# Dilemma regarding Per Diem....anyone???

1. Ok...I have a dilemma going with a friend.....about exactly what Per Diem is...

She says it's that you work when you want and the hours you want......meaning... for example say there are 3 shifts available, 7-3 on Mon, Wed, & Fri...and you can pick whatever you want to do for hours..
eg 8-2, 8-12, 9-1 etc and days you feel like working.

I told her she is wrong.....you work the hours you are needed...but only the days you feel like working....for example....7-3 Mon, Wed, & Fri...you could work 1 of those days, 2 of those days or all 3..but you have to do the 7-3..you can't pick the hours YOU feel like working.....it has to be the hours it says e.g. 7-3, 3-11, 11-7,7-7 etc UNLESS otherwise stated........

So...am I right about per diem or is she??? I figured I'd ask those of you here who obviously have tons of experience & what not.......If I am wrong I will tell her she is right...but I really think I am right.....anyone?????? Thanks a bunch ahead of time!!!
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2. ### About KellieNurse06

Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 528; Likes: 23

3 Comments

3. Not many jobs exist that would let you work only the hours you want
and not the shift that is needed.
4. what you are describing sounds like what we call prn - you have to work predetermined shifts (ex. 7-3 or 7-7), but can generally pick the days you want to work ahead of time. i think this is what you were describing.

what we called per diem is something entirely different. you worked your normal 36 hours, then signed up for extra shifts above those regular hours. so, you worked your three 12-hour shifts, then could sign up in 4, 8, or 12 hour increments whenever you wanted to (but they had to be the regular increments (7-11, 11-3, 3-7, 7-3, 3-11, 7-7, 3-3, or 11-11). then, if the floor didn't need you to work those shifts, they would just cancel you for all or part of them. the upside was the per diem pay was over twice as much as regular pay, so they only used per diem nurses if they really needed them.

i really only have hospital experience, but i have never seen any unit allow nurses to work whenever they wanted in terms of shifts times. even CNAs, PCTs, techs, etc. had to work established hours unless the floor was in a severe bind.
5. I've worked it at two different hospitals here (and still work this way). At each place, there's a template where employees can mark which days they are available to work and which shift. When the NM goes to make out the schedule, they use the template to pretty much make out the schedule where possible. I have always gotten the shifts I put in for. However, if there's low census (which rarely happens), I may be the first to get called off. If there's an extra day they need me, all they have to do is ask and if I don't have any plans, I may do it.

The catch is once I've put in what dates I'm available and the real schedule is made out, I'm obligated to work those unless I get called off.

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