The agency REALLY cheesed me off today

  1. I'm pretty mad at the agency I work for at the moment. Last week, the care home I was working at asked me if I could work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday this week and I said yes. So, they rang the agency and booked me. Anyway, today, being Monday, I woke up and felt really tired. I was doing things around the house making stupid mistakes, like I took things out of the cupboard, 1 minute later, I am looking for them in the cupboard. I tried to put the margarine lid on the microwave egg poacher. This is how tired I was, my brain wasn't functioning!

    So, I rang the agency about 6 hours before the shift and told them I really didn't think I could make it ect and they convinced stupid me to go. However, 2 hours later I rang back and explained that I just could not get in my car and drive 40 minutes, my mind wasn't thinking straight. They did the big "ugh" over the phone.


    Anyway, I also had a job interview this morning for a job at a local hospital. 10 minutes away from home. I was pretty tired but think it was okey, however, on the way home I went straight though a stop sign and missed another car by centimetres. I shouldn't have been on the road.

    Then an hour later, when I got home from the interview, they rang me back to beg me to go and said "can't you have a sleep now" and I told them the problem was that I was so overtired, I couldn't sleep. They kept saying how they had no one to fill the shift ect.

    The thing is, as the RN in the care home I do the medications. If I had forced myself to drive down, it's 45 minutes drive, and by the luck of god made it alive, I probably would have made some horrible drug error.

    Do the agencies realise that safety is an issue? Although I did say I would do the shifts on Friday last week and the manager at the care home changed someones roster as I could only do the late (due to the job interview) I didn't know back then I would be so tired. They made me feel really really bad and I have a shift at this care home Tuesday and Wednesday and feel awful about today

    Of course, when the agency cancels, it's a different story. A quick 2 second phone call and that's it.

    I so hope I get this job. I'm seriously fed up with agency now.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   happthearts
    Quote from bulletproofbarb
    I'm pretty mad at the agency I work for at the moment. Last week, the care home I was working at asked me if I could work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday this week and I said yes. So, they rang the agency and booked me. Anyway, today, being Monday, I woke up and felt really tired. I was doing things around the house making stupid mistakes, like I took things out of the cupboard, 1 minute later, I am looking for them in the cupboard. I tried to put the margarine lid on the microwave egg poacher. This is how tired I was, my brain wasn't functioning!

    So, I rang the agency about 6 hours before the shift and told them I really didn't think I could make it ect and they convinced stupid me to go. However, 2 hours later I rang back and explained that I just could not get in my car and drive 40 minutes, my mind wasn't thinking straight. They did the big "ugh" over the phone.

    Anyway, I also had a job interview this morning for a job at a local hospital. 10 minutes away from home. I was pretty tired but think it was okey, however, on the way home I went straight though a stop sign and missed another car by centimetres. I shouldn't have been on the road.

    Then an hour later, when I got home from the interview, they rang me back to beg me to go and said "can't you have a sleep now" and I told them the problem was that I was so overtired, I couldn't sleep. They kept saying how they had no one to fill the shift ect.

    The thing is, as the RN in the care home I do the medications. If I had forced myself to drive down, it's 45 minutes drive, and by the luck of god made it alive, I probably would have made some horrible drug error.

    Do the agencies realise that safety is an issue? Although I did say I would do the shifts on Friday last week and the manager at the care home changed someones roster as I could only do the late (due to the job interview) I didn't know back then I would be so tired. They made me feel really really bad and I have a shift at this care home Tuesday and Wednesday and feel awful about today

    Of course, when the agency cancels, it's a different story. A quick 2 second phone call and that's it.

    I so hope I get this job. I'm seriously fed up with agency now.
    Even though I can totally understand where your comming From I work for a home care company in charge of caregivers. It really makes me mad when some one states they can work. Then the day of the shift we have to rush arround at the last minute to find a caregiver .If its a weekend its double hard I had to work after putting 50 plus hours setting up care for PT's .Then I had a caregiver who did a no call no show then acted like it was no big deal. I personally worked another 36 hr .I have always looked at it this way .If you know you will be tired .You are an adult seducule yourself off. Or Plain don't answer your phone for work .

    Yes it is a saftey issue But you as nurse know what your body can take and what it can't .You knew you would be tired .You should have never said yes in the first place .You knew you were going for that job interview.

