I'm sick to my eyeballs of incompetent agency nurses. - page 2

:angryfire I am sick and tired of having to work with incompetent agency nurses. Ones that have no clue what to do but take the shift anyway because it's money. I'm sick of having to teach... Read More

  1. by   KatieBell
    As a traveler, which is akin to agency, I can hear your complaints. What I expect from the nurses who are permanent is help finding things, knowing how things are done at the place I am at, and occasional assistance with "What do you think is going on with Mr. J. He's had x amt ofnebs and is still really not moving air..."

    I will only work Emergency though. I did a year of ICU 4 years ago and recently my company wanted to place me in ICU. While I might could do it, it isn't my expertise, so I said, heck no...find me an ED with a shortage.

    Many many people take those tests from agency at home and can look up the answers on line. Please see my post regarding agency nurses...
  2. by   Tweety
    Quote from KatieBell
    What I expect from the nurses who are permanent is help finding things, knowing how things are done at the place I am at, and occasional assistance with "What do you think is going on with Mr. J. He's had x amt ofnebs and is still really not moving air..."

    ...
    That's a reasonable expectation. I know sometimes travelers and agency nurses get a cold shoulder from staff, making it more difficult on them. Plus some areas (not when I've been in charge) give the agency nurses the worst assignments (because they make more money), and then complain about them when they can't manage the unfair assignment.
  3. by   fergus51
    Quote from RN4NICU
    Having worked agency, I can say that it is not always the agency nurse's fault. I have walked in for a scheduled shift only to be told that the NICU did not need me and that I was to report to CCU. *****?? How safe does that sound? I refused to go. My agency was not pleased and the facility put me on their 'do not return' list because I refused to work in an area in which I had no experience. (shows how much they care about patient safety doesn't it...). I dropped my agency after that. I refuse to let an agency make money off putting ***MY*** license at risk!! This same agency would call me day in and day out offering me shifts in areas they KNEW I had no experience. It was all about the $$$ for them. :angryfire
    It is always the agency nurse's fault if she is too stupid to refuse to go to an area where she has NO knowledge or experience. Those nurses are dangerous fools and I don't want them on my unit. I won't apologize for that. We treat our agency and travellers very well, considering the fact that they ALWAYS get the least acute assignments. I expect them to come with the basic knowledge and experience needed to take those assignments, end of story. That's why the hospitals pay more for them. If we wanted someone with no experience, we would just get a new grad.
  4. by   nicholrwalker
    Wow, I do not know where you guys work, but I know facilities where "agency nurses" kept it going. Maybe your facility should have a skill checklist or small compentency test for thos dreadful agency nurses.
    I have been on both sides of the table and never had a problem, usually agency nurses have worked more places and bring more experiences with them. However, i have encountered angry nurses such as your self who may know how to do things only one way and are not open to other ways of nursing, usually once I work through a shift I don't have anymore issues with them either. I think your administration should work on a criteria for agency if the ones that have been coming through are so awful. Or maybe you could just work understaffed?
    Last edit by nicholrwalker on Nov 16, '05
  5. by   grannynurse FNP student
    Quote from fergus51
    It is always the agency nurse's fault if she is too stupid to refuse to go to an area where she has NO knowledge or experience. Those nurses are dangerous fools and I don't want them on my unit. I won't apologize for that. We treat our agency and travellers very well, considering the fact that they ALWAYS get the least acute assignments. I expect them to come with the basic knowledge and experience needed to take those assignments, end of story. That's why the hospitals pay more for them. If we wanted someone with no experience, we would just get a new grad.

    I have been an agency nurse and have received assignments I have refused and have been blasted by the facility for my refusal. I do not work OB and peds. I haven't worked either since the early 70s. MCH, Bradenton,Fl, once assigned me to a peds unit. I refused and the supervisor told me that I would basically be working as an aide. Sorry, I am an RN and should anything adverse happen, while the peds patient is under my care, I will be held to the RN's standard of practice. My agency backed me up and told the supervisor to use me in an area suited for my skill level. I was sent to CCU, which was to my skill level. Once I worked a facility two or three times, no questions were asked about my skills or competency level. I too am sick of agency nurses and staff nurses being lumped together as good, poor or bad. And I am one of the few nurses who does not believe that a nurse is a nurse is a nurse.

