Agency CNAs

  1. Just curious, but are any of you on this board working for an agency as a CNA? I remember our CNA instructor was an agency nurse and she said the agency she worked for used aides.

    Also, we get a lot of agency nurses on our floor, and they've all told me that their agencies hire nurse aides. If you work for an agency as a CNA, or know someone who does, tell me about what it's like. I'm looking for some variety, but I've never worked LTC or assisted living...only hospital.

    I would assume most agency CNAs are sent to different nursing home as opposed to hospitals because I couldn't see a hospital paying an agency aide when a nurse with five patients could just give total care to her patients.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   bethin
    I do agency PRN. I like it because it's not the same place over and over and I like variety. I have done LTC so I do get place in LTCF. Right now I work med surg and ICU and get placed in those environments. Before I could work, I had to take what seemed like a 15 page questionnaire on where my experience lies. If I don't like a facility I can tell them not to place me there again - so far that's only happened once.

    If you have questions regarding where you're most likely to be sent, I would call the agency and ask.

    My particular agency calls the night before or sometimes (rarely) the day of asking me to work. If I have plans or I just don't want to work, I simply tell them no. Doesn't count against me. Likewise, if I need extra hours I'll let them know to put me at the top of the list.

    The downside to going to a new facility is that you don't know the employees, the patients/residents, and where supplies are. You really have to be confident in your work. Can't be caught twiddling your thumbs because you're not sure what to do. Being a self started is a plus.
  4. by   JaredCNA
    Thanks for the comment.

    See, I currently work Med-Surg and ICU/Stepdown and I want a little variety, like working at different places. My only thing is I've never worked LTC besides clinicals for my CNA. I am very confident in my work and have no doubt that I could do it.

    I will call some of the agencies in my area. My feeling is that the hospitals inside of their radius don't use agency CNAs and I really don't want to do LTC too often...like more than once or twice out of every five assignments.
  5. by   grinsngripe
    Quote from JaredCNA
    Thanks for the comment.

    See, I currently work Med-Surg and ICU/Stepdown and I want a little variety, like working at different places. My only thing is I've never worked LTC besides clinicals for my CNA. I am very confident in my work and have no doubt that I could do it.

    I will call some of the agencies in my area. My feeling is that the hospitals inside of their radius don't use agency CNAs and I really don't want to do LTC too often...like more than once or twice out of every five assignments.

    HI! i worked as a CNA threw agencys in Ny for a few years, i loved it, you have control of schedule, you get vast experience if you choose to. and also had alot of private duty cases. its worth trying. im finding a new trend against the use of agency CNAs though, just fairly recently. hospitals are getting away from agency, and nursing homes if they are union are not allowed to use agency...( so i have been told, but it wasnt followed thru)
    sometimes i encountered problems with the other staff CNA who resented agency CNA, and i thought it was nasty. there are some different rules for agency than staff. like agency leaves at the exact time of end of shift, you dont have to wait for replacements. in some cases that is nice, well its always nice to know!
  6. by   mcknis
    Our facility is trying to weed out agency staff, but when we did use them more, they were paid much prettier salaries than we as staff were. If I did agency work, I would want to do local work and not travel too far. The agency CNAs were paid starting wages of about $11, and staff was paid about $7.80. We had many good agency CNAs and nurses, but they were not treated fairly, in my opinion.
  7. by   niko1999 RN BSN
    I actually am doing agency right now,and I LOVE it. get to choose my own schedule, if I dont want to work one day, I dont. and as another poster said, if I need extra hours, i just call and get put to the top of the list. Plus, its an everchanging environment. Sometimes you work at the same place, sometimes you dont. And the pay is much better too
  8. by   JaredCNA
    Thanks guys.

    I will be looking into it a bit more. The only thing is my school schedule is really screwy next semester...class on M, T, W, Th, and even a Saturday class. Basically I'm only able to do nights right now D/T evening classes so I can still get a little sleep here and there.

    I will def. ask the local agencies if any of them have a lot of needs at night (which I'm sure they do.)
  9. by   niko1999 RN BSN
    Ita the best way to work around your scheule, main reason I went for it
  10. by   daveleah13
    i get paid 10.50 at my work, and the girls who work through agency who come to work with us get paid 17.50 an hour. so through agency, you can work half as much, and make double! i think its way worth it. i am about to start.
  11. by   Merilee15
    I worked for an Agency as a CNA for almost 2 years. I loved it! I loved being able to choose my own hours. At the beginning of every month, the agency would call and tell me the hours available at several different hospitals and LTC centers. The area I worked in was SOO desperate for CNA's that I could work just about any day I wanted for as long as I wanted. It was ideal! When I wanted a 4 day weekend I'd schedule it in. I made $15.00 an hour with full benefits. As a CNA that's pretty decent money. I'm now in nursing school and luckily I don't have to work. Hope this helps! Good luck!
  12. by   rn2bnwi
    Im an 'agency girl' and I will just say, i probably make 3 dollars more an hour than reg cnas so if somewhere gets 10.50 id probably make 13 ect..... it varies with every place I go. but definately not double pay

    So the positives have been mentioned I will mention the pitfalls. I came in with NO experience as a cna, They took me because i had a year of caregiving and I passed their seperate test (slightly harder than the state certification test) I go to several different places and I do get to say yes or no. NOt having actually cna experience has really made it a challenging job and I don't recommend it. NOt only do I have 8 people to care for but every time I work IM learning new schedules, standards and practices and quite honestly its really crazy. The thing I love about it is I SEE lots of different patients, Last night I did my first isolation patient and when I told the other cna that it was my first she said it was her first time in the 3 years she had been a cna as well. but because Im going everywhere I do see more variety.

    Most people are nice but not everyone is, some are downright rude if your agency.and some places have HORRIBLE standard precautions. One place I go to a lot is just nasty in terms of precautions. I teamed a hall with one cna and she washed her hands once the whole night and Put on gloves once....

    People NEVER tell me what is expected of me, I am allowed to go 30 minutes early to be shown around at new places but nobody ever goes through and says this is what we do , even if I ask. Its like im magically suppose to know that im responsible for trash or laundry or passing waters, I usually see someone else doing it and ask yet again and then am rushing to try and do it in a short amount of time. Every place is different some places i do trash, some places have a person that does it. some place do waters others have a ra tha come around and pass them So there are definate stresses.

    Im only working as a cna to brush up on my patient care skills, and agency is all i can do because I have a heavy school load. I m really glad im doing it but it really just shown me that my patient care needs A LOT of work. I hope to work at a consistent assignment this summer so I can develop that...........but it will be really hard to take the pay cut.

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