Questions to ask hospitals??? - page 2

Hello! I was wondering what are some important questions to ask the hospital manager a traveller is interviewing for? Also, what should a traveller be looking for during the conversation? Thanks... Read More

  1. by   LadyNASDAQ
    Ask about schedules and equipment they use such as IV pumps. Take the time to collect your thoughts on paper so that you can run down a list and write down the responses while you're on the phone.
  2. by   m_chatelaine
    Your recruiter should give you a sample of questions to ask.
  3. by   roxanneroxanne
    That was a great list of questions! Each traveler I know customizes a similar list as they travel, with things that are important to them. Some of them you can ask in the interview, some you'll have to ask once you are on the job.

    For me, it all comes down to communication. As my husband says, trust but verify. It is your responsibility to make sure your concerns are addressed. Once I figured out that I needed to be proactive in making my contract and my assignment what I needed them to be, I have great deals and great experiences.

    Something I can't stress enough, is READ your contract. If things aren't clear, ASK. Have it rewritten to clarify issues that concern you. Contracts are templates and one size doesn't always fit all. I have had companies refuse to change contract language, but they have always made agreed upon changes. It is in everyone's interest to have the contract clear.

    If you travel to work (especially if you want to work overtime) over-staffing and floating can be very important issues.

    One hospital told me (and it was written in the contract) that I would float in turn with staff. What I wasn't told and wasn't written, was that the only staff who floated were staff members who had been there less than 5 years, and that that was less than 20% of their staff. When I asked how often I should expect to float, I was told maybe 3 or 4 times during my contract. Guess what, I floated much more often than that. For me floating wasn't a big issue, but the unit I was floated to (tele) had a travel position available and a much bigger completion bonus. Had I known that I would spend more than half my contract hours there, I would have considered the tele contract more seriously and then floated to ICU.


    In one contract, it was written that I could be over-staffed one day a pay period. When I questioned this, I was told by the hospital interviewer (who happened to be a travel company employee) that it never happened and that I would be offered the option to float rather than be over-staffed. The ICU with which I was contracted didn't ever over-staff me, they placed me on-call (for which my pay rate dropped to $4/hr). Being on-call, I could neither float, nor work a shift at another facility (sometimes I'll do agency work on the side). During my contract period, I ended up being obligated to the facility for 59 shifts and only worked 38. That's a lot of days I could have been hiking, biking or shopping, or working. Since then I only take contracts with guaranteed hours, or make sure that I will be completely overstaffed so that I can work elsewhere or actually have a day off. The same hospital offered regular staff the option of working overtime and then would put me on-call to bring a regular staff member in on OT. It wasn't addressed at all in my contract, but I found it deceptive.

    Another consideration brought up before, is your skill set and your comfort level with various tasks and responsibilities: What can you do, what are you willing to do. I have often traveled to units where I was the most experienced nurse in the department. It is important to me to have a resource person in the department each shift, someone who will be available to help me with procedures and issues. Most staff members are very willing on an informal basis, but sometimes the regular staff is too overworked and stressed to be of help, and can get frustrated with too many questions. A three day orientation is not much to get to know the ins and outs of a unit (and this has been pretty standard in my experience).
    If the hospital doesn't provide me a resource person, I use the charge nurse or choose one of the more teaching oriented nurses on the unit and ask them to be my resource. I have never had one turn me down or be bothered if I asked questions. Another standard practice is to ASK QUESTIONS once I'm on assignment. You won't get in trouble asking, but you might violate hospital policy or just complicate your task but not asking.

    Remember, you and your travel company need to be working together. If not for you, they would not be in business. They are negotiating deals, which saves us as travelers lots of hassle. You are making the travel company lots of money. It is in their best interest to have you happy and productive. Your recruiter, or other contact person should be your advocate. If you have problems, beyond the simple ones that need to be addressed immediately with the charge nurse, consider involving your recruiter to advocate for you and deal with difficult issues.