    Grannynurse
  6. by   fergus51
    Quote from nicholrwalker
    Wow, I do not know where you guys work, but I know facilities where "agency nurses" kept it going. Maybe your facility should have a skill checklist or small compentency test for thos dreadful agency nurses.
    I have been on both sides of the table and never had a problem, usually agency nurses have worked more places and bring more experiences with them. However, i have encountered angry nurses such as your self who may know how to do things only one way and are not open to other ways of nursing, usually once I work through a shift I don't have anymore issues with them either. I think your administration should work on a criteria for agency if the ones that have been coming through are so awful. Or maybe you could just work understaffed?
    I don't know if this is directed at me, but I have to say, I am not an angry nurse with limited experience in different ways of doing things. I have worked in different units in different hospitals in different countries and I have no problem with an agency nurse doing things differently. I have a problem with agency nurses who are unsafe or just plain dumb (and you have to be dumb to take a shift in a specialty you've never worked in before). Like I said, I have no problem helping an agency nurse out with where things are, charting, etc. as long as they come with the knowledge and experience to take a stable assignment. Otherwise, it's better to work short staffed. I don't understand why saying that causes agency nurses to get defensive. If you are a good agency nurse, I wasn't talking about you.
  7. by   nicholrwalker
    Lest we forget there are good and bad in all things. Good agency nurses/bad agency nurses. Good staff nurses/bad staff nurses. I noticed you said you would help a staff nurse out if she needed it but not an agency nurse, are you this hostile towards them on the floor? That must make for a pretty "professional" picture. I cannot imagine asking a felllow nurse a question and she give me attitude just because I choose to work independent of a facility, through an agency. What is the difference in helping a staff person who may not know something as opposed to an agency nurse who may ask the same thing. I hope I never harbor that type of ill will towards another living human being. Form a committee in you facility that monitors the criteria of nurses being assigned there, be proactive not just angry.
  8. by   nicholrwalker
    Quote from fergus51
    I don't know if this is directed at me, but I have to say, I am not an angry nurse with limited experience in different ways of doing things. I have worked in different units in different hospitals in different countries and I have no problem with an agency nurse doing things differently. I have a problem with agency nurses who are unsafe or just plain dumb (and you have to be dumb to take a shift in a specialty you've never worked in before). Like I said, I have no problem helping an agency nurse out with where things are, charting, etc. as long as they come with the knowledge and experience to take a stable assignment. Otherwise, it's better to work short staffed. I don't understand why saying that causes agency nurses to get defensive. If you are a good agency nurse, I wasn't talking about you.
    Well the next time you are met with that dillema, send the nurse home and pick up that assignment, I am sure the other nurses would'nt mind. If it is safer. I have worked in places(as staff) where we did just that.
    Last edit by nicholrwalker on Nov 16, '05 : Reason: cancel post
  9. by   nicholrwalker
    I am directing that reply towards anyone as angry as you are.....Please tell me you are doing something to fix the problem in you facility, if not you are going to stay angry and that helps no one. I for one would not want to step into a facility where people have preconceived ideas of my work without me even working, it makes for a bad work enviroment. Ease up, talk to the "powers that be", get other nurses involved who are just as fed up as you are, and see what you guys can get accomplished. Maybe your facility could start a in-house pool, with your own "ageny nurses" trained to the P&P of your facility. NOw that is not a guarantee that they will be better, but at least you all can consider them one of your own. Not trying to insult anyone its just that when people use words like "dumb" to me that is like profanity.
  10. by   fergus51
    Quote from nicholrwalker
    I am directing that reply towards anyone as angry as you are.....Please tell me you are doing something to fix the problem in you facility, if not you are going to stay angry and that helps no one. I for one would not want to step into a facility where people have preconceived ideas of my work without me even working, it makes for a bad work enviroment. Ease up, talk to the "powers that be", get other nurses involved who are just as fed up as you are, and see what you guys can get accomplished. Maybe your facility could start a in-house pool, with your own "ageny nurses" trained to the P&P of your facility. NOw that is not a guarantee that they will be better, but at least you all can consider them one of your own. Not trying to insult anyone its just that when people use words like "dumb" to me that is like profanity.
    Again, I'm not angry. Is it anger to want to work with competent nurses? I think that's completely reasonable. I doubt you would want a geriatrics nurse looking after your sick baby. I don't have any preconceived notions about agency nurses that are negative. I actually expect them to be pretty awesome nurses if they are able to work in different units daily and I have never been mean to one of them in my life.

