do traveler's have rights??

  1. I was on my last day of a 13 week contract when I was accused by a staff R.N. of having alcohol on my breath - NOT!! My alleged program manager called my agency before they even talked to me and I was offered an "opportunity" to resign or be fired. They refused to let me take the pee test. I resigned to keep my bonus. I then went to the only place in town (keep in mind this is a SMALL town) - the hospital ED, to get an etoh test with my own money. Unfortunately, the hospital I worked at is an affiliate of the town hospital. I sat in the ED for 1 hour and 15 minutes without getting tested. I was the only patient there. Sound like a cover-up or am I just exceptionally paranoid? My agency said just forget about it, but they are making big bucks off this place. I feel like I took it big time. Any suggestions? "Screwed"
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   wildtime88
    no, travelers have no rights.

    And in many cases no back up either.

    I was traveling for cross country/ trav corp and was subjected to a very nasty and hostile working environment. This place had very limited regular staff who for the most part were all in charge. They treated the travelers like meat. To make it even worse the Nurse Manager went on maternity leave and a all out power struggle started among the regular staff about who was in charge while she was away.

    In one day, I was called off at 10 am, after agreeing to work a night of OT , but for some reason wanted me to keep it a secret by one charge nurse, called back at 4 pm to see if I might like to work that night by another charge nurse because of a call off, at which point I declined because I had already made other plans for the night, then at 7:30 pm, I received another call from yet another charge nurse telling me that I had to come in and I had no choice in the matter or I would be let go. I went in and was written up for being late on my final evaluation as well as being subjected to some very abusive language.

    The next day, I called my recruiter/consultant and told her that what had happened and that I was going to terminate my contract because of this and the other incidents that were going on. She immediately began telling me that I would be held responsible for my remaining lease on the apartment and furniture as well as not being able to work through them again.

    So, I stuck it our to the end. Thank god it was only for 5 more weeks.

    Then after all this, one day I got a call from someone else in the company, wanting to discuss the evaluation. That was a joke in it's self. There was no discussion. She told me that if I received one more bad evaluation that I would not be able to work through them again. She went on to say that they were going to keep it on file to pass along to anyone else asking for references.

    No rights, no support when you really need it. You are just a number or a body that generates income for the company. No more, no less.

    Just to warn everyone. This place where I took the assignment was Orangeburg Regional Medical Center in South Carolina. The 30 something nurse manager referred to herself as Mama in a staff meeting before I left. As in mama will take you to the woodshed kind of way. This was the most unprofessional staff meeting I had ever been to.

    They are lacking in staff and in need of travelers badly. There is a reason for it.

    As for some of the travel companies out there, I have worked for others as well. They like to play bait and switch games. Many have web site talking about assignments in Hawaii or other nice places. It is funny how every time you ask about those assignments that there are not available. Their web site talk about seeing the country and how fortunate you will be doing it with free share or private housing. What they do not mention is that it is considered income and you will get a 1099 at the end of the years of get the tax taken directly out of your check. They do have the option of personally paying the taxes themselves. Most of the assignments they offer are in middle America with as much to do and see as your own home town. Many assignments only pay a dollar or two more than the regular staff. Sometimes the housing is less than adequate or ideal.

    After you figure up the up keep on a vehicle as far as maintenance, the out of pocket expenses for things that there in no room to take with you that you will need i.e. cleaning supplies, starter items such as food stuff which use occasionally and have to pitch when you finish, a TV unless you can rent one at your own expense, plus many more things people realize they need. You are lucky to actually make close to amount of money if you would have stayed home.

    My last assignment was with PHO and I did get paid nice, had nice housing, I even got a rental car. I did not get taxed on my check and am dreading the first of the year when the 1099 might arrive for which I will have to claim and pay taxes on. But they were worse than Cross country/trav corp about supporting their travelers. They also like to have you commit to 4 - 12 hour shifts a week. Many of the higher paying companies do in order to generate more income.

    The bottom line is that there is an awful lot of money being made of the sweat of nurses by these companies who keep them in business and a not much support. Without us generating income for them they would have to shut the doors and go out of business. Some one on this bulletin board said that nursing time can not be billed and that is the reason for the low wages. These companies have figured it out. Too bad individual nurses could not figure out how to do these and form massive corporations or limited partnerships like many doctors already do and cut out the middle man who get rich off our personal sweat. I for one would not having to pay 3 or 4 % of my net income to pay for the services of an accountant and every one else needed to do the paper work end of the endeavor.

    I apologize for the rambling. No, travelers have no rights, but we should. So should local agency nurses and nurses in general for that matter.
  4. by   FHE3
    I am very sorry to hear about your negative experience with your travel companies. As a VP for a relatively small (but growing) travel company, I would like to point out that there are good and bad travel companies as with any type of business.

    Many travel companies espouse to the philosophy that you work for them and they are doing you some big favor. I strongly disagree. It is the nurses that are doing us the honor of allowing us to work for THEM.

    When looking at travel companies, I would caution you that bigger is not necessarily better. With bigger travel companies, travelers are just another number. There is a significant drop off in service due to the sheer volume of nurses that they are working with. It is only logical. Believe me, we have a number of nurses that have worked for the larger companies prior to joining our organization.

    Our company enjoys the personal relationships that we develop with each of our valued nurses. We celebrate their highs and console them in their lows. Travel is meant to be exciting and fun -NOT a hassle. There are many great assignments in wonderful locations other than just "middle America." It is a matter of identifying a travel company that is truly interested in LISTENING to what YOU want and not just "pigeon-holing" you into the easiest spot. You can refuse any assignment.

    There are a couple of important things travelers should be aware of. First, get everything in writing. "If you didn't get it writing, it didn't happen."

    Second, make sure taxes are taken out of your check! Some companies offer outrageously high hourly salaries, but fail to mention that you are responsible for paying your own taxes! They also fail to mention that this allows them to not pay employer taxes (if you are an independent contractor).

    The bottom line is that, as a traveler, you do have rights. The most important being that you have the right to work for whatever company you so desire. Do your homework. Ask questions. And don't fall for fancy gimmicks like huge sign-on/end of assignment bonuses, "free cars" and the like. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Bon voyage! ;-)
  5. by   Brownms46
    Wildtime88,

    I used to travel in S C. but fortunately for me I was warned away from Orangeburg! Sorry you had a bad experience there and with your agency. I have been doing travel for ten yrs now, and I have been warned away from the agency you spoke of also.


    There are good agencies out there, and I once had a problem with the staff on a unit I worked on...BUT my agency stood behind and in front of me...even after I refused to do the last three days on the contract. The hospital staffing office even called the agency and just about cussed out one of the recruiter over this!

    Yes most travel nurses are left to their own devices when they work for agencies...but if you get a great recruiter...even if the money maybe less than other agencies...stick with them. Everyone needs someone in their corner.

    Brownie
  6. by   nightcrawler2be
    As a EXTRAVELER I can only say the contract IS NOT WORTH the PAPER IT IS WRITTEN ON. I have had more shady companies than good ones small and large. I was told so many lies and manipulations there are too many to count the last assignment put such a bad taste in my mouth that I work locally now and would NEVER travel again.
  7. by   Kooky Korky
    Haven't any of you heard of talking to an attorney? It is next to unbelievable to me that you allowed yourselves to be treated like dirt.

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