Do agency nurses get the worst patients? - page 2

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  1. by   Jay Levan
    Wow, I get to relate a thoroughly positive experience that I am currently enjoying. I have had the pleasure of working with a really cohesive group of nurses, everyone works together and there is minimal grousing, that is always solved very easily by an offer to help the TEAM member, that is obviously reacting to the stress of the moment. Oh how refreshing! I'm 57 and feeling like a kid again. When I get up around 4-5pm(No Alarm needed, Thank You Very Much), That's because when I fall into bed after each shift at around 6-7am the next morning I sleep like a baby, until my internal clock wakes me with renewed enthusiasm for the shift to come. I feel almost stingy for not sharing details, just kidding! The hospital is in north Georgia, and is called Hutcheson Medical Center, and I work in their E.R. Personally I feel I owe them a debt of gratitude, I can truthfully say that in my 29yr career, I have never worked with a finer group of Nurses, M.D.'s, PA's, and related departmental personnel. Young nurses just getting their feet wet, as well as seasoned professionals, working towards several common goals #1 is helping those in need of our services, and#2 to work together to acomplish this goal.
    Now to the question, do I get the toughest assignments? First I had to decondition myself from buying into this attitude second I had to regain my vigor for helping others, without regard to any preconceived impressions of certain groups/catagories of patients, you know the terms, "GOMER'S", "Regulars", "To stupid to take Tylenol/Aspirin/Nsaids, (anything to keep them at home instead of here!) Then I began to be accepted as a full rights and privileges member of the team, wow what a concept when I made those changes in the way I conducted myself, everything else fell into place, as naturally as breathing. I am often assigned to be the triage nurse for this hospital's E.R. At first I was very ill, I won't bore you with the details, but trust me when I say, "I could feel Death's breath on my shoulder" H&H of seven and twenty three(I was at work pulling a ten hour shift that turned into fourteen hours because of overload of patients, Overflow? Halls? everywhere I looked there were patients in various levels of distress, and of course they all needed something immediately! Add to that overtaxed ancillary personnel. And here I was in the middle of this apparent chaos, I found the stength to survive that day, because I was truly needed and my teammates helped me through when I thought I could not continue, but more importantly I found the strength of Jesus at my side. I wanted to hug each member of the team, and I will never forget them no matter which way I procede in my future endeavors. I know my teammates, trust me to be their representative and I always TLC of that trust. Am I perfect heck no! Are any of us? I am an Agency Nurse and proud to have such a wonderful Staff to be a part of.
    To be certain, I have been in situations where I felt I was being dumped on, however in retrospect, I can see how you have to gain co-workers respect, and it is common practice for staff to investigate your competence, before giving their trust. In this case, when the investigation of my skills was seen in a positive light, I truly became their valued teammate. Bottom line, is just that Nursing is the only profession I know, and I feel enriched with the many blessings I have received from being an R.N. Thank You Jesus and Thank You HMC crew:angel2:
  2. by   Brownms46
    Nice story...and I'm very glad to hear you had a very positive assignment. Thank God... I have had the priviledge of having great assignments also...and if you do a little seach on my posts...you will find I wrote about those too!! BUT .... bad assignments are out there....and no amount of attitude adjustment will change that fact! Excuse me if I don't look in retrospect at my current situation and . Seems to me if the staff here really cared about my abilities...I and others wouldn't be getting the train wrecks from day one! So please overlook my negatively for the moment...as I'm sure it will improve in about 10 wks when my current HELL is over...

    Just an after thought... but what does fair assignments have to do with trust??? Nothing.. IMHO...
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Apr 28, '02
  3. by   DethOkay
    I agree with mattsmom81. If you have the attitude your going to get the worst patient but focus on taking it in stride you will pervail. As a travler i have had the dump patients, the 500lbs vent patient nobody wanted but i have noticed after the first week its not a problem. I lead by example, and force them to reconize my abilities by being the best nurse no matter what i get. However when it continues beyond the first week I do make my feelings known, I start with documenting the problems i an having, talk with the nurse manager or thier boss and attempt to change the situation.
    My worst experience was at a hospital in louisville, Ky a telemetry unit where I had to take extra patients because we were short 1 staff emmber, I didnt mind that because everybody took extra patients. The second night the same again but i noticed {later that night }, that I had 2 more patients that the rest of the staff. I left a note to the manager that moring. the next night I walked in and was told we were 2 staff short and we would have to pick up even more.... So i told them I would no longer work short, I would leave them 3 short if they could not get staff.
    The night supervisor stated she would report me for abandonment if i did. to which I showed here a Ky nursing board article in which abvandonment was not decided by the hospital but by the board. That if a nurse did not clock in it could not be considered abandonment . And I realised if I left I would not be comming back here for the remainder of my contract ( 4 weeks worth) and i would consider the assignment she tryed to stick me with a breach of contract in which the agency would probably sue.....So if she wanted me to work here on this floor there would be 2 nurses joining me in the next 10 minutes or she would be looking for 3............
    I swear she turned the most awful shade of red and left the floor quickly, I called my agency and explainded my position. They told me they probably would sue, ( I didnt think they would) but if I felt the assignment was dangerous that I sould leave, they would try to get me another assignment but it could take 1 to 2 weeks. That was fine wiht me. And when the oncall human resource director called me I simpley told her she had 5 minutes to get staff in here of I would leave and gave her the agencys contact number.

    after a moment of silence she asked me to give her 10 minutes. Guess what ? 2 nurses showed up and we worked with a full staff. I continued my contract and nothing was ever said about that night. I recieved no hate mail, no interviews, no its as if it never happened. The floor staff thought I was a GOD for a while and I humbly accepted their gratitude, I also felt I inspired all of the staff to stand up for themselves.
    3 days before my contract ended I was asked if I wanted to renew. No, It was time to move on, but the requested me to do a exit interview. I told the manager in her office my mind was made up when I had to threaten to leave the hospital inorder to get the staff we needed.....
    Never let the bastards see ya sweat.
  4. by   nightingale
    Awesome stroy Death... That is one for my memory books! Thank you for sharing your story. It is inspiring!

