Is Per Diem Relief Work Right for you?

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During your search for work in the pharmacy industry, you may have seen the term “per diem” used in regard to open shifts. But what is per diem work and what does it mean to be a per diem pharmacist? Read on to learn about the per diem job meaning, per diem vs. full-time or part-time work, and whether this career option is right for you. 

What Is the Meaning of a Per Diem Job?

A per diem job is where a professional is hired on a day-to-day basis to complete specific work for a specified shift or work period. In fact, “per diem” means “per day” in Latin, so it’s easy to remember how this type of employment arrangement works.

Per Diem in Relief Work

Relief work and per diem work are often used interchangeably, and that’s fine because they mean the same thing! Relief work is the phrase typically used in the United States, while per diem work is more prevalent in Canada. 

Per Diem Shifts for Pharmacists

Per diem work can be an excellent employment option for pharmacists looking for flexible work. It’s a perfect opportunity to explore different settings and roles within a pharmacy. ShiftPosts makes it simple for pharmacy professionals to find per diem shifts with ease. 

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What Is the Difference Between Per Diem vs. Part-Time Work?

When considering what per diem work is, many wonder how it differs from part-time or full-time work. Since per diem workers are hired on a day-to-day basis and don’t work in a pharmacy in the long term, they aren’t in the same category as full-time or part-time employees. Understanding the difference between the two is crucial for pharmacists taking on relief work in the industry. 

What Is a PRN Pharmacist?

PRN means “as needed,” so a PRN pharmacist is typically called on an as-needed basis. This typically happens in an urgent situation where pharmacy owners need help immediately and call in a local pharmacist they’ve worked with before.  

What Is a Relief Pharmacist?

A relief pharmacist also steps in to cover pharmacy shifts as needed, though they typically know about shifts beforehand and may work on a more predictable schedule. Relief pharmacists can also work multiple shifts in a row or over an extended period if the pharmacy needs additional help. 

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Per Diem Work for Travel Pharmacists

A per diem job in healthcare and pharmacy can also create travel opportunities. Relief pharmacists can take short-term assignments in different locations, allowing them to explore new places while still working and earning a paycheck. 

How Many Hours Can a Per Diem Relief Pharmacist Work?

A per diem pharmacist has the benefit and flexibility of choosing how many hours they are open to every week. You can choose to work as little as once or twice a week for supplemental income or take on a fuller schedule based on your wants and needs. Per diem shift work is a great option for pharmacy professionals seeking a more personalized work-life balance. 

What Rights Do Per Diem Employees Have?

As a per diem pharmacist, you have the right to ethical treatment, a safe work environment, and fair compensation. However, you wouldn’t be entitled to the same benefits as full- and part-time employees, like healthcare coverage, bonuses, or PTO hours. 

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Benefits of Per Diem Work

So, is working per diem worth it? To answer this question, it’s important to know the benefits and disadvantages of this career option. There are several benefits to getting a per diem job in the pharmacy industry that make it an attractive option for pharmacy professionals. 

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Work in Different Settings

Relief pharmacists have the opportunity to work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals or specialty pharmacies, to experience different environments, enhance their skills, and broaden their professional network.

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Better Pay

Typically, per diem pharmacists are paid at higher hourly rates than traditional employees. These rates compensate for the lack of benefits and consistent work, but they also make relief work financially rewarding for many.

Years of experience

Low Commitment

Relief pharmacists can choose when they want to work, meaning this is low-commitment work compared to other options. This flexibility is valuable for those looking for independence in their careers.


Flexible Hours and Schedules

In the ShiftPosts app, you can select your availability before being matched with open shifts. You can choose the hours that best suit your lifestyle, whether you want to work during the day, at night, or on the weekends.

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The Downside of Per Diem Work

Per diem work has many incredible benefits, but there are a few downsides to consider as well before choosing this type of work. 

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Less Stability

Per diem pharmacists aren’t hired into long-term commitments and may have less stable work hours. However, finding open shifts on the ShiftPosts platform is easier, so this is typically less of a concern. 


Not Ideal for Specialty Jobs

If you’re looking for relief work in certain healthcare specialties, finding those options through per diem shifts may be challenging.

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Less Familiarity With Coworkers

As a per diem pharmacist, you may work an extended shift; however, you’ll more likely be covering short-term shifts. This means you may not have the same camaraderie with coworkers as you would if you were a full- or part-time employee.

How to Get a Job as a Per Diem Pharmacist

If you are considering per diem healthcare work as a pharmacist, ShiftPosts is the answer. Simply join our platform, and once you’re vetted, you’ll be matched with open pharmacy shifts that fit your availability. When you’re ready to take charge of your pharmacist career, we’re here to help. 

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Discover more about how ShiftPosts is transforming healthcare staffing

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ShiftPosts CEO Elizabeth Cooper has been hard at work as she and her team have transformed the platform with innovative technology to promote flexible, efficient employment solutions for employers and healthcare professionals. Elizabeth sat down with the team at KingsCrowd to discuss recent wins, future plans, and what she’d like you to know about ShiftPosts moving forward.


