New to Agency Nursing- and worried

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    I am currently unemployed (for the past two years) and waiting to see if I am accepted into a masters program. In the meantime, I am living on alimony and child support.
    I did have 1.5 years working in LTC and rehab. Rehab units were usually 7-15 patients with tube feedings, trachs, wound vacs, sutures, etc. LTC was 28 residents with a lot of lotion treatments. Felt comfortable doing that and decided to accept a LTC agency position, part-time for about 12 weeks. The patient accuity is about the same as I am used to, but there are about 35 patients(not really all that more). PM and HS med passes take experienced nurses 2.5-3 hours each. And I am so much slower because I don't know the residents, how they take their meds, their personality quirks, etc. The next shift is waiting for report, and I have just gotten off the floor and haven't even started charting yet. I have had two nights of orientation and will be on my own in a different wing with new residents next week. So nervous that I will not be able to handle it. I used to be comfortable with my 28 LTC residents after 3-4 shifts of orientation. I knew the residents and could pull their meds without checking the MAR (of course, I still did, just didn't need to). Really worried that I will be too stressed out and will miss something important. Is this the normal "newbie" jitters, or am I over my head after not working for the past two years (I finished my BSN and was a single mom to 3 kids)?
  2. 7 Comments so far...

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    It will probably take the same amount of time it took you at your previous facility to get to know all the residents. That kind of thing just takes time. Any nurse at a new facility is going to experience the same thing. Good luck, hope things get better!
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    I too am unemployed and in school for my BSN with one kiddo still at home and living off unemployment and child support. I too accepted an agency position for 12 weeks full time doing records managment. You are not alone. Just make sure you see your aganecy profile for you. My agency scewed me big time. I had 30 years inpatient hospital bedside experience and the only thing this agency was scheduling me for was LTC, I have never been a long term care nurse in my life but I too the jobs since I was unemployed and needed to pay bills. I was asked if they could submit me for perdeim at this area hospital who was hiring all these agency per diems for med/surg. Well, needless to say my profile was rejected- this was back in 2011. I couldn't figure out why with all this acute care experience including telemetry experience. It wasn't until I stomped my feet and created in the agency office for work that I went home and accessed my account and my profile only showed the LTC assignements they sent me on- now I an screwed with no recent experience in acute care and still on unemployment. Just a word to the wise.
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    Just decided to quite my job at the agency yesterday. Had worked a 10.5 hour PM shift the night before with no break at all. Had a new admit and a HOSPICE patient with lots of family (and a dog) waiting for it to end. Was scared to death I would do something stupid, or more likely, forget to do something important, and risk my license. Just found out a few hours ago that I was accepted into the masters midwife program that I had applied to. Prayers are answered. Just wish I could win the lottery (even a small one!) so I could pay off some bills!
    Kashia likes this.
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    good advice. here is what I discovered.....collect written references from nurses you work with who know you feel comfortable with you. you know, the old fashioned hand written on paper kind of reference.

    Go see, call, or hand write prior nurses you worked with as well...I did and they were happy to fill out reference form:-)

    Now I make effort to keep up, and just ask a nurse and hand them a reference form if they say yes :-) otherwise I found out like you our work history can go into the abyss. Best to you!
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    Stay clear away from Favorite Healthcare staffing. They will not deal with you in an honest and above board manner. They will not give you any assigments if you do not fit in the their "high school girl clique" image. I have caught them in so many underhanded dealings. I have reported them to the department of labor- they first as the DOL investigator called it" they are hiding job opportunites"(the branch manger told me there was no opportunities when I walked in there this summer on unemployment, and I had worked for them back in 2008, when I told them I was calling the DOL one of the office workers pulled a peice of paper from under a pile of papers and said"Oh here's something you may be interested in" That hidden peice of paper gave me 8 weeks of paid employment!!40 hr/week @$32.00/hr)Now that that assignment has ended, I am only getting 2-10 hr/week. I reopened my unemployment claim. Now I have had them refuse to give me access to my pay stubs to report the hours to unemployment. I had to write another letter of complaint to the DOL, the State attorney general's office and the state govenor's office. I am meeting with the DOL at the request of my complaint I sent to the Govenor. They have these double talking HR eople some where in kansas, who are filed with all the business"BS buzwords and phrases designed to disrespect and put you off, you will never get a straight answer from and if you are blunt in telling them never mind the "that being saids and Moving foreward crap" I need my paystubs to report my hours to unemployment, and to the point with them- they accuse you of being aggressive and don't answer your e-mails. They will insult you and turn around and play innocent-"I don't know" One little 20 something yr old office worker asked me if I new anything about IV's- I have been a hospital RN for 30 years, tele/med/surg and oncology. How insulting. When I told the HR queen this and my pay stub issue, This double talking HR girlie girl went into this big long speel telling me how she had to fire a nurse with 25 yrs hospital experience because she didn't have any IV skills- I find that very,very,very far fetched and hard to believe. Every time you call them about one of their advertized jobs- it's never available. That is a lure to get the nurse to sign on and then they don't give you anywork. or don't want to. Another insident I had with them, I was e-mailed on a saturday by the branch manager if I would be interested in working a Sunday 7PM-7AM Monday ( and I double checked with her if she had the times and days right) helping FEMA give tetnas shots and flu shots. Who gets tetnas shots and flu shots on the midnight shift, ????? on a sunday night into monday morning???? After hours of her stalling"Let me check" she finally said Oh the Central staffing board had it wrong. This is why I wrote the govenor and the attorney general's office- this is outrageous

    Stay away from this outfit/agency- they are dirt bags.
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    been out of work without ANY money for 6 weeks now (last job was per diem). I got one shift in November. I told them I was a charge nurse(I was back in 1999,in school until 2010. Can't find a job as a NP either ,but that is a different story). Was told that I would get time and a half b/c of thanksgiving which would make it 47 an hour. Got to my shift and I was SUPERVISOR( never done it, shaking in my boots. I can take care of people, no problem. Making out the assignment schedule for the day shift, impossible. I don't know who had what assignment(their list was impossible to read). Completed it the best I could. Day shift came in and had a few choice words for me because I didn't do it right. Had to draw blood from a central line,ran around for 20 mins trying to find the stuff to do it. WAs told when I started agency that if I didn't like a place, didn't have to go back. Soon as i got home at 8 am called and told them to get someone else for that night(not going to put my licence on the line b/c I have no experience). WAs told "you can't cancel we have no one else"(they did find someone else) Tried to expain I can't do the am assignment I have no clue (didn't get orientation). Got an half hour lecture from the lady at the agency that "That is what Angency is all about, working on the fly". Only got paid 29.00 an hour for the shift was told sorry about the confusion. Was canceled for the next shift(last friday). Got a call yesterday for wellness clinic. when I signed on, was told nurses in the agency get together and carpool to clinics(I have MS and don't drive,my hubby does). the clinic is 50 miles away from me. I asked the person on the phone about carpooling she said "we don't do that"(different that what the recruiter said and he said the pay was 60/hour) agent on the phone said it was 35/hour. Agency isn't for me!
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    Dear Kcmy:
    that is exactly who I am supposedly working for-favorite. I have been a nurse for 18 years,but haven't started an IV since 1999. Agree they are dirt bags. I NEVER said I had been a supervisor or experience as one. Promise things they don't deliver. Since November 8th, I have worked ONE shift and been canceled for another, that's it.


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