Treatment of Agency Staff - page 4

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   fadingyouth
    Facilities/staff that cannot see past themselves should not expect an agency nurse to return. In the many years I have contracted I tend to start an assignment with the belief that I am there to assist them. However, if attitudes, assignments and general atmosphere lend themselves to a bad work day then I simply request that I do not return.
    There is only 1 facility on that list ( in some 20 yrs) and the agency has understood the reasons.
    There are facilities that I would rather not return to if there is some other assignment, but the reason here is generally due to lack of equipment, protocols and recent trends.
    Presently, any nurse gets treated appropriately. For example, yesterday was admissions/transfer day. Each nurse is assigned a number in that rotation. When your number is up, it is simply your turn. The coodinators are pretty good at keeping the rooms together, altho it is not always possible. They set the rooms up for you and assist, when they can, with the admission or transfer. Of course, there is always 1 or 2 that would rather just sit, but that is the rarity.
    I have learned that it is okay and acceptable to "just say no". If your reasons are substantiable, the new assignment is handed to someone else. Sometimes you are busier than what is visible at the time.
    Talking to--not at-----works both ways.
  2. by   KBaldwinLVN
    originally posted by nightngale1998


    interesting take on what you hear about why agency nurses or whomever refuse assignments. i have never heard that one; not since the days of working strictly for a facility that boasted nurses who were there "forever". when in reality, they were the only ones i saw refuse assignments, get uppity about who was doing what etc. on assignments, and they went running (actually whining to the poor don) about what so and so was doing; good riddens' to "the good ol' days".

    b.
    thanks for your response nightngale1998. funny, what was quoted above is exactly what i was thinking when i asked the question. think hmo hospital that has been around forever. can you narrow it down to a few? (smile).

    i've seen both staff and agency nurses get their panties in a bundle over assignments. still, it appears a little "odd" when agency staff does so. i guess i expect some staff members to whine every now and then. but it's a little different when agency personnel does so. why? i dunno, maybe an old school way of thinking (i.e.. agency personnel is to be ready, willing, and on their best behavior. i know - don't stone me; its old and i'll update this illogical logic! ).

    i'll say it's bothersome when anyone complains about patient assignments.

    take care and thanks for your reply.

    kb
  3. by   KBaldwinLVN
    originally posted by brownms46
    kbaldwinlvn,

    i think that everyone wants to be treated fairly, whether their per diem, ft, pt, or travel. too many times agency nurses are misused and abuse by some staff members, who see them as having no rights, what so ever! many...even though they maybe not responding on this forum...do feel that , just because they make more..staff feels they should work more. many staff nurses also resent the freedom that a agency nurse has, in saying where, when and how long.

    staff nurses who feel that agency nurses should take the more dfficult pts, because they make more is also some of the problem. no one wants to be dumped on, and when you have feelings like this....some agency nurses maybe already have their antennas up...and are suspicious of heavy assignments. especially when they'e running all shift and staff is sitting down....watching them!!! believe me i have seen it more times than i want to count. i have actually seen staff members laugning about how they treated an agency nurse....as they forgot i was agency also...because i'm usually there for 13 weeks. funny how quick people forget where they are..

    and yes...the agency nurse is there to fill in on whatever units need her/him...not for whatever pt the staff doesn't want to deal with!!! units that make those kinds of assignments...usually have trouble getting help in the future...as i for one, would never return! most agency nurses are good nurses, who want to make more money, and have control over their lives. but everyone has their own objectives for doing whatever they do.

    i for one...give my best, as i want the staff to feel i was benefical in helping them, and their pts. i want to be able to come in, and function as close to what another staff member would have done.

    but no..i don't want to know about your politics or become involved in them. do i feel a responsiblity to the hospital, the staff and the pts...yes! but that responsiblity is to give the best care possible, document well, follow whatever policies are in place in that facility, and be helpful to not only the staff, but to anyone in that hospital!

    but... i also don't want to be dragged into staff petty discussions. i'm there to do a job...and be as pleasant as i can...in talking with staff...as needed to do that job.

    you know i have seen staff say stuff to agency nurses, and then watch their faces to see how they will take it. i just smile...because if it's not right...i only have to do it for that day, and that day only... i will then tell my agency, that floor or that hospital is on my dnu list...and in 20yrs...only one hospital has ever come off that list. also agency nurses talk to each other too. so if you have screwed a couple of us...and some one asks how is it working in your hospital...you have just shot yourself in the foot..with more than just one or two nurses. as one nurses tell another, and another.

    as for the statment, that agency nurses are compensated regardless of what they do or say?? i won't even justify that one with an answer!!

    some places it is possible for me to make a difference...and some places not at all! i take the sour with the sweet...but i don't let others run over me for long. and since i have been asked back many times, many hospitals ..as i know management asks staff for feedback on us...i think i have done a pretty good job.
    thanks for your response brownms46. i understand your view well stated above.
    take care,
    -kb.
  4. by   Brownms46
    Your are welcome Kb... I'm kind of wordy...at times..
  5. by   Adele4012
    Those who have had bad experiences, was it one area of the country or does that matter? Just curious.
  6. by   nightingale
    Quote:

    There is nothing wrong with questioning an assignment. Good Lord, we are all trained professionals who are expected to be thinking of patients' safety etc. Hopefully, we do this in a professional and positive manner.

