refusing assignment - page 2

Hello all, my question is can you refuse an assignment last minute, at shift change and be charged with patient abandonedment? Let me give you a scenario.... you recently started at a hospital... Read More

  1. by   KatieMI
    The understaffing is not the fact belonging to an agency's nurse biography. It belongs to the facility run so poorly that administration cannot retain qualified staff.

    I would think twice about working for the agency which lets their nurses to be treated like that.

    At pretty much any time, if you are uncomfortable with assignment and/or cannot be provided with basic accomodations you are entitled to (break accomodations among them), just say "no". It is not the abandonment till you technically accepted the report. I once was told, at the beginning of the shift, that "due to technical difficulties" there was no working staff toilet in the SNF wing where I was supposed to be the single RN. I couldn't leave the wing potentially for 14 hours and due to some local schmolicy I couldn't use one in empty room, for example. I was given a hearty advice not to drink and get some saltines... I just got up and walked out of there. Called my agency right away, no nurses were ever sent there after that.
    Last edit by KatieMI on Jul 24, '16
  2. by   Thomgirl
    (deleted)
  3. by   EKUGRAD
    Agency nurses, especially travelers, get "the big bucks" because we get few benefits. What's available is usually WAY too expensive
  4. by   SurgicalTechCST
    Quote from Caring201
    I have never understood why some nurses are so tough on agency nurses. I mean after all they are helping out the unit because of staffing right? Regardless of how much money they make, they are helping. Regardless of being agency, FT, PT, she is entitled to being trained where things are located on the unit and oriented to some of the basic things. She also deserves and is entitled to breaks and being able to pump too. Sounds like her facility has the same attitude as Been there, done that. I wouldn't go back. Not every facility is going to treat you like that.
    Very likely why they can't keep staff too, if that's the kind of attitude that is allowed to prevail and flourish - "Nobody cares if YOU..." Or about you. That's obvious. You are agency, so suck it up, buttercup - like that makes you some lower form of life. Likely professional jealousy of your perceived pay rate and benefits, and nothing more. They have no idea what it takes to be successful at such a venture - all they see are the $$$.

    I used to travel through an agency, as a Certified Surgical Technologist, and only ever had one bad assignment. It wasn't my agency's fault either. It was a total lack of decent, effective management of the department, which was the whole source of their staffing problem. I understood after I left there, being "let go" with no notice, two weeks into a three month assignment, for no reason they would give me ("Just call your agency" was the only response that I could get to my repeated requests for an explanation of what it was they objected to, from the Nurse Manager, who perpetually kept herself sequestered in her little office with the desk turned toward the wall and her back to a constantly closed door for the bulk of every shift) OR that my agency could discover either, that particular management individual was replaced, others were fired outright, and many changes were finally made. AND that I wasn't the first Traveler they did such things to. I had sort of kept in touch with one of the staff after I left, who knew what had gone on before me, and of course after I left. This was quite a while back though, so revealing location or facility related details at this point wouldn't be relevant.

    Other than that fortunately short-lived unpleasant experience, I was pretty much treated like 24kt Gold everywhere I went, because I was needed, and because I was very good at jumping in and hitting the ground running in a fairly short period of time. This has nothing whatsoever to do with reflecting on anyone else's abilities, or experience, only on my own. But, I have to say I never really had a seriously bad experience besides the one I described.

    Fortunately, I figured out two things very early on in my experience as an employee of any kind - #1 That you need a thick skin, and a good sense of humor; #2 "I have worked at many, many places, and the only thing that changes are the names and the faces." That's my own - it just sort of fell out of my head one day in the middle of a conversation with some co-workers, where I was privy to a "***** fest" some were having about prior employment.

    One place I worked at through my agency, a small county hospital, hired me PRN after my contract time ran out, and my agency didn't have another assignment for me right away. Being PRN, I could come and go on my terms, and even made more money on my check, because they didn't have to pay agency rate, because they were very close to my home, I could easily commute.