ShiftPosts Recent Wins

Since the beginning of 2020, ShiftPosts has seen exponential growth and success. There are some recent wins for the company.

  • Pandemic success: We thrived during the pandemic, helping with mass vaccination efforts, proving our platform’s value during tough times, and outperforming competitors to dominate the market. 
  • Canada achievements: In less than three years, we’ve hit the break-even cash flow point and work with more than 70% of the retail pharmacies in the country. There is still room for growth here, and we have a solid footing in this market. 
  • U.S. expansion: We’ve perfected our platform in Canada, making it easier than ever for us to expand into the United States. Since the U.S. is 6x larger than Canada, capturing just 1% of the retail pharmacy market would bring us 29MM in net revenue and significantly benefit the company. The ShiftPosts platform has been enhanced to handle different rules from state to state.

What to Know

We’ve been experiencing unprecedented growth throughout the last three years, tripling our revenue year after year, and we’re primed to continue that growth trajectory in the coming years. To scale the company accordingly, we need to spend ahead of cash flow and add human judgment paired with deep knowledge of what makes staffing work. We welcome investors to join us on this exciting and financially beneficial journey of growing ShiftPosts and expanding to new markets.

A Guide to Pharmacy Specializations and Career Paths

A Guide to Pharmacy Specializations and Career Paths

The pharmacy profession is incredibly diverse, offering a wide range of career paths and specializations.

Pharmacists can choose to focus on specific areas of practice, tailoring their expertise to better serve patients and communities.

Various pharmacy specializations have their own respective educational requirements. Here’s a guide to help you to find the right path for your career in pharmacy.

Careers in A Variety of Pharmacy Specializations

Clinical Pharmacy

Clinical pharmacists work closely with healthcare providers and patients to optimize medication therapy and promote health, wellness, and disease prevention. They often specialize in specific therapeutic areas, such as cardiology, infectious diseases, or geriatrics, and work in settings like hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities.

Nuclear Pharmacy

Nuclear Pharmacy

Nuclear pharmacists specialize in the preparation, dispensing, and quality control of radiopharmaceuticals. These specialized drugs are used for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic purposes. Nuclear pharmacists typically work in centralized nuclear pharmacies, hospitals, or academic institutions.

Oncology Pharmacy

Oncology pharmacists are experts in cancer treatment, focusing on the safe and effective use of chemotherapy and other anti-cancer medications. They work closely with oncologists and other healthcare providers to develop individualized treatment plans, manage side effects, and monitor patients’ response to therapy. Oncology pharmacists can be found in hospitals, cancer treatment centers, and specialty pharmacies.

Oncology Pharmacy
Pediatric Pharmacy

Pediatric Pharmacy

Pediatric pharmacists specialize in providing medication therapy management for children, from newborns to adolescents. They work with healthcare providers and families to ensure the safe and effective use of medications in this unique population. Pediatric pharmacists may work in hospitals, pediatric clinics, or community pharmacies.

Veterinary Pharmacy

Veterinary Pharmacy

Veterinary pharmacists focus on the medication needs of animals, providing expertise on the safe and effective use of veterinary drugs. They collaborate with veterinarians to optimize medication therapy for pets, livestock, and other animals. Veterinary pharmacists can work in veterinary hospitals, compounding pharmacies, or retail pharmacies that cater to animal health.

Educational and Training Requirements for Each Specialization

Educational and Training Requirements for Each Specialization

In addition to completing a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree, pharmacists who wish to specialize typically need to undergo additional training. This can include completing a residency or fellowship program, obtaining board certification in a specific practice area, or pursuing an advanced degree or additional coursework related to their chosen specialization.

Pros and Cons of Pursuing a Pharmacy Specialization


  • Expertise in a specific area of practice, making you a valuable asset to patients and healthcare providers
  • Potential for higher job satisfaction and fulfillment
  • May lead to increased job opportunities and higher salaries


  • Additional time and expense for education and training
  • May limit job opportunities to specific settings or geographic location
  • Potential for burnout due to the high level of specialization and workload

Tips for Choosing the Right Career Path in Pharmacy

Reflect on your interests and passions:

Reflect on your interests and passions:

Evaluate your strengths and skills

Identify your unique abilities and how they could contribute to a specific pharmacy specialization.

Research each specialization:

Learn about the daily responsibilities, work settings, and educational requirements for each specialization.

Network with professionals in the field:

Connect with pharmacists working in various specializations to gain insights and advice on choosing the right career path.

Your Choice, Your Specialization

Pharmacy specializations offer pharmacists the opportunity to tailor their careers to specific areas of practice, providing focused expertise to patients and healthcare providers. By carefully considering your interests, strengths, and goals, you can choose the right specialization to maximize your impact and satisfaction in the field of pharmacy.

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