Treatment of Agency Staff - page 2

This question comes up again and again. So my dear colleagues, let's take a poll and see where we are at with this question on this BB. How are you treated? Please feel free to cooment or explain... Read More

  1. by   Brownms46
    I think I know when I'm being dumped on...if everytime I work...I get the first admission, and my rooms are stretched out to all three halls! Also I once went to a hospital...on a late call. I took report, and went to work. Meantime I'm watching the staff sitting around laughing and talking, drinking coffee. I finally took time to find out what the census was. I soon realized...that I couldn't possibly had a fair amount of pts...with the amount of nurses on the unit! I foudn out..I had SIX more pts. then anyone else...and a couple of totals!! Needless to say I had the CN RE do the assignement!!! They tried to say they hadn't realized it!! Yeah right!! I thnk it's more than just perspective..:chuckle!
  2. by   nightingale
    Perspective is one component.

    I do not go back to a floor or facility that I am dumped on. That is how I handle. It makes a statement.

    Of course, I am per diem agency and that frees me up to make more choices; it is, just about, the only way I will do nursing anymore.

    B.
  3. by   susi_q
    I just started working agency at the beginning of the year. So far, it seems to be working out much better than "regular" employee. I will say, that I have found night shift is universally more accepting than day (I float shifts, as well as hospitals & units) There are some hospitals where I just won't work anymore on their day shift - partly staff attitude towards agency - mostly just the basic staff attitude (as confirmed by the night shift). I will say, that at this point I expect to stay as agency - even with the occassional dump - I LOVE the freedom, flexibility and the broader level of experiences.
  4. by   darn1219
    As a full time staff RN in a community hospital, I just wanted to add my experiences with agency nurses. I work in a small 10 bed ICU on the evening shift. We use agency nurses VERY frequently due to staffing shortages and actually have policies on how they are to be "treated". For example if there is a need to float someone from ICU to another area in the hospital, they float "regular" staff and keep the agency RN in the unit. True that a scheduled agency RN will be cancelled first if census changes mean we need less staff. As far as assignments go, we try to maintain continuity of care so the RN who had the patient the day before will get the same one(s) back leaving the agency RN to pick up the assignment of a nurse that isn't there that particular day. If agency RN's are being treated poorly in our facility it's more likely a clash of personalities I suppose though I know that they start off with biases due to the fact that the salary of an agency RN is often double than what the staff RN's are getting. But please, all you agency RN's, keep coming! We couldn't manage without your help and the varying experiences you bring with you.
  5. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by nightngale1998
    Perspective is one component.

    I do not go back to a floor or facility that I am dumped on. That is how I handle. It makes a statement.

    B.
    Exactly, you have to speak loudly with your feet!.
  6. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by darn1219
    As a full time staff RN in a community hospital, I just wanted to add my experiences with agency nurses. I work in a small 10 bed ICU on the evening shift. We use agency nurses VERY frequently due to staffing shortages and actually have policies on how they are to be "treated". For example if there is a need to float someone from ICU to another area in the hospital, they float "regular" staff and keep the agency RN in the unit. True that a scheduled agency RN will be cancelled first if census changes mean we need less staff. As far as assignments go, we try to maintain continuity of care so the RN who had the patient the day before will get the same one(s) back leaving the agency RN to pick up the assignment of a nurse that isn't there that particular day. If agency RN's are being treated poorly in our facility it's more likely a clash of personalities I suppose though I know that they start off with biases due to the fact that the salary of an agency RN is often double than what the staff RN's are getting. But please, all you agency RN's, keep coming! We couldn't manage without your help and the varying experiences you bring with you.
    I must say that is hospitals that are organized, with written policies about how agency will be used, I have been treated better than those that aren't. Some hospital don't even bother giving agency nurses any kind of orientation, but expect them to walk in cold, and perform.

    When you spend part of your shift trying to find everything, and have to bother other staff to find out, how you do this or that, this takes away from that nurses time of actually doing pt. care.

    Yes, I can walk in and function with zero orientation, but how much more effective could I have been if I didn't have to waste time searching for this or that??? Especially the hospitals that use pcs. One hospital decided that I could be oriented to their pc system, at the same time I was taking care of 6-7pts, with one of them post-op!! They took up almost 3 hrs of my shift with me sitting in the nurses station, with someoone trying show me how to use this awful system they had!! Now that make real good sense. Their response ...no one else had a problem with it!!! Yeah right....that is why a traveler told me, that the hospital was on the DNR of most nurses in the area, and asked didn't anyone warn me!!! I never went back!!

    I'm sure with your response here, your hospital will have less nurses who vote with their feet. Good post...
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Jun 18, '02
  7. by   live4today
    Originally posted by nightngale1998
    Just curious...Brown and Cheerfulldoer: are you treated badly most of the time?

