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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.

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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. 

Sign Up for ShiftPosts

Have you finished your profile so you can start picking up shifts in your neighborhood? Click the link below to start seeing the benefits!


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