"gypsy" nurses - page 3

A Traveler's Tale: Nursing shortage boosts demand for "gypsy" nurses By Rebecca Vesely - STAFF WRITER Sunday, July 06, 2003 - It seems like a dream job. Free luxury housing. Guaranteed... Read More

  1. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by bagladyrn
    At the hospital at which I just completed a contract, an interesting memo was posted to the staff. It stated that since the hospital was overbudget for their contract nurses, money for contracts would be taken from funding that would otherwise be alloted for staff raises!!! Talk about causing resentment and division. Being the outspoken sort that I am, I pointed this out to the higher ups, reminded them that THEY had contacted ME for this contract (had been there before) to ask if I would consider coming back, and let them know that with this sort of attitude it was unlikely I would say yes the next time.
    That hospital administration was trying to create bad feelings among nurses. I would not go back either.
  2. by   teeituptom
    Hi Yalll

    There are times I wish my wife would just kick me out. So I could become a travaler nurse and wander around the country.. Just me and my stethoscope and of course my Golf clubs
  3. by   ainz
    I worked as a critical care contract nurse (gypsy) in the late 80's. I absolutely loved it!! Back then in my state, staff RNs with my experience were getting around $7/hr and contracting I got $18/hr in 1987. Of course it was nights, weekends, and getting the sickest patients. At that time everyone was really freaked about AIDS and HIV. One hospital I used to work in fairly regularly always had several AIDS patient in the unit. Of course I was ALWAYS assigned. It did not bother me at all but an example of getting the hardest patients. I found that travelling nursing required me to be very competent and confident of my skills. I could not count on much help from the regular staff and I did not want to not "fit in." The basic concepts of nursing care are the same anywhere you go. Sick people are sick people, an aspirin in Texas is an aspirin in California, there is somewhere to document med administration, clinical interventions, and so on. Many similarities. One thing I did find interesting was the variance in staff attitudes, the "atmosphere" of the hospital, motivation of staff, and the general culture of the hospital. I attributed this to different management styles and it intrigued me so much I decided to go into administration. Now---a word about the negative comments towards management and administration!! imenid37, you made some very strong statements along with others about the stupid, short-sighted, greedy, evil, oppressive, administration that has created all of nursings' problems. I also see where many have referred to "the hospital" as the creator of issues that require "them" to use travelling nurses. A question for my fellow nurses--who do you think "the hospital" is? Nursing staff make up the majority of a hospital's employees. As the majority, nursing plays a HUGE role in creating and shaping the culture of the hospital. Nursing plays a HUGE role in influencing the attitudes of patients, doctors, all the other employees, and, yes, the evil and greedy ADMINISTRATION. So if your hospital is a negative and oppressive place to work and you don't like it and wonder why it is the way it is--start out by taking a look in the mirror. What has been your contribution to the culture of your hospital? What have you done to make it better? What have you done to improve your own working conditions? It is very easy to blame management and administration for nursings' woes but ladies and gentlemen--over the years, we have brought it on ourselves. Yes there are greedy, short-sighted administration types that would love to get rid of their "expensive" nurses, but, if nurses don't take the crap they dish out, they will stop dishing it out. You are not powerless, you are not vicitms, you are not helpless. I would seriously question a hospital administration that was purposefully trying to create bad feelings among nurses. Think about this logically--in order for the evil and greedy CEO to be successful, keep their high paying job and get their bonus--the hospital has to meet its goals and be successful--in order for that to happen the nursing care has to be good so the nurses have to be successful. It is (excuse my strong word here) idiotic to think that an administration would purposefully and deliberately go about the business of trying to make nurses' lives and working conditions as terrible as they possibly could, the administration would be signing their own pink slip and certain failure would follow such a thing. The accountants, MBAs, MHAs, attorneys, and God knows what other people with non-clinical backgrounds, that generally work in administration have no clue what it is like at the point of service. They do not understand what it takes to give good patient care. IT IS ONE OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF NURSING TO TEACH THEM. Please get rid of your "us versus them" mentality. Take the first step to mend relations. Educate yourself on the financial side of healthcare because that is what drives the people who have the money to open and run a hospital in the first place. In order to deal with these people you must understand their point of view and be able to communicate with them effectively. And if nurses are tired of the way administration is now--then go back to school, get the education, and become a CEO yourself, then you are in position to bring about some real change.
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    So are you saying it is the fault of the NURSES whose job is NURSING when a for profit buys up all the hospitals in town?

    Are you saying it was the nurses attitude that made management decide to punish long term nurses who are dedicated to the health of the community because travelers who have no desire to fit in get the top $$$?
    I hope not. I hope you have been fortunate to work for a decent facility.
    Why would a nurse who is helping people cope with illness, saving lives, and easing suffering choose to be a CEO?

