Questions for PER DIEM nurses

  1. Hello, I'm wondering if some experienced per diem hospital workers can help me out with some info here...

    1) Do 'most' per diem jobs REALLy have flex schedules in that YOU tell THEM when you are available....or do they expect you to be available all the time?

    2) Do 'most" per diem jobs work on a contract....time-frame/committment or not?

    3) If there are contracts....what if you decide you don't want to stay the whole year, or whatever...it is....as per diem...?

    4) What do you do for insurance if you have none otherwise? I have heard there are some who pay for their families insurance all by themselves...like blue cross etc....does anyone have any costs they'd like to share for a family... or any words of wisdom?

    5) When signed on for a particular unit (not the 'pool') do you find as per diem that you get floated/called to other units anyway?

    Thanks!!
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    About 777RNThatsMe

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 157; Likes: 1

    6 Comments

  3. by   tntrn
    [QUOTE=777RNThatsMe]

    1) Do 'most' per diem jobs REALLy have flex schedules in that YOU tell THEM when you are available....or do they expect you to be available all the time?

    It sort of depends on your hospital. We are a union contract and Per diems are hired as part of the staff, not under a time-frame contract. I think the way they are scheduled varies from unit to unit. In my unit, I usually schedule my shifts AFTER all the regular and parttimers are plugged in, and AFTER crossing off the days I am not available to them. For example, on the one day of the week my DH is home, I do work--EVER. That doesn't stop them from calling, but I have learned to just say no.

    4) What do you do for insurance if you have none otherwise? I have heard there are some who pay for their families insurance all by themselves...like blue cross etc....does anyone have any costs they'd like to share for a family... or any words of wisdom?

    Per diems at my hospital do not get bennies of any kind, not even jury duty pay. So no insurance, vacation or sick leave pay. But we also do not have to submit a vacation request and hope it gets blessed. I just don't schedule myself when I want to be gone.

    Per diem works great for me because I don't have to work fulltime, I am not the primary wage-earner, and I love the flexibility of being able to take off blocks of time off when it suits me. We travel a lot, and if I had a position, I couldn't do that. The flip side is that sometimes I don't get a paycheck, at all. For us, it works. It might not for others.

    5) When signed on for a particular unit (not the 'pool') do you find as per diem that you get floated/called to other units anyway?

    Occasionally they will try to float us, but I work in a specialized unit (Labor and Delivery) and honestly, I'm not qualified to work as an RN on the med-surg unit with surgeries, medications, procedures, and treatments, not to mention the docs, that weren't even invented when I last did Med-Surg in nursing school 30 years ago. They'll try to give you an RN assigment, but I will stand firm on doing aide-type of care because legally, it's not safe for the patients, me or the institution.

    I hope this is helpful.
  4. by   777RNThatsMe
    Yep it is, thanks!
  5. by   JaneyW
    I have had a couple of per diem positions. I have set my own schedule at both. There is usually a minimum amount of shifts required per week or month or schedule with some of those being weekend shifts. I have no benefits--I have them through my husband. I think the best part of being per diem is the flexibility. Like the other poster said, I can go on vacation whenever and never worry about asking for time off. I am part of the permanent staff (no contracts or time limits), so I have codes for everything and I know where everything is. I can join in on committees and such if I like but it is not required of me. Like the other poster, I am also L&D (perinatal) and really am not qualified to float. I do get floated first to postpartum from L&D, but this doesn't bother me much unless it happens a lot in a row.
  6. by   777RNThatsMe
    Thanks for the info. I just took a per diem job so am just wondering how it works for others...I start my first day soon. They are going to train me fulltime and then after that..who knows. I was quite open with my days for training as I need it and I need the mula mula. So we'll see what happens. Yes, this one requires you work one weekend a month at least... but will likely be every other...which is fine I need the money... and one holiday a year min but it also says you must be available ALL SHIFTS. Which..I am not. So we'll see how long I can last! The hiring mgr knew I wanted days only so I imagine it'll be okay.
  7. by   777RNThatsMe
    I'm still curious if there's anyone out there who has self insured their family w/out a spouse (I'm a single parent).
  8. by   JaneyW
    I had also said I would work the occasional night shift. I probably work about 4 or 5 a year. They have such a great need on days that it just isn't really necessary. I like the people at night, though, and it works out for me sometimes.

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