Cancelled - page 4

Last night was the 3rd nite in a row I got cancelled. My agency checked with them during the day and they said I would not get cancelled last night. How do you guys handle frequent cancellations?... Read More

  1. by   eddy
    Originally posted by barefootlady
    I was really considering doing agency nursing until I read the posts on this board. I need to work, I need to get myself busy and make some money. I want to avoid the politics that I do not play too well. I had hoped that there was a good agency out there and good money to be made. I guess I will have to check into travel nursing.
    I've been doing agency for many years, and coming from experience, you can definately make a better living in it than as a staff nurse. Myself, I get as good or better benefits than most of my staff nurse counterparts and make almost double the pay. Most (not all granted) of the loudest voices speaking out about their negative experiences with agency simply did not give it the chance or did not prepare for cyclical down times, which in most areas does exist. cadeusus2004 has done an excellent job at explaining what it takes to succeed in the agency world. Planning, budgeting and making a good name for yourself. The essentials. Myself, I stick primarily to my one agency though I do remain "active" with a backup but haven't worked a shift through them for probably 6 months at least. My reason is because I get full-time type benefits from my primary and I have always been taken care of. My agency is like family to me in fact. The most important thing to consider is that no matter what you will have times when you get cancelled for what seems like weeks on end during slow times. That is why you work hard during the good times of the year, and budget for the other times. That is why I don't freak out when cancellations happen. It's just part of being an agency nurse.

    For those who get cancelled during peak times, you're either new to the facilities you are trying to get into or they don't particularly care for or know you. Sometimes when you start scheduling with a new hospital you'll get hit with a lot of cancels until they get to know you. It's just something you have to expect and prepare for.

    And... Always shoot for contracts. They are your best friend. However, you'll often need to do your "as needed" time with the facility first, so they know who you are and trust that you are a good person to make such a commitment with.

    I hope that clears some things up for you.

    Best of luck!
  2. by   cadeusus2004
    Barefoot Lady,
    Here's another way to do it:
    Hire on Per Deim in a hospital or facility and join an agency, too.
    Many up here do.
    Travel is great if you are built for it and you are mobile enough.
    First, there are many tax advantages. Second, you get to go to places you want. Third, it can be exciting. Fourth, you usually get relocation, automatic insurances, free travel, bonuses, free billeting in some really nice places and usually lots of support. The pay is usually not especially great, except if you have a specialty (esp. OR, ER, CCU, ICU or NA). Lots of needs for Med/Surg. You can even extend your assignments, which usually means another bonus. There are also "completion bonuses".
    The back side is you have to be mobile, resourceful, love travelling, don't have attachments like family to haul around with you, know what to carry with you. You must provide for your own uniforms and equipment. sometimes, you must be ready to pickup and go on a moment's notice. Also, hope you like to fly.
    One thing. You must have a good experience and can walk into a facility and be ready to get busy. They usually need you as soon as you walk in the door. You will get oriented, though, and you will need the license for that state (which the agency will help you with). Eating out is always fun, but unless you pick a usual place to eat, it can get to be a big hassle on your health.
    Get a cell phone, a laptop, a good credit card that can be used anywhere and a checking account in a bank you know is all over the country. (Chase Manhattan, Barclay's, Chemical Bank of New York, Fleet, Banc Suisse all have them for travellers. There are others) Buy a good portable clock radio and maybe even a good portable stereo like a Bose Wave. C. Crane sells some nice radios. You'll be travelling light. Get a Radio Shack card.
    Get a hold of all the travel companies you can and make your travel and preference range as wide as possible. Also, make sure the facility they send you to is OK. Ask other travel nurses and they will gladly share with you all the information you're likely to ask for. Talk to a travel nurse about the lifestyle.
    Imagine where you would like to go. (Hawaii, Seattle, Boston, Cape Cod, Nashville or Knoxville, Denver, Salt Lake City, Omaha,
    Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Chicago, New York City, New Haven, Providence, Louisville, Cleveland or Cincinnati, or maybe a small place in the Prairie Lands. Western Idaho is fantastic.
    Small MidWestern towns always need nurses. Farm country is great, but needs getting used to if you are a big city person.
    Its a booming industry.
  3. by   NorthStar
    Just food for thought. Ask the agency to have the hospital guarantee them the shift for you. If they can't guarantee it, then by all means, don't guarantee them that you won't take the first shift that comes along elsewhere. A lot of agencies will not call you for other work that comes in because you are "pre-scheduled" already. Tell the agency to call you on a daily basis for work unless you are guaranteed a shift. This kind of situation arises when you are pre-booked. Hospitals will cancel the agency nurse first. Also, once a facility notices that you work frequently with them through an agency, they take hint that you obviously enjoy it. This could be their recruitment tactic to get you to sign on full-time with them.
  4. by   cadeusus2004
    Whoa, there Northstar,
    Whether you know it or not, most agencies have already headed you off at the pass about working for a company you work for as agency. There is a clause that prohibits most agency nurses from seeking employment in places with which they have contracts, usually 1 1/2yrs. They usually rate your contract with the facility at about $5000.
    That means that if the hospital or facility hires you, they can go to court and be sued for the value of your contract. You can be sued, too. On top of that, you will be blackballed from other agencies. Contractural loyalty is very important.
    I tell a facility's person who wants to hire me that they and I both have these provisions. Tell them their offer is very nice, but you must honor your contract. They will respect you for it and may even be willing to buy your contract, plus the sign-on bonus to you. (Nearly all 'sign on' bonuses come with exclusivity provisions of anywhere from a year to three years.)
    I was once threatened with such a suit when hired as a nursing director for a facility. The hospital didn't even know it had a contract since it hadn't utilized it for over two years. The contract stated that the facility had to cancel, in writing, or if no work had been contracted for five years. I didn't get sued, but I did get fired by the facility- and blackballed from the agency. I kept the facility's 'sign on' bonus. They breeched. I did not. I had to go to another agency. (actually two, which paid better and treated me nicer).
    So, read your agency contracts, folks. And, if you want to work at a place, make sure they don't have an active contract with that agency. (PS: The agency must tell you whether they have a contract with the prospective facility.)
    Its only business.
  5. by   NorthStar
    I think the original thread was overall talking about day to day staffing, not a contract assignment. There is a difference between per-diem locally in which you can be cancelled. The contractual agreements are also different.
  6. by   schoolnurse/dr
    Working agency can make you very good money. It does help to schmooze the employees, work as often as you get called in the beginning till they get to know you and then you can set your own hours. It helps to work more than one agency at a time, I know when they're doing staffing they only give out the names of those who've called and say they're available alot of times and some won't make an effort to call looking for help. I was staffing coordinator at a hospital, and I call all of the agencies to be told they had no one available, only to find out they hadn't even contacted anyone that hadn't called to say they were available that day. But I would ask for nurses by name and they'd call and sure enough I'd get coverage. So they do play games, just depends on how lazy the people are at any given agency. But you figure out real quick how they play and then you either tell them how you're willing to work it or go to another place.