To agency nurses

  1. I just recently started working for an agency, and I have met with several disappointments. I would like to know which do you like best contract work or setting up your own schedules, and what is the downside to each?

    Thanks
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Roach
    Well, I will tell you. When I was first offered a contract I thought that was great, and it was fine. (but when my name was on the main schedule and I was being treated like a staff nurse I quickly changed my mind.) Now, on my second contract(I took it because I was scared I wouldn't get enough work this summer)I am beginning to HATE it. The staff(few that there are) all think that they are in charge of you. I orient most of the new staff(what's wrong w/that picture?) and they just brush me off when I have a specific schedule request for myself. They think that I should take what I can get. I am trying to get out of this stupid contract now. AHHHHHHH!!!!!! I just worked Memorial day, father's day and mother's day and now on the "schedule" I am already scheduled to do the entire 4th of July weekend. PLLLEEAASSEE, give me a break. Then they leave me in charge of the entire unit and tell me I have no say so in what goes on there because I am an agency nurse. I love the paycheck but I am thinking that I will take my chances for a while w/self scheduling until I know who I will be working with a little better.
    Good Luck, Roach
  4. by   Palpitations
    I am feeling the pangs of distress of agency nursing, too. The first two assignments were cancelled. No paycheck that week. The next two days that I signed up for were okay. The next night I get 11 patients on a ortho floor. It was awful. The agency states that "Oh we'll be glad when you get into a contract. You won't have to deal with that!" I should have known better. They got me signed up on a six week contract, scheduled me for every weekend. They say it's not every weekend because working 7p-7a Friday into Saturday is not a WHOLE weekend. The following weekend I work Saturday and Sunday, both days, 7p-7a. The agency has scheduled me to work the whole holiday weekend as well. I'm to work 7p-7a Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I thought that my scheduled was NOT to be changed. Hmph! I was wrong. I went into work one day, and they said "NO, you're supposed to come in on Friday." Sent me home. I called the agency and told her that I had specifically told you that I could not work that Friday. She said "Oh that was awful of them to do that to you." "Oh how inconvenient." She didn't mention if they were going to pay me for that day or not. I filled out a time sheet for it, anyway. She also told me that the hospital had left a day off of my contract and that I was to work an additional day. I told her that I had scheduled a doctor's appointment for that day. She said you'll have to change it. "We can't be messing with the schedule like that." I was flabberghasted. The next thing they told me was that my contract had been extended! At the end of July, I will not work on any contracts longer than two weeks, no unless that I've made it clear to them that they cannot change my schedule at whim, and that they will not include every weekend on my assignments. Many of the permanent staffing nurses feel that we are making WAY more money them them. HAH! That's a joke. The agency is getting all the money. If you don't work a contract, you're the first one to be called not to come in. I work most weekends at the same rate of pay that they are getting. No difference.

    I'm having second thoughts about this.

    Thanks for responding Roach

    Originally posted by Roach:
    Well, I will tell you. When I was first offered a contract I thought that was great, and it was fine. (but when my name was on the main schedule and I was being treated like a staff nurse I quickly changed my mind.) Now, on my second contract(I took it because I was scared I wouldn't get enough work this summer)I am beginning to HATE it. The staff(few that there are) all think that they are in charge of you. I orient most of the new staff(what's wrong w/that picture?) and they just brush me off when I have a specific schedule request for myself. They think that I should take what I can get. I am trying to get out of this stupid contract now. AHHHHHHH!!!!!! I just worked Memorial day, father's day and mother's day and now on the "schedule" I am already scheduled to do the entire 4th of July weekend. PLLLEEAASSEE, give me a break. Then they leave me in charge of the entire unit and tell me I have no say so in what goes on there because I am an agency nurse. I love the paycheck but I am thinking that I will take my chances for a while w/self scheduling until I know who I will be working with a little better.
    Good Luck, Roach
  5. by   GraceLPN
    I work agency in Louisville, KY and I love it. I do self-scheduling, even to the point of contacting the facility and scheduling myself with their staffing coordinator. I love the flexibility of being able to do this. Characteristically, I will work one heavy week and then alternate with a light week. I don't work on Saturdays and only work third shift if I work on Sunday. I am not working the holiday weekend, because I chose not to. I am however working a double shift on the fourth, again because I chose to. With holiday pay, I will make $30/hr that day. Our family is celebrating this weekend, so I am not missing anything by working that day.

    I also was afraid of a slow period this summer. I had a lot of cancellations a month or so ago, but things have gotten back to normal in the area. Or actually a little heavier than normal. I am signed with two different agencies and today I had two messages from each one on my answering machine asking me if I want to work tonight. By the way, I told them no, that I would rather spend the evening with my children and they were both fine with that.

    Personally, I don't think I would ever take a contract somewhere, because the flexibility of scheduling is what got me into agency nursing to start with.

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    "Still defiantly smiling"
  6. by   Roach
    Hi Grace and Palpitations,
    I have signed w/a second agency and am feeling alot better. I am definately going to continue w/self scheduling and I walked out on my contract.(nail biting) I was afraid I would be banished from my agency but they were real nice about it and are already offering me more work. WHEW!!! Apparently I am not the first to have trouble at this particular place. When in doubt ask your agency people. Thanks for the advice and I am on a nice minivacation. I will probably work a few hrs this weekend but I will be w/my family darn-it!!! I also am gonna work on the 4th. Holiday pay here is $45/hr. Not too shaby. Thanks again.

    Roach
  7. by   GraceLPN
    Congratulations Roach,

    There is no sense in working somewhere that makes you unhappy. Life is too short to spend it like that. There is such a nursing shortage right now, that it easy to find shifts anywhere, anytime. The agency is making too much money to put you to work. They are not going to let you set idle for very long.

    $45/hr. You must be an RN. I am an LPN (obviously), but I am in school working on my ASN.

    ------------------
    "Still defiantly smiling"
  8. by   Palpitations
    Hi Roach, I plan to put your strategies into action. I can't live like this....not knowing what's coming up next. This is why I posted the question, so that I can get advice from experienced agency nurses.

    Thanks for the knowledge.

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