So what you are saying is hiring through agencies and paying $208,000/yr for one full-time R.N. position is more cost effective, for the administration than filling the position.
It seems unbelievable. But at this point I would believe anything.
I wish I knew if Senator Dodd or any of the legislators involved in the Hearing were aware of this? And would they care?
So following your line of reasoning the bottom line problem is because we are a female profession. The fact is that traditionally many of us have had spouses we can rely on for pension benefits (401K etc.) and health benefits; and sick time, and vacation time is meaningless when your free to choose when and how much you want to work and your making twice what your counterpart staff nurse makes; and because there are so many nurses that have these perks, luxuries, benefits elsewhere they don't value them and give them up readily; therefore agencies have become the primary source of nurses for hospitals? And it's more cost effective that way?
Is it fair to look at this another way and ask; has the union priced themselves out of jobs? I don't know we don't have a union were I work. And we don't get full paid benefits. And our sick time and vacation time is all lumped together as PTO time (personal time off). And we don't get experience differential, certification differential, degree differential or paid continuing ed days. (Man, I'm movin' to NY, -jt!)It all sounds great, but then again have you priced yourselves out of jobs?
Did this hospital where you work try to hire full time nurses and fail, so it turned to agency nurses. Was it because of the "nursing shortage". Did they have positions posted and no one applied or is the "nursing shortage" really just imaginary. Do we really have enough nurses, they just choose to work for agencies and hospital prefer using them.
If the answer is the latter, it seems to me hospitals are being very short sighted. What happens down the road when the pendulum swings and more nurses are working for agencies than hospitals? Won't the agencies then be calling the shots on how much hospitals will have to pay?
Aside from the cost effective piece of using agency nurses on the "spred sheet", there is a cost in efficiency and morale, and consequently quality of care, on the units that administrations perhaps don't take into consideration, and they most definitely should.
Quality care = patient satisfaction. How do you put a dollar amount on your reputation in the community? Relying heavily on agency nurses negatively impacts (IMHO) these areas.[Not you Charles, yours is a unique situation, please put your hand down
Just as floating nurses from unit to unit does. Continuity of care is diminished, regular staff becomes bogged down trying to orient the non-regulars while keeping pace with their own work. Non-regular's are slower, less efficient, they have to ask where everything is, how is this or that done, who do I call, where do I send it, etc., etc., etc.
So there is a price being paid, and ultimately it is the hospital itself, paying that price, ( and make no mistake it is a hefty price that is being paid; unhappy workers, unhappy patients, mistakes being made, lives being negatively impacted, a system in chaos) it is a shame that none of the "higher up's" seem to recognize it.
This thread has made me very sad and very tired. I think I'll take a nap.
[ May 23, 2001: Message edited by: PeggyOhio ]