personnel than necessary. Generally the hospital will have a set number of per diem workers available to call whenever they are needed as last minute fill-ins.

Benefits of Working Per Diem

  • One of the best things about per diem work is that you can create your own schedule. In many cases you will tell the hospital what days you are available to work and they will call you if you are needed on those days. In addition to the flexibility, you will have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, from Intensive care units to psychiatric wards. This will allow you to avoid getting bogged down by tedious routines.

Drawbacks of Per Diem Work

  • One of the negative aspects of this type of work is that one week you may work all the days you are available and the next you won't get a single call. This lack of stability makes it troublesome for those who need a steady income. Per diem workers also forfeit health benefits that are generally provided to others who have full-time employment. This can get expensive if you don't already have an insurance policy from a spouse.

Staffing Agencies

  • To maintain a balance between the benefits and drawbacks of per diem work, many people choose to work through a staffing agency. This can allow the flexibility of daily work for those who need that type of schedule, and some companies offer the luxury of steady work because they work with a variety of hospitals.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How Does Per Diem Work?

    Employees incur expenses for accommodations, meals, transportation and incidentals -- laundry, dry cleaning, parking and tips -- when their jobs take them...

  • What Is Per Diem Nursing?

    A per diem nurse works on a day-to-day basis when she is needed to cover for regularly-scheduled nurses on their days off....

  • What Does Working Per Diem Mean?

    When you apply for some jobs, you sometimes hear the term “per diem.” Many people don’t know what that actually means or...

  • Per Diem Vs. Part Time

    When evaluating your job earnings, you may run across the terms "part time" and "per diem" on your pay stub. These terms...

  • What Does a Per Diem Position in a Hospital Mean?

    The term "per diem" means per day, but it may relate to two issues in the workplace. Per diem may refer to...

  • A Per Diem Nursing Salary

    Depending on the position and type of medical facility, some nurses are paid per diem based on the number of hours they...

  • What Does 'Variable Shift' Mean on a Job Application?

    Not everyone has the luxury of working set hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Many jobs -- particularly...

Related Searches

Check It Out

Are You Really Getting A Deal From Discount Stores?

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!