    ---------------
    A couple of months ago, I worked on a med/surg floor that receives a lot of overflow. I was assigned a neutropenic patient, newly diagnosed who did not have a clue as to what it was all about. There was a lot of patient teaching involved which I love.

    I was also assigned a MRSA patient; I questioned that assignment and asked for a different patient. The charge nurse, bless her sweet young heart, did not have a clue how serious neutropenia was. Another nurse, God bless her innocent heart, did not understand why I gowned, masked and gloved the neutropenia patient wehn she went downstairs for a procedure.

    These personnel interactions were teaching oppoutunities for staff. I was not indignent nor was I grumpy or whinny (shades of "the good ol' days" of know it all nurses); I simply stated why I was suggesting an assignment change. I asked for another patient, any patient or next assignment.

    Just my HO.

    B.
    Last edit by nightingale on Jun 25, '02
  7. by   Brownms46
    To anwser your question Adele4012...Yes I and many other travelers have seen it across the country. That is why the Delphi forums has come in handy for many of us. It allows us to ask..where we should or shouldn't go..based on other traveler experiences.

    Check out the forum yourself, and you will see what I mean.

    http://forums.delphiforums.com/travelnurses/messages
  8. by   KBaldwinLVN
    originally posted by nightngale1998
    quote:

    there is nothing wrong with questioning an assignment. good lord, we are all trained professionals who are expected to be thinking of patients' safety etc. hopefully, we do this in a professional and positive manner.

    ---------------
    a couple of months ago, i worked on a med/surg floor that receives a lot of overflow. i was assigned a neutropenic patient, newly diagnosed who did not have a clue as to what it was all about. there was a lot of patient teaching involved which i love.

    i was also assigned a mrsa patient; i questioned that assignment and asked for a different patient. the charge nurse, bless her sweet young heart, did not have a clue how serious neutropenia was. another nurse, god bless her innocent heart, did not understand why i gowned, masked and gloved the neutropenia patient wehn she went downstairs for a procedure.

    these personnel interactions were teaching oppoutunities for staff. i was not indignent nor was i grumpy or whinny (shades of "the good ol' days" of know it all nurses); i simply stated why i was suggesting an assignment change. i asked for another patient, any patient or next assignment.


    b.
    thanks for sharing that story...that's good insight into why and when an assignment should be changed.

    ....and "the good ole days" nurses, if you mean our exerienced "dinosaurs" nurses (as i affectionately call them), are "a-ok" on my list of favorites. once you gain a little respect, they'll share as much as one is willing to learn. hat's off to them!

    take care,
    kb
  9. by   HRHNurse Carol
    Interesting...per contract where I work agency nurses get floated or cancelled first. We get a lot of the same people working here all the time so we get to know them well, and they are just one of the crew! I guess when they get pulled it doesn't work so well for them... lucky that doesn't happen often! We need them too badly on this unit! I don't think I would have the nerve to do agency...being the newbie all the time...I think agency nurses are very brave! Also very flexible and must have heaps of self confidence. Hats off to ya!
  10. by   Brownms46
    WOW...carol...

    What a very sweet thing to say. But you already said a lot when you say that agency comes back to your unit, and have "they are just one of the crew". That says it all..!
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    I have worked hundreds of registry shifts.
    The staff have been terrific (with a few exceptions)
    Management, policies, physicians, and dishonesty are dangerous drawbacks.

    Pluses are that registry are usually not given the most acute patients until their skills are known to the staff, most are glad to have the help, the pay is good, and you can decide when and where to work.

    Minuses include, lack of orientation, computer training, and caring for different patients every day.

    Treatment by staff has been great most of the time. Honesty is apprecisted. An example is the charge nurse who admitted I was getting the confused ETOH withdrawal patient with an A-line who constantly tried to get out of bed because, "You will only have to put up with him today and we are all tired of him."
    Good point.

    I have been misled by management and staffers when sent to a unit where I was not competent. I had to say, "I cannot accept this assignment. It is not safe." They sent me to another unit while floating their own staff. Not fair, but safer for the patient IF the floated nurse was trained in that specialty.
  12. by   Ekaye
    I voted that I'm usually treated like staff. Of course if I'm not I don't bother them by going back! I was sent to a LTC in Oklahoma. When I got there, I was to be Charge Nurse to the whole place, search for replacements if any one called off for the next shift, and care for 30 clients with out name tags! I was the only RN. The day LPN took pity on me and stayed to give 4 pm. meds. At 5:30 before she left, I asked her how many nurses usually took care of all this. Her answer was "A RN and a LPN, when its staff, but agency costs so much they only staff with an RN!" Needless to say they never had to pay this RN again. I've done Agency since 1987 except for 2 years in Home Health and 1 in a hospital, where I loved the staff, Drs. and pts. I left the later because I couldn't work enough hours to keep up with my bills.
  13. by   nightingale
    It is great to see this thread still going...

    Thank you to all the posters!

    I got called off this AM... one of the negatives of agency; but I would not trade agency for a FTE staff... thank you very much.

    B.

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