    B.
  5. by   fadingyouth
    Get up and go to report and expect?????
    Somedays, I found myself with the 4 corner syndrome and used to think that it was done to intimidate agency nurses, but....
    as I kept watching I found that the staff nurses had those patients too.
    I sometimes find myself asking "what did I do wrong to get this assignment", but find that when it appears that I may be too busy or ask I get help. Just today the assistant nurse mgr. offerred to help me catch up so that I could take a lunch break.
    When it is one of those days when back to back admissions occur, I usually get an apologyand help attached to them.
    There are always those days when you wish you had a PCA or 2 fewer patients out the 4 that were assigned, but all in all it comes together somehow.
    Many agency nurses, either per diem, contract or travel go thru Methodist Hospitals telemetry unit. Sure you have those who always seek to help, and those that don't. You have coordinators who see that no one nurse is slammed and others who can't count 2 =
  6. by   fadingyouth
    Get up and go to report and expect?????
    Somedays, I found myself with the 4 corner syndrome and used to think that it was done to intimidate agency nurses, but....
    as I kept watching I found that the staff nurses had those patients too.
    I sometimes find myself asking "what did I do wrong to get this assignment", but find that when it appears that I may be too busy or ask I get help. Just today the assistant nurse mgr. offerred to help me catch up so that I could take a lunch break.
    When it is one of those days when back to back admissions occur, I usually get an apologyand help attached to them.
    There are always those days when you wish you had a PCA or 2 fewer patients out the 4 that were assigned, but all in all it comes together somehow.
    Many agency nurses, either per diem, contract or travel go thru Methodist Hospitals telemetry unit. Sure you have those who always seek to help, and those that don't. You have coordinators who see that no one nurse is slammed and others who can't count 2 = , but that's not exclusive to one institution.
    Overall on a scale of 10 this agency nurse gives this unit an 8.
    guess that's why i signed a contract today.
  7. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by fadingyouth
    Get up and go to report and expect?????
    Somedays, I found myself with the 4 corner syndrome and used to think that it was done to intimidate agency nurses, but....
    as I kept watching I found that the staff nurses had those patients too.
    I sometimes find myself asking "what did I do wrong to get this assignment", but find that when it appears that I may be too busy or ask I get help. Just today the assistant nurse mgr. offerred to help me catch up so that I could take a lunch break.
    When it is one of those days when back to back admissions occur, I usually get an apologyand help attached to them.
    There are always those days when you wish you had a PCA or 2 fewer patients out the 4 that were assigned, but all in all it comes together somehow.
    Many agency nurses, either per diem, contract or travel go thru Methodist Hospitals telemetry unit. Sure you have those who always seek to help, and those that don't. You have coordinators who see that no one nurse is slammed and others who can't count 2 = , but that's not exclusive to one institution.
    Overall on a scale of 10 this agency nurse gives this unit an 8.
    guess that's why i signed a contract today.



    Congrats on taking the plunge again. At least you're at home.
  8. by   patadney
    When I first started traveling,I expected that the regular staff would think I was making a lot of money and be resentful. I have mostly worked in the midwest and have noticed that they generally thank me for helping at the end of each day. It's been very rewarding.
  9. by   MollyMo
    I'm a traveler. My very first contract I worked a med/surg telemetry unit which left me and an agency nurse to take care of 21 patients. They told use that if they gave us patient 22 then they would close the unit to admissions. I was scheduled to work 2 days before Thanksgiving, the day before, Thanksgiving day and the day after. I was scheduled to work Christmas eve, day and the day after. I told them I was going home for New Year's and I would let them know after the holiday if I was going to finish my contract. This was in Washington,DC. Another fun assignment was in Virginia. One night I got 7 patients and the rest of the staff got 4 or 5 each, the explanation being that they would take all the admits. We didn't have a single admit. And they sat on their butts all night and watched me run. Was I dumped on? OH YEAH!!
  10. by   Enabled
    I have worked in all kinds of situations from floor nurse to home health, and yes to agency. With agency, I did make more money but I ended up paying for it. I felt dumped on quite frequently. I worked 11-7 and I would get the larger and harder team as well as the admission that comes up at 6:15 am It goes to the day shift if it is after 6:30 am. That means the others got out in time to go for coffee or breakfast and I would still be there charting and completing the admission. It was a med/surg unit and at night there was one tech for 38 patients with 3 nurses.
    When I graduated 18 years ago there wasn't any talk of shortage other than someone calling in at the last minute and everyone knew they had asked for the day off. I did think that was unfair on the part of the staff member as well as the scheduler as they really also knew this person would do it. I applied for a job in Texas as a GN and they wanted me just out of school to be head nurse on a floor of over 30 patients and just 2 LPNs. Were they really crazy enough to put a GN in that position. I believe the reasons were that I was a warm body and had GN and shortly to have RN after my name and that way they could also save on salary.:confused: :confused:
  11. by   Enabled
    Nurse Nancy absolutely do I agree with you. I ended up leaving agency and went back to the hospital as I was beginning to need benefits and a "lighter load"

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