Treatment of Agency Staff - page 6
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
Sep 9, '02Thanks Brownms46...sometimes when you are in the midst of it you just have to do the best you can for the patients...most of the time when working with the worst of the nurses (the one who is such a good nurse that she can chart assessments on patients without even going into the room and checking on them, then sleep while I took care of her patients as well as my own- THEN GRIPE ABOUT AGENCY NURSES!!)....I actually feel better about taking the higher acuity patients because I know they will get better care from me.
And now, (GO FIGURE!) that same nurse is department head!!!
I had it out with the other nurse on that shift that used to dump on me and she has seen to it that I don't get dumped on since then. We aren't the best of friends, but I don't need everyone for a friend--- I don't get dumped on and the patients get cared for.
Sep 14, '02I just get to tired of being referred to as "an agency nurse".....as it the fact I'm an RN loses credibility the moment I'm not a permenant member of a facility. I recently spoke to a supervisor about the use of that term with patients, as a way of explaining why a particular nurse was unable to handle her duties the way a patient felt she should: "well she's an angency nurse". Said patient greeted me the next morning with......."are you on staff here, or are you an agency nurse?". Well, good morning to you, too! It took me half of my shift to convince her I was worthy to take care of her and the rest of my patients. I was also called "rent-a nurse" once, which was both humilating and frustrating.
Sep 14, '02I know what you mean. I find I have to prove myself over and over; it does get frustrating.
I am so pleased wen I come on board and some very smart person, like a fellow nurse, thanks me for being there.
Sep 15, '02I have only been a travelor for a brief time but....
Yes, we may get paid more than a local... but we generally can't/won't call in.
Despite "free" housing, we usually have to keep a home base and pay for it's rent/upkeep. If we don't have a home, we royally scr@#ed at tax time.
Rarily get paid holidays/vacations/jury time/berievement/PTO/sick time.
Don't have the advantage of close friends/emotional support/living in a place where I know where all my clothes/recipes/local chinese restaurant that deliver safe food/car repair shops are.
Living in a place that is not "home".
Lack of safety.
Lack of long term knowledge about the hospital/policies/MDs/unit history.
And while locals will cut each other slack if issues arise (calling in often/bad attitude/disagreements/refusal of assignments/pt complaints), they generally will not cut travelors slack. We must always be at our best, finest performance. We also have to prove ourselves over and over.
This said, I have yet to work an assignment that the staff and management hasn't offered me a position at the facility.
Sep 15, '02Sometimes the way a facility treats you depends on which unit as well. I used to work for a large teaching hospital in acute medicine.
One summer, the powers that be decided to close our 22 bed unit and have all the staff work as float pool over the summer.
There was one unit that was a total nightmare where I got assigned all the total care patients, the ones with Q4hr treatments, tons of IV meds/q 12hr and was located at the farthest end of the hall. Of course, no help given while some sat by the station knitting. Well, I wised up quickly....the next time I got floated there ....I checked out my assignment before report ... and demanded a readjustment of my assignment. They gave me a heavy assignment plus a patient that had serious worsening cardicac tamponade who was still on the unit!!! And the report was a mess so you didn't know what had or had not been done for this patient.
Guess who phoned to get the ball ROLLING stat for this patient to get off the medical ward?
Oh, I did have to put up with the CN saying very loudly to all the staff: The float nurse says she can't handle the workload and we have to change it. Darn right sister...fool me once, shame on you
Later in the night when we checked the charts, I was so angry to find that one of the regular staff on my shift had had the patient with tamponade yesterday night. Now why would you give such an ill patient to someone who didn't know your unit well or the patient from ADAM? That is so unfair to the patient who is critically ill and sure could use seeing a familiar face! I shudder to think that if I hadn't demanded a reassignment of the workload, I would have been in real trouble trying to cope. Needless to say, I refused that ward afterwards and I hear many other nurses felt the same about this unit. However in the same facility, I got floated to neuro where there is a lot of total care patients....but the staff were great and came to help me do baths, beds and turns. That was the first time I had gone there. Neuro is not one of my favorite places to work but you can bet I would have worked there with a smile anyday.
So when I was charge nurse, I never dumped on floats. Do unto others as you would like to be treated. I do have to say that I did learn a lot during that summer. You have to be assertive
and insist on help when needed. The nurses are all responsible
for the care given on the unit and the CN is responsible for giving you a reasonable load which you can safely care for. One can never say too much about documentation if you are put into unsafe situations.Last edit by globalRN on Mar 13, '04
Sep 16, '02globalRN's post reminds me of my first job as a NA many years ago. One day I was the only NA to show up besides one other, an older person who had been there a long time. I was brand new to everything. Plugged along busting my behind. Of course there was plenty that didn't get done and when I went up to the nurses' station at the end of the day this other NA gave me hell b/c "you don't give baths when you're short handed". Of course she had been at the nurses' station ALL DAY and never felt the need to clue me in to anything until it was time to clock out. To this day I have never figured out what an NA does at the nurses' station all day. She did not lift one finger to do pt care that day. I left for school very soon thereafter, it didn't take much to convince me to get out of that place. I have always remembered that and try always to be helpful to all, especially the new people.
Oct 12, '02I work for an agency that is owned by a hospital chain, owns and/or operates about 7 or 8 hospitals in a metro area. For the most part, I work on PCU in one hospital, occasionally they float me to another floor or another hospital, but that's probably less than 10 times a year, and I work 3 12 hour shifts a week.
I am treated like regular staff pretty much. I have to say I did get quite a bit of crap the first few weeks when I went from unit to unit to unit, especially one unit which I discovered later is the worst in the place 2East referred to as 2Beast. The only problem is that agency staff doesn't get emails about policy changes, etc and sometimes that makes for problems. The official policy on pulls, cancellations is that outside agency gets pulled/cancelled first, then hospital agency, then hospital staff, and it is usually followed. I like agency well enough that I do not intend to EVER work a "real job" again!!!!!!
Oct 13, '02Karo: It is great to hear your feedback.. thank you and thank you to all the posters....
I think we are druming up lots of dialogue on the board and that is good... united we have a voice and can gain so much insight from one another...
It is wonderful to see some new posters too.. WELCOME.. I look forward to reading more from ALL of you in the future...
Oct 13, '02I have been agency for 1 1/2 years. I have been treated very well at the 2 hospitals I have been at. The hospital I am currently at has been the best. Not only am I treated well, but I am extremely appreciated for my knowledge and experience. I work the night shift and most of the other nurses on nights are not as experienced. So many nights I function as a resourse to the other staff.
When I first started with the agency, they placed me in a nursing homel. NEVER AGAIN!!!! I was the only RN on the night shift with more that 75 patients to oversee and pass 6 AM meds to. I worked far too hard to get my license to lose it being put into unsafe situations.
I agree that it depends a lot on the facility. But for the most part, I haven't had any problems.
Oct 13, '02for the most part I am treated as well or as badly as staff. If I find I've been dumped on I inform the charge nurse and the supervisor that I realize what they've done and that its an underhanded thing to do and then inform my agency I will not work there again. I also only work an 8 hr. shift when I'm going in to a facility for the first time. That way I can only be tortured for 8 hrs. instead of 12.
Nov 2, '02It is wonderful to see the volume of posters who have participated in the polls!
Keep the dialogue coming. This is one way WE can unite!