    Oh, CEOs have been fired and some arrested for their illegal deeds. I doubt nurses could teach those who have no interest in learning.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Jul 9, '03
  5. by   ainz
    The "us versus them" mentality, that is nursing vs administration will NEVER improve anything, it only inflames things. I thought my previous reply was pretty detailed and clear. No I am not saying it is the fault of the nurses when a for-profit buys up the hospital(s) in town. I am saying that nurses need to quit *****ing and whining, unite, educate themselves on what really drives our healthcare system (and currently it is not the desire to heal the sick and ease suffering), and get in a frame of mind to EFFECTIVELY communicate and deal with the non-clinical people who are currently running most of the hospitals in the country. Also, it is very logical that the largest department in a hospital with the greatest number of people in a single discipline (nursing) will have a tremendous impact on shaping the culture and atmosphere of that hospital. Therefore, nurses have the power, if nothing else by sheer numbers, to make a hospital a more pleasant place to work. And why would a nurse who is helping people cope with illness, saving lives, and easing suffering choose to be a CEO? I did. Why? Because I got tired of the crap that greedy administration was dishing out. I got tired of being the receiver of idiotic policies and decisions made by accountants that governed the way I could practice as a nurse. I got tired of hearing all of my nurse colleagues *****ing and whining but doing absolutely nothing that would bring about any change. Besides, being a CEO gives you the chance to make decisions that allow clinicians to drive how care will be delivered so they can continue to help people cope with illness, save lives, and ease suffering, all while actually enjoying their job and where they work. Being a CEO allows you to fully understand the motives of the people that are running our healthcare system and allows you to be in position to go about the business of making subtle, incremental change, and, it allows you to be in a position to defend and ward off things that will damage nurses and their practice. And by the way, I work for one of the for-profits. I see what goes on. In a sense, I have infiltrated "them" and I am feverishly working to keep things focused on taking care of patients. I need some help!! It is very discouraging for me when I read stuff where nurses see themselves as powerless victims in need of a union to help them or just simply quit and leave the profession. Nursing is a sleeping giant, a powerful force to be reckoned with, most nurses just don't realize that a united profession of nursing has the power to literally redesign our healthcare system.
  6. by   caroladybelle
    Originally posted by spacenurse
    Are you saying it was the nurses attitude that made management decide to punish long term nurses who are dedicated to the health of the community because travelers who have no desire to fit in get the top $$$?

    Why would a nurse who is helping people cope with illness, saving lives, and easing suffering choose to be a CEO?
    EXCUSE ME!!!!!!

    As a traveler, I have no longevity/seniority. I can get dumped on. I don't ever get the "lighter" load. No one cuts me slack because my uncle/aunt died. I am not "entitled" to special days off. I pay for my own holidays, vacations, sick days. I don't get raises for good work. No one makes sure that I get my breaks. I have to do my taxes/paperwork for licenses/get CPR, ACLS on my own. And quite bluntly, I have to fit in with everyone, everywhere, at any time. And I can be let go for any reason.

    This means that I have to be my very best every single day, every single moment and you bet your derriere, I am - I earn every penny of that money and make them respect me. And I am never "permitted" to rest on my laurels - someone would gripe about it.

    I earn that respect by hard work at all times - I don't have it endowed to me by some title/seniority/union position.

    If you don't like the fact that we make a bit more money, you try doing it for a while and see how it is.

    If you don't force (and to a certain extent it is force) your management to respect and earn that respect, that is not my fault. You could negotiate and work as hard as we do, and you could leave your unresponsive management/job just as easily as we do. But you choose not to, for whatever reason.

    But don't put me down for what you will not do/negotiate.

    In response as to why would a nurse become CEO.......

    A politician was asked , "Why would any good person enter politics as it is full of liars and cheats". In response, he replied if nothing but cheats and liars go into politics, nothing will ever get better. If things are to improve, good people need to take risks.
  7. by   Nurse Ratched
    Originally posted by bagladyrn
    At the hospital at which I just completed a contract, an interesting memo was posted to the staff. It stated that since the hospital was overbudget for their contract nurses, money for contracts would be taken from funding that would otherwise be alloted for staff raises!!! Talk about causing resentment and division. Being the outspoken sort that I am, I pointed this out to the higher ups, reminded them that THEY had contacted ME for this contract (had been there before) to ask if I would consider coming back, and let them know that with this sort of attitude it was unlikely I would say yes the next time.
    I'm sure that this post shows where the problem lies, at least in that particular facility. Any administration that would make such a blatant attempt to drive a wedge between its staff and agency nurses deserves to have to scramble for staff. They obviously have no respect for their nurses, regardless of where they acquire them.

    Ainz, I do agree with you that, if nothing else, we each at least have control over our own attitude and need to do what we can each day to promote a positive working environment.
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by caroladybelle
    EXCUSE ME!!!!!!

    As a traveler, I have no longevity/seniority. I can get dumped on. I don't ever get the "lighter" load. No one cuts me slack because my uncle/aunt died. I am not "entitled" to special days off. I pay for my own holidays, vacations, sick days. I don't get raises for good work. No one makes sure that I get my breaks. I have to do my taxes/paperwork for licenses/get CPR, ACLS on my own. And quite bluntly, I have to fit in with everyone, everywhere, at any time. And I can be let go for any reason.

