Dec 29, '12 by Vishwamitr
My new year's resolution for 2013 and all the ensuing years as far as nursing is concerned is not to work as a per-diem nurse anymore. They say that a person who silently endures injustice is as guilty as the perpetrator. Let me hasten to explain myself.I am a registered nurse who works as a per-diem nurse in several hospitals in S. Fla.
I want to create an awareness among the healthcare industry (especially the hospitals) about the plight and the silent injustice that is being meted out to per-diem nurses since the inception of its concept.
Per-diem nurses supplement and fill the gaps for hospitals during their acute shortages of nurses, holidays, or when the hospitals' census is seasonally high.
Typically, 4-week schedules are drawn up a month or two in advance for the per-diem nurses according to the hospitals' projected needs. However, for per-diem nurses, that schedule is not worth the paper it is written on because they can be canceled by the hospital any time before the commencement of the shift. Per-diem nurses are canceled as late as 30 minutes before the shift starts or sometimes even after reporting to their assigned unit, "because there was a mistake in the schedule" or "our census went down". In reality, room is created for full-time and part-time nurses who might have missed a shift during that pay-period for whatever reason(s).
Per-diem nurses are held accountable for their end of the commitment but the hospitals are not. A schedule is an unwritten contract between a per-diem nurse and a hospital, as such, only one party should not be responsible to live up to its commitment. There has to be some reasonable compensation for per-diem nurses (like payment for half of the shift) when a hospital's needs have changed at the last minute.
Per-diem nurses have families, and bills to pay just like everyone else. They have to make adjustments to their social calendar assuming that they'd be working on that particular day and shift. Sometimes, per-diem nurse have turned down offers from other hospitals for the same shift, only to be unceremoniously canceled by the hospital in subject. Upon cancellation, it is too late for per-diem nurses to be accommodated by other hospitals who had offered that shift because now they have already made their own arrangements.
There ought to be a law where a schedule is honored like a contract and the offending party is required to reasonably compensate the other party for breach of contract.
Last edit by tnbutterfly on Dec 29, '12