    B.
    Hello Nightngale...sorry I'm just now reading the question you posed to Brownie and myself. In answer to your question...No, at most places where I have worked as an agency nurse or traveling nurse, I have been very warmly received, appreciated, and respected which is the main reason I continued working in that capacity as a nurse. I can count on one hand the number of places I've worked that were not appreciative or receptive to agency nurses (or travelers). I remember one hospital in particular out in Southern California that constantly called the agency I worked with requesting my nursing expertise at their facility. Often times, the Supervisor would pay me a visit before the end of my shift, and ask me if I could come back the next day. I always said yes as I loved working with them as much as they enjoyed having me work with them. Even in the worst of situations, I have made the best of the shift because I'm old enough to realize that there are rough edges to everyone's personality at times, and if handled with TLC and a smile, they eventually soften.

    One of my favorite quotes (by Andy Rooney) is "I've learned that under everyone's hardshell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved." AND "One can preach a better sermon with their life than with their lips." I try to remember these things when I'm working with people that aren't too thrilled to have me in their presence...as SOME work environments can be.
  8. by   KBaldwinLVN
    Registry (agency) personnel can be a true asset or a pain in the behind. It depends on the person.
  9. by   Brownms46
    Or persons...on either side...
  10. by   nightingale
    It is interesting hearing the feedback. Thank you to all the posters.

    There are times i do not think i have a grip on the "real world" of nursing because I float from hospital to hospital in Denver. It has its' positve and negative side; the positive side is that I can pick and choose which facilities I DNU or do not use.

    B.
  11. by   Adele4012
    I've worked agency for the past 9 years now. At times fulltime and at times as extra cash on my day off. I haven't had any bad experiences so far. I've worked NICU, PICU, CCU, Telemetry and Med Surg. I'm pretty comfortable in all of these areas but if I'm not sure of something I ask questions of the charge nurse. In my experience they would much rather we ask than to assume that we know, different hospitals have different policies. I like belonging to My NICU where I am staff but I don't know what I would do without the agency experience and supplement to my income. RNs don't make much when they work staff where I work.
  12. by   lostchild
    I have only been on assignment to one facility that treated me well. The patients and staff were great. The rest of my assignments were terrible. No respect from any of the nurses and the patients were all grumpy( I chose to blame it on the nurses because they were in the middle of a union dispute of some sort).
    These people were horrible to all agency staff---even the ones who worked circles around them.
  13. by   Brownms46
    I have worked just about every area there is to work in nursing, except for PICU and the OR! I have worked in 5 different states, and more facilities then most people...including most nurses have even walked in the door of...let alone worked in. It would take me awhile to sit down and even think about all the ones I have worked in. If you took this same poll on the Delphi forum...of the experienced travelers, and unfortuantely some new ones too, the scales would indeed tip way in the other direction. I know becaue I have been on that forum longer than I have been here!(but this one is the best), and read all the complaints!

    I can remember one of the worst treatments of an agency nurse that I have ever heard before. And that was of a staff nurse 's taking out her anger at the pay agencies nurses were making, and launching an unprovoked, verbal abuse on a unsuspecting agency nurse. This nurse was on the elevator... leaving the hospital!! I have listened to a CN and another staff member laughing about how she (the CN) had an agency nurse ask her why she kept giving her all the admissions! Her response to this nurse was that she would keep giving them to her! And made the statement ."everytime she comes here I'm going to give them to her! Now this unit had only a small handful of their own staff! Wonder why???

    What I'm saying is...to all who haven't been subjected to the abusive treatment others have...count yourself lucky indeed. Because the abuse is out there...you just have been very blessed to not have it touch you! I know that many of us will put up with what others won't...but I don't. I go into a facility with a big smile hoping, and wishing for the best. If it's good I go back...if not I don't! I agree with nightngale1998, that making a hospital and or unit a DNU...is best thing possible in many cases! In one city I had more DNU hospital on my list then not. The two I did have on my list...asked my agency to send me back, and the other when they found I was leaving had their manager come in on nites and offer me af job, and tried to talk me out the coming where I am now! I was given her card with a standing offer of a job anytime I returned!! So obviously I wasn't the problem...they thought I was wonderful!!

    But me.... I prefer travel assginemts because most times I can put up with anything for 8-13weeks, and I can rest between assignments and not worry about money! My apartment, furniture and sometimes all my utilites including cable and phone are taken care of, and I can work on getting the extras! I don't have to worry about getting canceled...or trying to figure out each time I go to a new hospital what is required of me.

    There have been some wonderful assignments in my long career, and there have been some real stinkers too! I take the good with the bad, and if something becomes too unbearable I can always walk! Have done it, and will do it again if need be. Life is just too short!

    But that is the beauty of being a nurse...as you have the option to change, and do something else if you find you need to for your own peace of mind.. Thank you nightngale1998, for allowing me to speak my mind..
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Jun 18, '02

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