    I bet if you ask your agency you will probably find they didn't have alot of nurses that stated that they would work that day .Fri and Sat is the worst to staff for.When you said yes they were depending on you . I say if You really don't want to work, check that caller ID and also if they pin you down at work don't ,(him or haw ) Or I will let you know .Say straight out I can't work I have other plans that day .
    I don't mean to get on your back I just want you to try to see it from the agencys side.Its the biggest pain replaceing people .I have worked as a caregiver giver and care manger So I totally understand both sides.
  4. by   Dixielee
    Good for you for sticking to your decision. Too often we succumb to the whining and pleading of the agency/hospital/manager....whoever is doing the begging. You are right to recognize your limitations. You are also right that more often than not, we are simply a number on a schedule, and management is in the business of filling those holes with warm bodies. If you had gone in and made a fatal or serious error, do you think they would have stood beside you and taken the hit, acknowledging that they begged you to come in when you said you were not safe to do so. Not on your life! Good for you for standing up. Now get yourself an answering machine and if this happens again, just don't pick up the phone!
  5. by   bulletproofbarb
    I don't think you read my post before replying. I already said I didn't know I would be tired on the Monday and it wasn't a Friday/Saturday shift they had to fill. It was the Monday. Plus, I was prebooked on the Friday for the Monday so answering the phone or not has nothing to do with it. The job interview had nothing to do with it. The shift was a 3pm to 9pm, the interview was 11am. If I am working in the afternoon, I generally do something in the morning, be it shopping or doctors appointment or catching up with friends or job interview ect. Lots of people do stuff before work. I doubt people sit on their backsides until it's time to leave at 2pm.


    For comparson, If I had been in the same situation and had been a permanent employee somewhere, I would have called in sick but again, I don't know a few days in advance if I will be ill or not.

    I personally think I made the right choice and I am damn sure that if I made a drug error the agency wouldn't be there to back me up.

    It may be a pain for the agency to replace people but that is their job.


    Quote from happthearts
    Even though I can totally understand where your comming From I work for a home care company in charge of caregivers. It really makes me mad when some one states they can work. Then the day of the shift we have to rush arround at the last minute to find a caregiver .If its a weekend its double hard I had to work after putting 50 plus hours setting up care for PT's .Then I had a caregiver who did a no call no show then acted like it was no big deal. I personally worked another 36 hr .I have always looked at it this way .If you know you will be tired .You are an adult seducule yourself off. Or Plain don't answer your phone for work .

    Yes it is a saftey issue But you as nurse know what your body can take and what it can't .You knew you would be tired .You should have never said yes in the first place .You knew you were going for that job interview.

    I bet if you ask your agency you will probably find they didn't have alot of nurses that stated that they would work that day .Fri and Sat is the worst to staff for.When you said yes they were depending on you . I say if You really don't want to work, check that caller ID and also if they pin you down at work don't ,(him or haw ) Or I will let you know .Say straight out I can't work I have other plans that day .
    I don't mean to get on your back I just want you to try to see it from the agencys side.Its the biggest pain replaceing people .I have worked as a caregiver giver and care manger So I totally understand both sides.
  6. by   5FrSilastic
    Quote from bulletproofbarb
    I don't think you read my post before replying. I already said I didn't know I would be tired on the Monday and it wasn't a Friday/Saturday shift they had to fill. It was the Monday. Plus, I was prebooked on the Friday for the Monday so answering the phone or not has nothing to do with it. The job interview had nothing to do with it. The shift was a 3pm to 9pm, the interview was 11am. If I am working in the afternoon, I generally do something in the morning, be it shopping or doctors appointment or catching up with friends or job interview ect. Lots of people do stuff before work. I doubt people sit on their backsides until it's time to leave at 2pm.


    For comparson, If I had been in the same situation and had been a permanent employee somewhere, I would have called in sick but again, I don't know a few days in advance if I will be ill or not.

    I personally think I made the right choice and I am damn sure that if I made a drug error the agency wouldn't be there to back me up.

