I started my new assignment today, the first 12 hour shift. What a nightmare. I absolutely hate it. It was supposed to be a general surgical floor and it is really a neuro/stroke unit. Quite a difference and an area I absolutely hate. I'm already dreading day 2. Several nurses have recently quit (I can see why). They are down 4 nurses and the manager is a traveler. I do not want to do this assignment to the point where I will pay the fees to be done with it. Can I do this?
Jan 30, '07
You can if you are prepared for the fact that it may cost you in the thousands to get out of (all housing costs associated with the 13 week contract, any penalties in the contract, etc.).
What I would suggest is talking to your company if this is a completely different unit than you contracted for - not your area of competence, or if you truly feel your license is endangered by the conditions. Be willing to work with them and you may be able to work things out to waive any money owed. If it is just a really unpleasant contract (and many of us have had those unfortunately) the best advice I can give you is to concentrate on enjoying the new area on your days off and mark off the days on a big calendar. Remember 13 weeks is only 39 shifts, not forever, even if it feels that way now.
Jan 30, '07
I guess it must be true that you get screwed on your first contract, then you learn. the only money this company has put into me so far is a drug screen, tetanus shot, and rubella titre. I get a stipend at the end of the month for living expenses. That comes at the end of the first 30 days. Right now, the motel and other expenses are all on my credit card. My problem is if I would have had an interview, it could have answered many of my questions. The only interview was the manager calling me to find out which of three units I preferred. The current manager is a traveler if that tells you anything. I asked the company to please have the manager call me for an interview and nothing ever happened. I showed up yesterday to a unit that is down 4 nurses and in total chaos. So, yes, you are right, there are 38 shifts left. My first of three days orientation was spent answering lights because the hospital didn't have my computer password ready and may not be ready till the end of the 2nd day and it is all computer charting so I'm not sure what to do about that. I'm basically hosed for a decent orientation. Thanks for your advice.
Jan 30, '07
I know this isn't what yo were hoping to hear but here goes...
First, we have great assignments and we have those that are sub-standard. I know that you won't always be thrilled with circumstances where you are but remember these are temp positions with temp people in your life.
I would do what it takes to think credibility and reputability. Your good name is at stake. Remember, each assignment may pay more, may have more perks and also, you may see that the choicier assignments will be sent in your direction.
If you get flaky and unreliable, you will lose the good perks of what travel nursing is all about.
Advice: finish the lousy assignment with a straight face, smile and never let the place know how much you don't care for the place.
A tip: on a day off, here and there reward yourself. Give yourself a good restaurant meal, a nice place to be like a good movie, a day in the mall or whatever you enjoy. Maybe a spa day. Just finish the assignment and start planning a nice week off in between contracts for sure or a little longer.
Jan 31, '07
Yes, as you have figured out already, the "no interview" is a red flag. I will not accept/sign a contract if I have not had an interview. I consider the interview as much a chance for me to evaluate the facility and decide if they meet my criteria as it is for them to do so with me.
Hang in there and look forward to the next assignment!
By the way, if you want to post what area of the country you are in (or pm it to me) I may be able to suggest some fun things to do on your days off for you to look forward to. In 10 + years of travel I've made it to quite a few places and found lots of fun stuff to do.
Feb 6, '07
hey sis! fancy meeting you here! goood advice...count the days...it works for me! headed home soon...yeehaw! love, jesse
Feb 7, '07
Well, I want you all to know that I appreciate all your good advice and comments. I made it the first three days of orientation. first two were horrible and I wanted to quit. The third day I got a different nurse to orient with and it was great. Made all the difference in the world. I go back on Friday morning and will take my own assignment and am actually looking forward to it. The people at this hospital are awesome to me and it is so nice to work in a place where I feel like a member of the staff. I don't dread this assignment anymore but do look forward to getting a month off and then will probably go back...or possibly extend. I'll keep you all posted. Thanks again.
Feb 9, '07
Lorster, I'm there with ya. The assignment that I'm currently on is supposed to be in ER. However, they have so many hold patients that I feel like I'm working Med-Surg. I'm trying to get my company to get me out of this without it costing me. Just watch your back and look for any loop holes that will get you out of your contract. It shouldn't be difficult considering you are on a different floor that what your contract states. Good luck..
Feb 10, '07
Glad its getting better for you. But would you mind letting us know what place in particular you are talking bout, or at least the state? It would be helpful to the rest of us...:smilecoffeecup:
Feb 17, '07
With each contract you learn something new! I'm not sure if this was your first contract but I'm sure you won't make the same mistake twice! Always get in writing what you want and expect out of your travel contract. As a critical care nurse, I've been expected to be a "jack of all nurses", meaning float to everywhere, including regular medical floor. It was partly my fault b/c I didn't ask and didn't pay attention to the floating clause in my contract. I won't make that mistake again. Hang in there and at the end of your contract you'll have new experiences and know what not to settle for next time!! Bad assignments happen to all of us every once in a while!
Feb 23, '07
ok, now i have to come on here and eat all my words. i have been on this first assignment for four weeks now and am really liking it. the hospital has been absolutely great to me. the nurses are wonderful. i have had a few bad shifts but looking at it, i have had horrible shifts at my home job. the nurses have been more than happy and pitched in to help me catch up and i am now at a point where i am helping them also. i stay at a hotel that is practically connected to the hospital so it is a perfect set up for me. the company i travel for has been really good also. i think i went in on my guard due to all the stories i have heard and have been pleased now that i know the hospital and its routine. if i travel on a second contract, i will definitely go with this company and this hospital. if anyone wants to know where this is, pleas PM me.
Mar 2, '07
I'm very happy to see that things are now working out well for you. I have always believed that one should go into everything with an open mind because you can't ever be sure exactly how things with turn out. When I graduated from nursing school I went directly into critical care, and I since I began traveling I've always insisted that I would never take a med-surg position. But since I've been a traveler, I've been floated to med-surg a lot, and although there are certain things about it that I definitely did not like, it presented opportunities for me to learn many things about surgical patients that I didn't know before, and it did help me to really develop good time management skills. There was one particular assignment where I was almost to the point of walking out, but I stuck with it and maintained a very professional attitude, and it turned out quite well. Now, I get nothing but glowing recommendations from the managers there when prospective employers call for a reference check.
Its also important to remember that when it comes to travel nursing, you can tolerate (almost) anything because you only have to do it for a few months.
Glad it all worked out. Good luck!
Mar 2, '07
First of all, you have to think, do I want to do travel nursing? You are at a typical job. Travelers are not treated like staff. You are treated as fill in Nurses that are there to get the staffing out of a bind. Unfortunately you are feeling the pinch.
You have to decide if this is right for you. You may want to consider local agency work in your home town because then you would have more to say about where you are assigned. Most Travel jobs may promise one floor but the hospital has the right to put you elsewhere on a whim which isn't always what you want to do. Expect the worst assignments and expect that each day may be hard. When I travel, I'm there for the days off. I can work and get out of the sad mind set of a lousy contract. I just have an attitude about that and keep going like most seasoned travel nurses do. Expect the worst and if it's a better day, smile and keep going. That's all you can do. In between assignments, go home, relax and plan again.
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