    This means that I have to be my very best every single day, every single moment and you bet your derriere, I am - I earn every penny of that money and make them respect me. And I am never "permitted" to rest on my laurels - someone would gripe about it.

    I earn that respect by hard work at all times - I don't have it endowed to me by some title/seniority/union position.

    If you don't like the fact that we make a bit more money, you try doing it for a while and see how it is.

    If you don't force (and to a certain extent it is force) your management to respect and earn that respect, that is not my fault. You could negotiate and work as hard as we do, and you could leave your unresponsive management/job just as easily as we do. But you choose not to, for whatever reason.

    But don't put me down for what you will not do/negotiate.

    In response as to why would a nurse become CEO.......

    A politician was asked , "Why would any good person enter politics as it is full of liars and cheats". In response, he replied if nothing but cheats and liars go into politics, nothing will ever get better. If things are to improve, good people need to take risks.
    Sorry I did not make it clear. NO TRAVELER IS OVERPAID!
    I HAVE quit a job because Tenet purchased the hospital. I HAVE worked with the nurse negotiators at my hospital as a representative of the night shift for my unit. We have VERY excellent patient care standards, wages, and benefits including retirement. We are VERY GLAD to work with the fine traveling nurses who have helped us. Two have been on staff for years.
    I was saying that a MANAGEMENT that routinely disrespects nurses as evidenced by the memo is NOT a management I would work for.
    After working as a nurse in five decades why would someone tell me to go back to school and become a CEO? I am an excellent nurse. I believe you are too.
    I will quote here the post I was responding to:
    ainz, "I could not count on much help from the regular staff and I did not want to not "fit in."

    That is a shame. The travelers who are my friends fit in very well. One comes every winter for two assignments. She goes back to the cold climes to visit family for the holidays, then returns to help us during the busy flu season. She is a GEM.

    Please believe I was not putting you or any nurse down. I was putting down the CEOs of companies like Columbia (now HCA) and Tenet who have been arrested and/or convicted of crimes.
    Clearly they cannot be taught to respect nurses.
    Do you blame the nurses when the CEO commits a crime? When they risk the very lives of patients for the sake of the budget? (meanwhile they pay themselves million$).
    Travelers are generally good nurses worth more than they are paid.

    PS: I fail to understand why posters want others to become CEOs or travel nurses.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Jul 10, '03
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by ainz
    It is very discouraging for me when I read stuff where nurses see themselves as powerless victims in need of a union to help them or just simply quit and leave the profession. Nursing is a sleeping giant, a powerful force to be reckoned with, most nurses just don't realize that a united profession of nursing has the power to literally redesign our healthcare system.
    I think an all RN union is a legal framework for working for a united profession of nursing. We ARE working to redesign our health system so that nursing care is once again recognized as the purpose of our hospitals.
    www.calnurse.org
  10. by   Teshiee
    I don't blame any nurse(s) who take control or their situation by doing traveling or registry. There are awful staff nurses too but their hospital will cover their asses to an extent. I have seen some nurses really give them a hard time. And I tell them don't hate them because they are not willing to subject themselves to abuse of a fulltime employment. You get paid for what you are worth it amazes why many nurses arent't doing it! I am looking forward in being a traveler. Even perdiem work is far better than fulltime. It would be wonderful if we all could be independant contractors then we can really demand what we want and get treated better.
  11. by   angelbear
    I think I get what AINZ is saying. I have thought it many times myself. Alot of our problems as nurses could be solved without unions if the nurses could all just get on the same page at the same time. Ya know kind of all for one and one for all mentality. If there are not enough nurses to cover a shift but the staff nurses agree to come in extra to cover it then management never has to come in or hire agency. We are screwing ourselves by doing this. If we would all stop doing this then management would have to either come in themselves or hire agency for far more than they are paying us. This would give us something to haggle with. We could collectively ask for a meeting with management and administration and ask for some concessions. For example we would be willing to pick up extra hours in exchange for an x amount of extra personal hours. Or incentive pay for coming in when not schedueled. We wouldnt need to have a union we could bargain simply by standing together. This is happening where I work right now. We are extremely short of nurses. Because of the set up of our facility as well as high amount of family scrutiny they can not run us very short so If they cant get us to fill in they bring in agency. So far they have been able to cover the majority of the days with our staff and only have agency in a few of those days. I personally treat agency with the utmost respect they are good workers and do a good job for the most part. My problem is not with them it is with management who says we are in a budget crunch and have frozen our wages yet they will bring in agency rather than work deals with us or come in themselves. That is why I think all the nurses should quit picking up any extra time and stand in unity forceing management to either pay alot for agency, come in themselves, or negotiate with us. I think I just rammbled a whole lot but I hope it makes sense.
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    Angelbear:
    You make a lot of sense.
  13. by   angelbear
    Thank you spacenurse.

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