Ready for Anything: Life as a Per Diem Respiratory Therapist

Living the Per Diem Lifestyle

By Melissa Hagstrom, contributor

“When I am not on call with my fulltime job, I will work for Select Specialty Hospital here in Cincinnati, Ohio,” Morgan says. “They call with needs, and if I am not on call that weekend with my primary job, I go to work for them.”

Will actually started his per diem career after being laid off from a previous position. He wanted to keep his clinical skills sharp and practice current, so per diem work was an ideal solution until he secured another full time therapy role.

A friend referred Will to Nursefinders, and he was instantly impressed by the company’s professionalism, credibility and in-depth screening process—which includes background checks, drug screens, skills testing and more.

“When I came to Nursefinders, all of the prerequisites were more appealing to me because it showed me that they weren't just taking anybody. You have to do well and prove that you know respiratory therapy in order to work with them. They are looking for bright, smart individuals who know their field of work.”

“Nursefinders is great. When I tell people that I am with Nursefinders, it’s a sense of pride that I have when I say that. And hospitals know the quality of individuals that come out of Nursefinders,” he said. “I feel that Nursefinders is 100% professional and they genuinely care about having work for their employees.”

Per diem is good because you can pick and choose when you want to work, Will said. And in addition to the flexibility per diem work provides, he also enjoys the many relationships he’s developed from his career with Nursefinders.

“I like being able to interact with different groups of people and I love meeting new people. It’s always a different scene at every assignment and I like the change. I am one of those people who look for challenges,” Will said.

The competitive pay is also another perk for this outgoing professional. “I have found that there are a lot of other staffing agencies that don’t have the high pay scale that Nursefinders has. And I think that’s because Nursefinders scrutinizes who they choose to work for them through the tests that they offer, and they can ask for more for their services because of the quality of individuals they put out.”

Will is passionate about teaching others and educating his patients. In addition to his respiratory therapy career, he also teaches bowling and serves as a mentor to others in the field.

After three years of working as a per diem therapist, Will advises potential per diem clinicians to be well-rounded before starting this type of work. “Make sure you have critical care experience or experience in other areas such as home health and medical equipment. The more well-rounded you are and the more experience you have in different areas makes you that much more indispensible and you are able to find work easily.”

Although the many benefits that come with per diem work are certainly nice, what Will loves most about his career choice is that per diem therapy keeps him challenged.

“I think that I am proactive in everything I do,” he said. “What you put in is what you get out. If you establish yourself right off the bat as a go-getter, they are not going to have a problem putting you in the real critical needs areas.”

“The work that you put in as a respiratory therapist is always rewarding,” Will concluded. “If you go in to a situation being positive, then you’ll have a positive outcome.”

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