    Another place (an ASC) even closer geographically, where I did a contract assignment, finally decided later to hire somebody PRN, and hired me back the day I walked in the door because I already knew everyone, and everything about their routines, their docs (12) and equipment, and I wouldn't need training. So, for a while I balanced both, until the second one wanted me four days a week, and that didn't leave enough time for me to devote to the other and make any money.

    I loved agency/traveling, and I also loved being needed and wanted by the places I went to. I loved the experience and the short term nature of my assignments, because they led me into other opportunities.
  5. by   Here.I.Stand
    Quote from Been there,done that
    You can be charged with abandonment if you get report.. then refuse.
    Agency nurses are expected to function with minimal training to the unit. That is why they get the big bucks.

    Nobody cares that you cant "pump" You are agency... deal with it.
    They don't have to care about her breasts or about her pumping. They do have to provide a private space that is not a bathroom, and they do have to provide the time to do it.
  6. by   Been there,done that
    Quote from Aliareza
    I don't know if you're trying to sound extremely bitter and biased against agency nurses but that's how it's coming off.

    At my facility, any new nurse being hired on would get 6-8 weeks of training. An agency nurse might only get 1 week and then be expected to know how to function with some assistance. 3 hours and no nurses to assist is a recipe for disaster. It is not something that an agency nurse should have to "just deal with".

    OP, do not go back to this facility. You don't want your license on the line when they get in trouble for how they're running things.
    Yes, I sometimes like to let my bitterness show. Not so in this case. I have been an agency nurse for many years, it is a VERY tough gig. In THIS case, The agency nurse cannot expect 6- 8 weeks of training.
    I understand that pumping time is mandated . The OP will have a tough time obtaining that requirement, within an agency assignment.


    Agency nurses do not get the same consiideration as staff.
    It's the name of the game.
  7. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from Been there,done that
    You can be charged with abandonment if you get report.. then refuse.
    Agency nurses are expected to function with minimal training to the unit. That is why they get the big bucks.

    Nobody cares that you cant "pump" You are agency... deal with it.
    Wow, Girl, you are usually so nice. What up?

    OP, head for the hills, that is, say adios to this ridiculous, cheap-minded place. Your agency will always blame the facility, the facility will always blame the agency. Just do what you know is right for you and don't go back unless they provide a meal break, a pumping break, and a backup nurse.

    Is the ER really so busy that they need 3 nurses? Maybe you could work the ER and have one of those nurses cover MedSurg. They'll love that, but you will be better able to get your breaks and have backup and better orientation.

    And there is a way to get paid for your unused lunch break if you actually don't get to take a real lunch break. Make them show you what paperwork or timeclock actions you need to perform to get paid when you work through unpaid lunch.
  8. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from Been there,done that
    Yes, I sometimes like to let my bitterness show. Not so in this case. I have been an agency nurse for many years, it is a VERY tough gig. In THIS case, The agency nurse cannot expect 6- 8 weeks of training.
    I understand that pumping time is mandated . The OP will have a tough time obtaining that requirement, within an agency assignment.


    Agency nurses do not get the same consideration as staff.
    It's the name of the game.
    Only if nurses let it be.
  9. by   caliotter3
    Not knowing the legal relationship between the facility and the hospital, the hospital should have been informed of the breastfeeding prior to the assignment so they could request another nurse. Breastfeeding laws for already hired employees is one thing but I don't see why this has to be accommodated before a person comes onboard.
  10. by   canoehead
    Quote from caliotter3
    Not knowing the legal relationship between the facility and the hospital, the hospital should have been informed of the breastfeeding prior to the assignment so they could request another nurse. Breastfeeding laws for already hired employees is one thing but I don't see why this has to be accommodated before a person comes onboard.
    They would not be allowed to discriminate against her because she is breastfeeding. That's probably why no one asked, and no one provided the information.

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