I just wanted to know if any other agency nurses have been put on a DNR list in the past. I have been an agency nurse for 3 years and go mainly to one hospital and once in a while to their sister hospital. The one hospital I work for I've have no problems with in 3 years of contributing 16-40 hours/week consistantly. I went to the sister hospital last Saturday for a double and I was beyond dumped on. My assignment was split between two halls (of course I was the only one). I had 6 patients that were "problem" patients per the other nurses. Between 7am and 7pm I was given a 30 minute break, thats all. Finally, at 7pm when I was thinking of going to lunch, the charge announced that she was giving me an admit (after being told agency doesn't take admits). I had just finished discharging one patient and was down to 5.
I was upset and didn't yell, but said "you're giving me an admit? I have to go to lunch first. I'll take it, but I'm telling you I am leaving here at 11:30pm and whatever isn't completed, the other nurse will have to pick up". The admit was cancelled. Then the charge was upset because I was on a remote tele floor and had a problem pt later that night. The doc ordered labetalol IVP 10mg now. If no drop in SBP, double and give 20mg. If still no drop, double and give 40mg. I of course being a med/surg nurse and not tele certified said I was not comfortable with this. The house supervisor was called and said to have the charge nurse (who consequently did my eval) give it. The charge was not happy and ended up giving it. By the end of the night I apologized to the charge nurse and I really did feel terrible. I think I was overwhelmed to say the least and this led to my most unprofessional behavior. First ever in 6 years of professional nursing. I am embarassed and ashamed to say the least, but know my agency says that the hospital I've been going to for 3 years without problem won't take me because they go off of the same list.
I guess my only other alternative is to go to another agency, since my agency services a different area than what I live in. I guess it'll be better to work closer to home, but still, it's not a black mark I wanted.
If you've ever had this and can offer any advice I'd appreciate it.
Thanks for reading!!!!!
Jan 22, '03
You mean to tell us that after 16.5 hours, you were going home? Only being in the beginning of my nursing educaton, I can't give any advice. I can only say that by reading about your experience, if I should ever make it to a charge nurse, I will treat my agency nurses no different than the regular staff nurses, i.e. equal division of problem patients, not all problem patients to the agency RN. The only thing I can suggest is that you put this in writing (your experience).
Jan 22, '03
Thanks for your input. It's good to hear someone just starting out will think of this if ever in a charge position.
I know when I went to school, one hospital we went to the nurses were mean. Didn't want to teach anything and were not very nice in dealing with students.
I have been a charge nurse in the past and I have always been very good to my students. I know having been agency now, I will always be good to my agency nurses as well. It's better than having extra patients!!!
Just some info, spoke with my mother, a nurse of 23 years and she recommends I put it in writing and submit it to my agency as well as request that a meeting be held so that I can call them on their accusations (not answering call lights... I actually stopped one nurses medication error while she was at lunch. Hard to do without answering a light!!! lol.).
Hopefully it will be a favorable outcome for all sides. If we punished every nurse for talking loudy to a charge nurse, we'd probably have no nurses left!!! At least I had the courtesy to do it in the med room and not in the hall or patients room.
Jan 27, '03
Welcome to the world of agency nursing. I believe we need a union. I have been black listed from 2 hospitals, one for refusing to stand in front of a group of people and tell "about my childhood and where I grew up" by the CEO, and the other because someone said I said another Nurse gave me a bad report(I didn't). Never for my skills, which everyone says are exceptional. I'm sick of it.
Jan 28, '03
I agree that I think all nurses, whether agency or not, should unionize. Then we can all stand together.
As for danvet, I agree with those who said you should document what happened that particular nite and have a meeting with the appropriate people (ie someone from your agency, the unit manager, the charge nurse and yourself). Best of luck to you
One more thing--don't volunteer for any more double shifts!
Jan 28, '03
Thanks for your replies and support!!!!!
I agree, nurses as a whole need a union. I don't know why we all aren't unionized. Particularly agency nurses who are stepped on by their very own colleagues. What a shame.
As for double shifts, never, never again. It's just not worth the stress or aggrevation.
Jan 28, '03
I could never committ to a double shift on a strange unit. You have no idea what you will be walking into, or if the staff is supportive. Good for you for making it through the whole thing. Personally I think a lunch break by 7pm is something we should all strive for...Bravo.
Jan 28, '03
I have a question. Since most of us agree we should have a union, why don't we? I agree, no more double shifts. For some reason, if a bad thing is going to happen, it will during a double. Too much stress and no appreciation.
Jan 28, '03
I live in an "at will" state where the laws make unionizing very difficult and weaken unions. We need a NATIONAL Nurses' Union!
I have emailed The UAN. I'm told an entire facility must choose to uionize together. There is no way for an individual nurse to join a union by herself.
Jan 28, '03
Well, for what it's worth, i got a call from my agency about a problem that a facility had with me and when they gave me the details, i realized quickly that they had me mixed up with someone else. we got it straightened out and they asked me back, but I refused to go.
no wonder they need help so badly.
Feb 5, '03
Just wanted say that I did not get dnr'ed from the hospital I love so much. That was a relief. I am still very upset with my agency's handling of the issue that it has prompted me to make a change.
I will no longer work within a hospital setting. I am burnt out and fed up with the way staff nurses treat their agency nurses. I have to say, I was upset that I had been labled "that big nurse with the black hair". How rude. Perhaps my perceived attitude was in relation to their attitudes, which of course, never need adjusting, lol.
I am going to pursue home health with a vengence. One on one care and I can concentrate my energies on my patients, where it belongs. Maybe in the long run, this is a door opening wide with many more opportunities. I always wanted to try Public Health.
I know how hard agency nurses have to work and how difficult some settings may be. I wish you all the luck in the world.
Feb 6, '03
I never take a double shift at a new place. A few years ago, 2 of us did that and both got DNR'd from the place. Reason? Fights with families. Interesing reason since neither one of us ever saw a family the whole time we were there. And we were on different units which the agency wondered about. Seems the place had a reputation for putting down agency nurses. My relief was quite nasty. I just move on and keep going. As long as my agency trusts my work and thinks highly of me, I don't worry over it.
Feb 6, '03
danvet-I became burned out re: hospital nursing after only 3 years (I was a traveler for a year and a half and I know all about being dumped on). I tried home health on a lark and it turned out to be one of the best changes I've ever made in my life. You get to actually make a difference in your patients' lives. Not all parts of home health are warm and fuzzy, but overall it can be very satisfying. Good luck to you!
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