Very good posts I must say. Let me address a few points:
I don't think nurses are "pissed off" at agency, as you put it. I myself couldn't care less who walked on to relieve me after my shift, as long as I could go home when my shift was over. To hell with the unit, the patients, the skill-level of the agency nurse - to HELL!
The hospital didn't give a rip about me, therefore, why should I give a rip about them and cared WHO staffed the unit? But after a while, my apathy wore off and I realized that agency is being used inappropriately. As I have said, there is a place for agency and travelers; extended LOA's, maternity leaves, etc, but when I became Charge Nurse
, and had to staff my unit with nothing but agency nurses and maybe one
regular staff member who was a newbie to Labor and Delivery, I started to realize that there are some serious safety issues here - no more or no less an issue than using your regular staff on MOT.
JMP - very good point. I don't know if there is a difference with agency use in areas that use unions. I DO know that hospitals here aren't THAT bad as nurses are willing to work there, obviously, but as an agency nurse. Why? More pay, flexible scheduling (self scheduling), lack of responsibility (such as NEVER being in charge) immunity from certain things (not having to go into the OR, as with my unit, not having to stay MOT, not having to be on call) and not having to be involved with the hospital "politics." So logic tells me...if these things existed in the hospital for staff nurses
, agency would soon be obsolete, or, used more appropriately.
Brownie, yes I myself am guilty of the giving the most difficult pt to the agency nurse. Why? Well, I am tired, I have been in charge, and she is costing our unit $40/hour so yeah, she is gonna work!
I can't cancel the agency person and put her on call, like my regular staff, so I either have to take her now, and pay her hefty price, or not take her, and potentially leave my staff up a creek or have to mandate someone overtime.
Sometimes agency nurses appear so scandalous, so used-car salesman like, with opportunity costs, etc. (not the nurses themselves, but the whole agency concept) And this I feel is where dissatisfaction occurs, and the "shortage" of nurses grows. Like I stressed, there are 2.2 Million
nurses out there. There is NOT a shortage. Those 2.2 just don't wanna work. And why? That
is what needs to be addressed. No offense, Teshiee, but playing the game will not solve the problem in the least!
Frankly, I am scared sh**less to become old and get sick.