    I'm sorry if you don't like my use of the word dumb, but I don't know what else to call it. What would you call it when a geriatrics nurse accepts an assignment in NICU? Seriously, I am open to suggestions.

    Oh, forgot to add, we already do in house registry and fortunately have been able to get enough experienced travellers and agency lately to keep things going well. The time when we had real trouble with incompetent agency nurses was when we were waaaaaaayyyy busy and the agencies seemed willing to just send us any warm body they could find.
  11. by   nicholrwalker
    Enough said...I feel your pain, sadly there are people who will accept any assignment just for the money. They think they can wing it, I call that desperate and dangerous. Good Luck on your unit.
  12. by   webbiedebbie
    I worked as an agency nurse for awhile. One hospital I refused to go back to because there was little teamwork with the staff. I asked the charge nurse where to find something and was told that I would have to find my resource nurse to get the information! For pete's sake!

    One thing I found out was each hospital does things differently. For instance, computer charting. It used to be easy just to grab the chart and get it done. Each hospital now has a different program and it can be very confusing.

    I once had a patient with a PCA pump. I asked the nurse going off shift if we had to check it before she left. She said they didn't check them with 2 nurses and she really didn't know all that much about the pump. When I asked other staff about the pump (one that I was not familiar with), all of them said they don't use them much and didn't know that much about them! When I got an order to discontinue the pump, I asked for help and did not get any. I figured it out myself, but it was a system that used bags of medicine. When I asked about the procedure for "wasting" the medication in the bag, the charge nurse said I would have to find someone who knew how to do that. Of course, no one could tell me. The charge nurse said "just throw it away"! Wait a minute....I should be documenting how much is wasted and have a witness!

    At this same hospital, there are no CNA's. I am doing assessments on 7 patients, passing A.M. meds, picking up breakfast trays one by one and taking them all the way down the hall to a closet, getting a new admission, discharging up to 6, picking up lunch trays, teaching breastfeeding, assisting new patient to bathroom, passing pain medications, emptying waste baskets that are overflowing with pizza boxes, standing in line at the pyxis to retrieve medications, calling pharmacy because one drawer is empty, noting orders, chart checks, tearing discharge charts down, stripping beds and throwing things away from the discharged patient's room so all housekeeping has to do is wipe, mop, and remake the bed. Picking up dinner trays and walking them one by one down the hall. At the end of 12 hours, I am finally able to chart and write up the report sheet.

    Oh, I forgot to say that on my first day there, the house supervisor was standing right next to me and said "Agency staff DO NOT need orientation". Excuse me, I don't need orientation for my nursing skills and taking care of my patients, but I do need orientation to where things are and how things are done there! Especially the charting now-a-days. I do not find it any easier and was disgusted to find that I had to wait to chart because all of the computers were being used!

    I was a very good agency nurse and one hospital loved having me there. I stopped working there because the commute was too long.

    I have since gotten away from bedside nursing. It isn't worth it anymore for me.
  13. by   misschelei
    Quote from BamaBound2bRN
    I am sick and tired of incompetent nurses, doctors, lawyers, politicians, dentists, dry cleaners, chefs, dog groomers, hell I am just sick and tired of incompetence! But, what can you do........you can't shoot them........you should love them, teach them, forgive them............or at least don't let the body float to the top of the lake


    Incompetence is rampant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bottom line here folks..............what kind of idiot lets the bladderwashout (love that) burst?

close