27 July 2015
Whether you are a new grad starting out your career, or a seasoned healthcare professional looking to strengthen your area of expertise, the sheer number of employment opportunities available to you this year is one of the major benefits of working in the industry. While going back to school or changing jobs is always an option to enhance your skills, per diem assignments can provide you with hands-on work experience that can greatly contribute to your overall professional growth. Daniela D’Alessandro, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Bridge Travel Healthcare division, stresses that any healthcare professional, regardless of specialization, should consider including more per diem work into their schedule. “Many healthcare professionals make the mistake of viewing per diem work as only a means for supplemental income,” says Daniela. “However, this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how invaluable these opportunities can actually be in attaining your short- and long-term career goals.” As you navigate the healthcare industry, keep the following benefits of per diem work in mind: 1. Build your professional network Whether you prefer working in a hospital, nursing home, or skilled nursing facility, per diem work quickly exposes you to a variety of company cultures and patient populations. This, in turn, opens the door to new experiences, which allow you to form unique professional relationships and collaborate with a wide-range of healthcare professionals. For example, if you are a Pediatric Physical Therapist that’s interested in working in an adult setting, you can utilize per diem assignments as a way to interact with and build connections with therapists who work with an adult population. “Per diem assignments give you the flexibility you need in order to proactively expand your network with the right professionals,” says Daniela. 2. Learn new skills and stay up-to-date on industry trends Since per diem assignments give healthcare professionals the ability to work in a variety of practice settings, they enable you to build new skills and learn new procedures along the way. For instance, as the demand for tech-savvy health professionals continues to increase, per diem assignments present the opportunity to learn a new electronic medical records system—just one way you can keep your skills fresh, while enhancing your marketability to remain competitive in today’s market. “You should take advantage of every per diem opportunity that will introduce you to new and emerging skills within your specialty area,” says Daniela. 3. Use them as a stepping stone in your career While some healthcare professionals can use per diem work to pursue a new skill set, others can use per diem work as a way to sharpen their current strengths. “If you’re interested in moving into a managerial role, for instance, you may want to use per diem assignments to ensure you are prepared take the next step,” highlights Daniela. Regardless of what your goal is, per diem assignments are a great way to try something new without committing to a longer-term position. 4. Get your foot in the door and eventually transition to full-time As a new grad trying to get your foot in the door, or a more experienced professional interested in making a transition, it comes down to possessing the right type of experience to get the job. “Per diem work gives you the chance to not only get your foot in the door with a prospective new employer, but it also gives you the chance to evaluate whether or not it could be a good long-term fit for you,” suggests Daniela. In addition, per diem coverage will give you a leg up on your competition as it will make your resume more well-rounded, allowing you to pursue other positions you are interested in.