I didn't know the shortage was THIS bad

  1. Just visited a unit today in preparation for my students taking clinicals there. On this particular unit, ONE HALF of the nurses are travelers. The unit only houses 6 pods (4-pt module) and one pod was closed down simply because a nurse had called in sick and there was no one available to replace her (plenty of patients, no where to put them). The most interesting fact was something one of the travelers said.... one company is now offering $35,000 COLD HARD CASH for just a SIX WEEK CONTRACT!!!! WOW!!! With money like this being shelled out by the agencies and travel companies, it is little wonder that the hospitals cannot keep staff.
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  2. 81 Comments

  3. by   semstr
    Welcome!
    Today I was in a LTC-unit with 2 of my students, there are 60(!!!) people living there. From "just very old" to Alzheimer to coma-patients. There were 1 RN, 2 LVN and we 3!
    I am sick of it!!
  4. by   kimberle
    I am just sick to my stomach. I was pulled to a Rehab. unit, and I felt it would be OK, as there was 2 "regular" RNs, and 2 "regular" techs.
    Yeah, it was fine 'til the last 2 hours of the shift - I know it's only 2 hours, but all of a sudden all the regular staff was gone and it was me, a pull RN, and a pull LPN and a pull Tech. It was not a pretty picture.
  5. by   oramar
    I went to a little restaurant near me that serves very good food. I counted the staff. Seven waitresses, one bus boy, two cooks for a place that holds 50 at max. I thought my God, they got better staffing than the average med/surg unit. One more thing, a lot of places have bad staffing for financial reason. One nurse running around passing meds on 50 patients looks good on bottom line. The shortage gives them an excuse to make money.:stone
    Last edit by oramar on Aug 7, '02
  6. by   shannonRN
    Originally posted by oramar
    I went to a little resturant near me that serves very good food. I counted the staff. Seven waitresses, one bus boy, two cooks for a place that holds 50 at max. I thought my God, they got better staffing than the average med/surg unit.
    it's sad, isn't it?
  7. by   nell
    kimberle,

    Where did the regular staff go the last 2 hours?
  8. by   Jenny P
    These types of stories make me sick! It is almost like sick people don't count! When did health care become so corrupt that their only concern is making money off the poor sick people-- who have paid dearly for decent care?!!! No wonder nurses leave the profession!
  9. by   jama
    what agencey is paying 35,000 for 6 weeks? it would be nice to just work for a few months a year!!!
  10. by   RyanRN
    Did you ever stop and think that this is the situation the hospital WANTS to be in. Pay travel nurses a nice rate, do not supply any benefits, paid vacations-time off and they are free to let you go on a daily whim. This most likely saves the hospital money in the long run and that's the name of the game.

    Jenny -The sick DO count, but they don't give a hoot until THEY (the public) are lying there in bed. I have a strange feeling that in the very near future this crisis will be a front page scandal instead of on the editoral page. And we have been trying to warn people all along.
  11. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    As a travel Nurse myself I can say Yes those Jobs are out there and Yes they do pay that kind of money. But I can say this For 35 grand for 6 weeks it has to be in a hell of a shape( so unsafe and substandard ) that you have to intise someone with that much dangling money to bring you there. I travel not because the money ( not to say it isnt sweet) but I travel because My husband and I are posted overseas and for me to keep my skills and licenses up to date and CEU's to standards I travel. As a travel Nurse I can say I have met some that do work just for the money , but for myself I hold somethings to standard of where and why I will work there, and Its not just for the money. I will not cross a picketline, I wont do it and I havent thought twice about it. If they can pay a traveler the kind of money , then they can pay thier staffed Nurses that kind of money as well, there is No excuse not too.As far as my benifits , well I have them all , and total cost paid for by my company as well, and I choose to take my vacations when and how long I wish to,Yes it has its perks but it also has its drawbacks. You can not refuse anything and if you do well Pack your bags as well. You have to know what your getting into. I can say this If my husband and I are ever posted to the states I will go back to staff Nursing at one place until the govt decieds its time for us to move again
    zoe
  12. by   fedupnurse
    RYANRN YOU ARE SO ON THE MONEY!!!!!

    Not only are hospitals paying lousy wages, if you could see the head games going on in my facility it would not only make your stomach turn, it would also make your blood boil. Regular staff are treated like crap and reprimanded if they don't float (and are supposed to be grateful for not being fired!!) yet the Agency people can refuse to float and have no repurcussions! They are purposely manufacturing charges against a colleague and have another on deck for the same type of treatment. They think nothing of screwing with a human beings mind and life in this way. I am so sick of the attitude of these suits I could literally just scream. I am a firm believer in what goes around comes around but I have been waiting for way to long for theirs to come around! I can only hope it wil happen soon.
    By the way, I am filling out Agency applications myself. Why work like a slave when you can name your price, the floor you want to work in, the facility and the shift. You can be off weekends and holidays if you choose. I am starting to see the light at the end of this long dark tunnel I have been working in for way too long.
    We supposedly have a low vacancy rate yet we have Agency, contracted and non contracted on just about every unit. And they wonder why we don't believe them or trust a single word out of their mouths!
  13. by   Cynthiann
    When it comes to a restaurant you are comparing apples with oranges. Waitresses are the cheapest labor of anyone in this country. Being a former waitress, I know they only get paid $2.13/hour. Busboys minimum wage and cooks a little over that. Restaurants have a high turnover rate but have plenty of applicants since it is a no skills job.
  14. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by RyanRN
    Did you ever stop and think that this is the situation the hospital WANTS to be in. Pay travel nurses a nice rate, do not supply any benefits, paid vacations-time off and they are free to let you go on a daily whim. This most likely saves the hospital money in the long run and that's the name of the game.

    Jenny -The sick DO count, but they don't give a hoot until THEY (the public) are lying there in bed. I have a strange feeling that in the very near future this crisis will be a front page scandal instead of on the editoral page. And we have been trying to warn people all along.
    Ryan, I think you have a good point there. It most likely is saving the hospital money at the expense of their patients/clients care.. this is very sad for patients and nurses.

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