    Good luck! Traveling is a great way to see the country (or the world) and be able to make a living doing it. I love my jobs, and love the flexibility and possibility that traveling offers me.
  4. by   Diary/Dairy
    Quote from shortstuph0
    I actually found this from this website :

    http://www.travelnursingcentral.com/...linterview.htm
    Thanks for the post - this website's list has become a bit of a template for me to use to interview the hospital that is interested!!
  5. by   Diary/Dairy
    Quote from roxanneroxanne

    For me, it all comes down to communication. As my husband says, trust but verify. It is your responsibility to make sure your concerns are addressed. Once I figured out that I needed to be proactive in making my contract and my assignment what I needed them to be, I have great deals and great experiences.

    Remember, you and your travel company need to be working together. If not for you, they would not be in business. They are negotiating deals, which saves us as travelers lots of hassle. You are making the travel company lots of money. It is in their best interest to have you happy and productive. Your recruiter, or other contact person should be your advocate. If you have problems, beyond the simple ones that need to be addressed immediately with the charge nurse, consider involving your recruiter to advocate for you and deal with difficult issues.

    Good luck! Traveling is a great way to see the country (or the world) and be able to make a living doing it. I love my jobs, and love the flexibility and possibility that traveling offers me.
    Thanks for the info roxanne! I am sorry you got burned in some of those assigments, but grateful that I can learn from what has happened to you in those situations.

    How long do you usually take for an interview?? I mean, how many minutes on the phone? Some of these lists are quite exhaustive and I almost get embarassed for having so many questions to get a thorough picture of the facility!
  6. by   JOCELYN86
    Hi,
    I am just starting a nursing program. I really want to travel worldwide as a nurse when I'm finished. I have a few questions. How long are you in each location? and do you get to choose where? Also, do most agencies provide housing? And how long do you recommend working to get experience in the states before traveling?
    Thanks :-)
  7. by   Diary/Dairy
    Well, I think most travel companies want you to have AT least a year's experience in a specialty before they will consider you for travel nursing.

    Contracts are usually between 8 and 13 weeks long, with the option to extend if the facility wants to keep you.

    Yes you get to chose where you would like to go and yes, most companies provide you with housing for free

    If you are really interested, look for Hitting the Road by Shalon Kearney (an excellent reference!!) and Highway Hypodermics by Epstein LaRue. I think both those books are available on Amazon and have A LOT of good info, if you want to consider travel nursing in a few years.
  8. by   oranges
    I am new to allnurses. I have a question but not sure how to post it. I am on my first assignment and have run into housing issues regarding safety. My company will not place me in other housing. I am at a loss at what to do. I have talked to everyone at my company including managers of all departments and even legal. No suitable resolution has been presented...other than to place a dead bolt on the door. I do not know what to do. Any advice?
    Thanks....
  9. by   Diary/Dairy
    Not sure what to tell you oranges. Can you get another sort of bar for the door?? My friend had be get one when I lived near her!!

    Am not sure what else to tell you. ? Find someplace safer for the remainder of the assignment -

    Any other ideas????
  10. by   oranges
    Thank you for the reply. I have just started this assignment. The company will not pay for a different place to live...they are more worried about the rent they have paid than my safety. I feel very vunerable...they have not been there for me. I am very disappointed and upset. Not sure what to do.
  11. by   Diary/Dairy
    when you get done - CHANGE COMPANIES!!!!

    Can you stick out this assignment??

    CAn you afford alternative housing??

    Have you talked to your recruiter??
  12. by   oranges
    Great question!!! Good companies....bad companies....
    I am living a nightmare as this time. Safe housing is the issue and the company will not provide other housing. No resolution after a week of being here.
  13. by   Diary/Dairy
    The only other thing I can suggest is to go check into a hotel and then send them the bill - maybe you need to take some drastic action to get their attention!! Have you called customer service?? IS there ANYONE ELSE in the company that you can raise a complaint with about the issueQ!

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