    It may be a pain for the agency to replace people but that is their job.
    Exactly, its their job to do the staffing, not the nurse's. Things happen, people cancel shifts, and thats the nature of an agency. They dont think the same way when they have to cancel you, now do they? This poster got a bee in her bonnet simply because she has to staff.....Agency is agency, it always will be.... has pros, but just as many cons.
  7. by   NoCrumping
    Quote from 5FrSilastic
    Exactly, its their job to do the staffing, not the nurse's. Things happen, people cancel shifts, and thats the nature of an agency. They dont think the same way when they have to cancel you, now do they? This poster got a bee in her bonnet simply because she has to staff.....Agency is agency, it always will be.... has pros, but just as many cons.
    I worked for an agency a while back, per diem, who wanted deffinite days that I would be able to work 3 months in advance......and if you canceled, you got a warning. Howwever, when demanding these requirements from the nurses, they in no way guaranteed US any hours for those days. Some want it both ways. It's up to us to stand up for ourselves.....
  8. by   mattsmom81
    I think we have all had this type of thing happen where we've simply had to call off...for illness, for lack of sleep, family emergencies. I too get tired of getting scolded for it. We are only human and most of us put in ridiculously long hours, extra shifts, swingshift hours, whatever...and it cheeses me off that managers cannot give us a break now and then in an emergency. I do a whole lot and am flexible for them, they need to understand my situation once in awhile.

    You guys are right...they won't back you up if you made a mistake. So we have to make that call if we are 'impaired' in any way. Extreme lack of sleep IS impaired.
  9. by   ADN2003
    Quote from happthearts
    Even though I can totally understand where your comming From I work for a home care company in charge of caregivers. It really makes me mad when some one states they can work. Then the day of the shift we have to rush arround at the last minute to find a caregiver .If its a weekend its double hard I had to work after putting 50 plus hours setting up care for PT's .Then I had a caregiver who did a no call no show then acted like it was no big deal. I personally worked another 36 hr .I have always looked at it this way .If you know you will be tired .You are an adult seducule yourself off. Or Plain don't answer your phone for work .

    Yes it is a saftey issue But you as nurse know what your body can take and what it can't .You knew you would be tired .You should have never said yes in the first place .You knew you were going for that job interview.

    I bet if you ask your agency you will probably find they didn't have alot of nurses that stated that they would work that day .Fri and Sat is the worst to staff for.When you said yes they were depending on you . I say if You really don't want to work, check that caller ID and also if they pin you down at work don't ,(him or haw ) Or I will let you know .Say straight out I can't work I have other plans that day .
    I don't mean to get on your back I just want you to try to see it from the agencys side.Its the biggest pain replaceing people .I have worked as a caregiver giver and care manger So I totally understand both sides.
    You don't sound like you understand where she is coming from, you sound to me like you are chastizing her for being tired. l dont know about you but when l get tired it is not a scheduled event, that is why she called off work 6hours before her shift.
  10. by   bulletproofbarb
    They rang me today (friday), I didn't answer the phone. It was 830am. I had just got to sleep at 4am. I have still got this messed up sleeping thing. :angryfire Last week I told them I couldn't work Friday. 7 days notice that I couldn't work friday and hohum, they ring anyway.
    They do anything possible to fill the shift because if they don't, they loose money. They don't care about safety ect. I happen to care about my nurses registration and won't do anything to jepodise it nor do I want to be responsible for hurting someone because I was tired.
  11. by   gwenith
    That is the worst part about agency. They will keep trying and trying. For me working comes down to a tussle between greed and sloth. Sloth says "stay at home - have the day off you are tired"

    [img]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/WENDY/LOCALS%7E1/TEMP/moz-screenshot.jpg[/img]Greed says "money, money money - must be funny - in a rich man's world"[img]images/smilies/xmas/Melody.gif[/img]

    By the sounds of it you have to look at why your sleeping is a problem. Have you tried the old glass of port at bedtime trick. It may not put you to sleep but at least you no longer worry about it.

    Seriously though I really hope things work out for you.

    Luck mate!!
  12. by   bulletproofbarb
    haha, if I had a glass of port, I'd be on life support! Alcohol interacts with my epilepsy tablets and in a really bad way. I kinda get like "locked in" syndrome I suppose is the easiest way to describe it. It only had to happen once to scare me off alcohol for the rest of my life.


    Oh how I wish I had a permanent job. I'm waiting and hoping on this one.
  13. by   gwenith
    Hmmmm then there is the all time natural remedy warm milk and honey. Try relaxation exercises - you know tense all your muscles and then relax while controlling your breathing. In - tense - hold - hold muscle tension - out - relax - hold - keep the relaxation going.

    Does help a LOT believe me.

    And my fave - apples in the morning instead of coffee. And get out into the bright sunlight - reset your diurnal rhythms by resetting your internal clock'

    Hope that helps
  14. by   BadBird
    Unplug your phone so it doesn't wake you. When I worked Agency I started to book the day I wanted because you never know what comes up and you can't work. Good luck with your job hunt.

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