Float pool, ideas on making it better

  1. 0
    I would love input from anyone on how to make a float pool position more attractive to nurses. Currently our hospital has no float pool. It is hoped that we can make a 'float pool' position attractive enough to build a float pool. The ultimate goal is to end mandatory floating. Our union contract allows a 5% differential for float pool and requires a minumum of 2 'float areas'. Please share any ideas you have on building a good float pool.

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  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 0
    Even if you could get a float pool in place, it may not do away with required floating when the need arises.

    Would the shifts be guaranteed or subject to cancelling when the census is down? Would they have to float between different shifts and that be mandatory for them? Requirements for weekend and holiday scheduling.

    Just some things to consider.
  4. 0
    I'm in the float pool at my hospital and have been for 3 years. Our pool consists of ALL per diem nurses. We don't get benefits, but our hourly rate is considerably higher than a staff nurse. We float to all areas of the hospital, but usually it's med surg that requires the extra help. We do get cancelled, but there is a list that they use to assure that the same people don't get cancelled all the time. We are required to work two weekend days out of a 4 week matrix. There are two levels of float. One guarantees 6 days a matrix, which gets you more money. The other level is 4 days a matrix, which is a slightly lower hourly rate.

    The one big factor for someone staying in the float pool is that you can work whatever shift and hours you want.. as long as there's a need. Many choose the float pool because they want to work 8 hour shifts.

    We are required to work one summer and one winter holiday, but we do get cancelled alot on the holidays(we do qualify for time and a half on those days)
    Last edit by lsyorke on Dec 18, '06
  5. 0
    The way our float pool works, is there are various part time to full time positions, no casual positions. And some staff float either just surgery, or medicine, and a few do both as they have been their a while. I stared off my nrusing career in june 2005 in the surgery float pool. I loved the float pool at first because we were pretty much always granted vacation when we wanted it. Our manager was great Eventually though I started to have more split shifts. 8 hr on one floor, then your told way too late that they need to put you somewhere else for the last 4 hrs, so your rushing to get all your charting done on time because you didnt know you were goin somewhere else.

    In my experience and all the other floats feel this too, is we get dumped on. We always get the isolation pt's who are on a million anitibotics, combined with all the total care patients, the needy/demanding patients. But you get them every floor you go to because your not regular staff on that particular floor. So I would really recomend you talk to all the floor managers about this potential issue if you want to keep your staff.

    After working 9 months in the float pool, I was really just not liking surgical nursing so I applied for a job in our ICU, and took the course for it, and now im a ICU/CCU float. Ive been doing it for 6 months now, and i love the work, but I hate the float aspect of it. Same issue as before. I always get dumped on at each unit. I could just apply for a permanant in ICU, but our ICU is smaller so I want to get more experience to I applied to a larger hospital, and I am not doing the float pool anymore.

    One other main issue I have as well is now I never get my vaction requests. I am either scheduled for ICU or CCU and if im needed in just one of the units I cant get the vacation. I only have 4 people who are in my float pool that I can trade with. Not exactly the best set up.

    So needless to say im leaving!

    Cher
  6. 0
    I am not in our pool now, but I have been in the past. One of the things our pool does is have "Mother's hours" where nurses work 4-5 hours relieving others for breaks,lunches, etc. They might work,for example,1000 to 1400.

    They also have a class for nurses they have now been practicing, but want to return to nursing. I think these are two things that have made our pool successful.
  7. 0
    I work on a trauma floor where we utilize float pool nurses and aides frequently. They ALWAYS say they are dumped on, but it's simply not true. The whole entire floor is heavy and the assignments are evenly distributed for isolation, acuity, etc.
  8. 0
    Quote from Cher1983
    In my experience and all the other floats feel this too, is we get dumped on. We always get the isolation pt's who are on a million anitibotics, combined with all the total care patients, the needy/demanding patients. But you get them every floor you go to because your not regular staff on that particular floor. So I would really recomend you talk to all the floor managers about this potential issue if you want to keep your staff.
    When I worked float I found this to be true on some floors as well. Other floors were grateful to have the help and tried to make it as easy on the float nurses as possible.

    Another problem was that on some floors, the staff wasn't helpful with finding supplies, knowing the routines, etc. Believe it or not, "routine" vital signs weren't the same on all floors, and things weren't kept in the same places, and the way things were done varied some too. Nobody likes to be treated like an idiot because you can't remember where the 4x4's are kept- you've only been on several other floors or units in the three weeks since you were on their floor!

    I think having a variety of shift options and a choice of being regular staff or per diem would be a good way to get float nurses. Making sure that they're treated decently helps a lot, too!
  9. 0
    When I worked float pool the most attractive option for me was self scheduling. We were still obligated to do 2 weekends but could pick the ones we wanted as well as holidays. We chose which nursing clusters we wanted to do...ER/ ICU , Med- Surg, OB- Peds etc.. We chose where we went.
  10. 0
    self scheduling and always getting my vacation time would be great draws for the float pool! at one hospital i worked, we also got "float pay." it was an extra $2/hour on top of our base pay for floating. all the other staff got that, too, if they were required to float, but floats got it all the time. we were oriented extensively on several units -- and those were our home base units. usually, we went to the units we'd been oriented on. of course, we had to go anywhere there was a need. we got to know most of the staff on our home base units really well, and weren't dumped on at all. plus, our expertise was varied. if the ccu had to take a patient with a bolt, the ccu staff were delighted to see an icu float coming! a little bedside inservice does wonders for rapport! best of all, we were aware of but got to sidestep the nasty politics!
  11. 0
    After floating for 3 years you establish a relationship with most of the other nurses on the units that you float to. There are always going to be some that, for whatever reason, don't like floats. I've been greeted with "Oh, I hate to see you coming, because I know you're only here for 8 hours!". A quick "Well you can have me for 8, or no one for 12" ended that conversation!


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