Agency Nursing vs Staff Nursing - page 6

Hi All! I am preparing to do a debate in my Nursing 510 course about agency vs staff nursing. It is a formal debate complete with PowerPoint presentation, etc. My team and I will be arguing... Read More

  1. by   Q.
    Interesting to note: I found an article that linked an increase in blood bourne infections in hospitalized patients while agency nurse use was high.
    It is THIS aspect of agency nursing that I will be focusing on for my debate.


    Source: Robert, J. (2000). "The influence of the Composition of the Nursing Staff on Primary Bloodstream Infection Rates in a Surgical Intensive Care Unit." Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.
  2. by   Brita01
    I'd like to hear more about this article. So now they're blaming increased blood borne infections on us. What? Agency nurses don't wash their hands as well as staff nurses? That's right, I forgot how to wash my hands and use clean and sterile technique as soon as I signed on with my agency. Come on.
  3. by   mattsmom81
    Brita, isn't this the truth...why must nurses find a scapegoat?

    Our wonderful profession is continually at odds... it's management nurses vs. staff, BSN's vs. Diploma/ADN's, RN's vs. LVN's...now add agency vs. staff nurses....

    My comment: who benefits from all this divisiveness? Certainly not our profession. I look forward to the day we can be united and all the finger pointing elitism stops....think we'll ever get there?
  4. by   Q.
    Originally posted by Brita01
    I'd like to hear more about this article. So now they're blaming increased blood borne infections on us. What? Agency nurses don't wash their hands as well as staff nurses? That's right, I forgot how to wash my hands and use clean and sterile technique as soon as I signed on with my agency. Come on.
    Brita -
    I've included the source of the article so you are more than welcome to look it up and read it. I don't think they were "blaming" anyone per se, they simply noticed a correlation, that's all. Take it easy.

    I also found an article that sites that needle sticks are higher when agency nurse use is high. I will provide that source a little later.
  5. by   LLDPaRN
    What ALL nurses need to do (agency, staff, whatever) is give the management a pile of articles that demonstrate lower mortality rates with better nurse staffing. Dr. Linda Aiken from Penn was a lead or co-investigator on many of these studies. Although I don't have the references right at my fingertips, I would be more than happy to go searching for them for anyone who is really interested (after my semester is done at the end of next week).

    Imagine if we unloaded a pile of these articles on the doorsteps of our CEO's/CNO's (chief nursing officers)! I don't know any other way to get the message across. Of course, just b/c we provide them with the information doesn't mean it will be acknowledged in any way, shape, or form. It's just an idea.

    Anybody know what's happening with the Million Nurse March? Is it going forward?

    Laurie
  6. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by Susy K


    Brita -
    I've included the source of the article so you are more than welcome to look it up and read it. I don't think they were "blaming" anyone per se, they simply noticed a correlation, that's all. Take it easy.

    I also found an article that sites that needle sticks are higher when agency nurse use is high. I will provide that source a little later.
    Hi Susy K,

    I'm wondering if these two studies are reflection of the higher acurity of the pts assigned to agency nurses. As many agencies nurses have attested to, they're usually given pts with higher acurity when they work. I mean that many times...agency nurses are given the pts. with MRSA, the ones that require more complex procedures...as staff many times tired of being assigned these pts. and I have personally withnessed these pts being selectively assigned to us d/t staff feeling ...we make more money ...so we shoud take the more difficult pts. If agency is receiving the pts requiring the use of needles more often than the staff nurses.....then that would account for a higher incidence of needle sticks! Especially if staff as taking the pts. requiring less complex care.

    Brita...I had to lol when you wrote, that since becoming an agency nurse....that you suddenly stopped washing your hands....
  7. by   Brita01
    Good point, Brownms46! What you're saying could be very correct. There have been many nights that I've run around like a chicken with my head cut off taking care of my harder patients, while the staff is sitting down chatting. All finished with their paperwork and everything. And, I've actually sat in report while assignments are being doled out where staff have said "I don't want Mr. Brown" or "I'm not taking care of Mrs. Smith tonite." Guess who gets Mr. Brown and Mrs. Smith? The clueless agency nurse who doesn't know that these patients are famous for falling out of bed and pulling out their lines, or calling literally every 10 minutes. Of course, this doesn't happen all the time at all hospitals, but it happens a little too often for me to feel it's a coincidence.

    LLDPaRN, a Million Nurse March sounds like a great idea. This is the first time that I've heard of it. I hope it does go forward.
  8. by   Q.
    In this article it highlights the correlation of high agency nurse use to high incidence of needle sticks. Apparently all other factors were equal: patient acuity, etc.


    "Reseachers Link Downsizing with Increased Needle Sticks. RN, April 1997. Newswatch/Professional Update, p. 12.


    Brownie, your thoughts are interesting, but I think the findings are trying to argue that agency nurses are in unfamiliar and typically chaotic environments, which lend to increased documentation errors and safety issues - which isn't necessarily the fault of the nurse.

    Another:
    "Temporary Nurses Called a Serious Risk Threat at Hospitals." AHA News. 36(22). 2000.
    Last edit by Susy K on Apr 15, '02
  9. by   Mel3K
    Susy,

    Re: the infrastructure issue. I was wondering if perhaps the difference is that the hospitals have to supply and maintain a physical plant, equipment, food service, etc, with all the support salaries that go along with that, vs. the agency infrastructure that shouldn't consist of more than a suite of offices and the support staff for recruiting, benefits, etc.

    Just a thought,
    Melissa
  10. by   Q.
    Hi all.
    Just thought I would update you. Our debate was this evening and not only was it good, but fun and interactive. We definitely learned alot and I thank everyone for their input.

    Thank you.
  11. by   Brownms46
    Congrats Susy K...Sounds like you did a good job!
  12. by   fadingyouth
    In reference to the AHA article might I add that all agency nurses are not unfamiliar with their surroundings. Some of us have contracted with the same hospital for many years , only taking an assignment elsewhere to appreciate the home basse more.
    In the last 6 months, the needle sticks, splashes, reports of decreased hand washing, carelessness were reports listed with all internal staff names.
    One perhaps needs to rethink that article. Most agency nurses take extra precautions because they are viewed more closely as they are the "outsider"
    Maybe for a new forum/article AHA will embark upon all the mistakes in orders or procedures done by agency nurses. Better still we could always discuss the totally inane by adding bathroom and coffee breaks.
    Someone please see the positive actions.
  13. by   Brita01
    Glad everything went well for you Susy K.

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Agency Nursing vs Staff Nursing