What is your experience with travelers and their agencies?

  1. We are having issues being short staffed and are looking into using travelers. We have always tried to recruit our own nurses, but it is starting to become difficult.

    How do you all feel about travelers? Does anyone have any advice?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    I work level one ER and we had travellers for about a year - absolutely loved all but one. We used about 50, so not bad odds. Our staff loved them too, because they hit the ground running and did wonderful - great attitudes, always willing to help...nothing bad to say about our experience. We used many different agencies...
  4. by   stressednurse
    I traveled as a nurse for a year. I thought it was quite a bit of fun to see other places and also work while I was there. I was accepted quickly in the ICU/Trauma/Neuro unit I worked in for 6 months...I ran into a doc that had done residency in my home hospital. He was continuing his neuro residency there. The staff was very accepting of me as a co-worker, a happy environment that just didn't have enough of its own staff at the time.
    Second place hated me, I did my short stint and was happy to leave. This was an open heart unit with less patients and less stress as far as the patient load. The staff was a very unhappy crowd.
    The first facility was in South Carolina and as far as I know now has mostly its own staff. The second facility was in Ohio and has since had a lot of staffing issues including walkouts.
    Find an established agency that has good reference checks.
    Have previous experience and/or training for the person who does the phone interviews.
    Make sure you have an adequate "out" clause so you can end the employment if this person really isn't working out.
    My experience and level of confidence made it easy for me to walk into a Trauma unit, have 3 days orientation and take care of a crashing patient on my 4th day. I also had Open Heart experience but that unit wanted me to have a week of orientation. Every time I turned around they were telling me about something I didn't do, it was mostly silly multiple places charting stuff that wasn't covered in the orientation checklist nor the skimpy orientation.
    If you have computer charting, make sure the nurses you hire have that experience. If you do all manual charting, make sure that is what they can do.
    Direct your phone interview by what you have there as a facility for nurses to do and use. Pixis vs pharmacy provides all vs e-box of many drugs on the unit. Teaching hospital vs non-teaching with lots of old time docs with no sense of humor at night or evenings or weekends. Small town everyone knows everyone vs big city hospital with lots of walk-ins and MA patients.
    I hope this helps a bit.
  5. by   JimD
    Quote from RN760
    We are having issues being short staffed and are looking into using travelers. We have always tried to recruit our own nurses, but it is starting to become difficult.

    How do you all feel about travelers? Does anyone have any advice?
    I hired 9 travelers for our Hospital last year and only one was not the best. Loved all the others. Hired one full-time. My staff at first requested to cover for the shortages, but after a few months were glad to see them come. I had 4 travelers on my unit for 13 weeks to allow for a good orientation for new nurses. They provided relief for my staff and allowed us to not short change new nurses coming in.
    Very expensive and hard on the budget, but good for patient care and burnout prevention. Good Luck!
  6. by   OriginalWmn
    Hi! Just thought I'd put in my .02. I've been traveling for 2 plus years and worked perm staff where we had travelers a couple years before that. The scoop on travelers from this side of it is that we're just like perm employees, some good, some not-so-good. Most of the travelers I've run across have been excellent and got along well with staff. I think a company that does a background check, reference check, etc., and then your interview will weed out any bad eggs.
    As a traveler I've only had one bad traveler exp and that was at a severely understaffed facility. We're talking a "children's hospital" that staffed 8:1 ratio (normal is 4-6:1 for all you non-pedi), and on weekends staffing could be 10:1. This was after hiring myself and another traveler. However, I loved the staff I worked with and they were so grateful to have me there. Management was not so great. I didn't even meet the manager until I'd been there 5 weeks. There were other issues, but this is already long enough.

    My advice if you do use travelers is to meet them early on like you would perm staff and make them feel welcome. I worked on one contract where 7, that's right 7 travelers went on perm staff when their contracts were up!

    Side note to JimD: I have two sibs that live in Columbia. I just spent two weeks hanging out with them in the HUMIDITY!!! I always forget until I go back there. They both live near five points. I love that restuarant Birds on a Wire, ate there twice while I was in town. Just thought I'd say "hi" to a fellow Carolinian
  7. by   OriginalWmn
    Sorry. Didn't realize this thread was so old. I'm sure you've already made the decision re: travelers :imbar

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