Do agency nurses get the worst patients?

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    About NancyRN

    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 268; Likes: 13


  2. by   live4today

    When I worked Agency, I knew before I got to the hospital that I would get the worst patient assignments, so I just prepared myself for a shift of very hard work without any help! Not only did I get the worst patients, I did NOT get a CNA to work with me, either at some of the hospitals I worked at. But, that's why I became a darn good nurse because I had to practically singlehandedly do it all...just like I did as a mom raising my three kids! :chuckle I knew that training would come in handy somewhere someday! :chuckle The joke was usually on them because not only was I so well organized with my patient assignments, I always MADE TIME to help out another nurse WHEN I saw that she/he needed assistance. Once they figured out that I was truly a darn good nurse who was there to make their load lighter, and to help them as much as I could, they lightened up and started treating me like I was one of them. Then, they would have their Nurse Manager requests me to return to their unit whenever they needed an agency nurse.
  3. by   nightingale
    Sometimes.. sometimes it is deliberate and sometimes it is "luck of the draw"..

    When it is deliberate.... I do not go back to the facility.. I usually try to discuss it with the charge before I draw a conclusion....

    This is NOT common.. Thank God....
  4. by   susi_q
    I've started working agency this year, and have not found that I get dumped on - rather I seem to get treated more than fairly. There are, of course, overwhelming shifts - but it's been for everyone, not just me. I'm actually finding that I really enjoy the variety.
  5. by   mattsmom81
    I did supplemental agency many years, and I always went in with the attitude that 'I'm going to probably get the patients the regulars are tired of'.

    As Renee pointed out, after they get to know you it becomes harder for them to dump on you....

    After the staff recognizes your experience and competence, they begin to trust ya, (supervisors and staffers would call me directly at home to ask me to come in and help them, and I'd call my agency with the details...LOL) and this can have its drawbacks especially if you're the most competent nurse there....I've been asked to do charge and have been given the most unstable patient as agency.....which can be quite hairy too in ICU...LOL! I try to take it all with a grain of salt... I'm only here for X hours, I don't EVER have to come back if I don't want to, and I'm making the BIG BUCKS. I can handle this!

    It was never the patients that got to me on the job, it's the politics.
  6. by   Fgr8Out

    I'm so sorry to hear about your poor treatment by PEERS, especially in light of the fact that many agency nurses are there because the facility (AND the nurses) NEED them.

    Kudos to you for your "cheerful" and "can-do" attitude. It's nurses such as yourself who can help turn the tide, given enough of us, and enlighten others in our "Profession" to the idea of Teamwork.

    Behavior such as you describe; the constant back-biting, passive-aggressive behaviors, whining and finger pointing among so many Nurses, makes no sense to me at all. It's completely contrary to our goal... and totally counter productive to Nursings desire to be respected and recognized as a PROFESSION.

    Get it together folks!

    btw... I'm not an agency nurse
  7. by   catlady
    I had it both ways when I worked agency. Sometimes they gave me the lighter assignments because they didn't trust me to handle the heavier ones, and sometimes I got dumped on. And sometimes I had the same workload as everyone else.
    We agency nurses here in OZ face the same fare at times, and yes quite frankly I think that it allows yourself for plenty of self training in getting the routines down pat.

    Yes as mentioned before, they can initially give you the worst lot, as if to test you LOL or quite simply the fact that all the regular stafff on that ward have tired of a particular long timer patient...we are only human despite what people may think! WE are at least secure in the knowledge that it is a one off shift and you dont have to come here tommorow.....

    And yes as also forementioned when they realise that you are adaptable, competant, willing and able they do start to treat you as a regular and it makes for a welcoming change. I personally have never refused to work a particular ward as it has not reached that 'crisis' pont at any for me.......yet....couple close but ya build a bridge and get over have too!!!

    As I have said previously I am enjoying the versatility and freedom too much to return fulltime to any particular ward at the moment long as I can avoid it! Not to mention the scope of your general knowledge soars skyhigh!

    arty: Yeah baby yeah!!!!!!!!!
  9. by   BadBird
    Yes we do. Which makes us better nurses. It seems to me that the agency nurses handle stress better than some of the general staff.
  10. by   Brownms46 was her last nite...and she unfortunately had agreed to work one week past the end of her contract! I walked on the unit...and saw her immediately and I could tell there was stress BIG time...just by the look on her face! Everyday I have been there just about I have walked in to see her stressed for one reason or another...and counting down her days.

    This was her first assignment...and a young, pretty blond RN...who probably could have been enticed to stay on this unit....but for being put in over her head too many times! I couldn't imagine this being my first travel assignment....but I have a feeling it maybe her last....or at least for a long time to come. I tried to tell wasn't all her...and there are good assignments out there...but I think the damage has already been done!

    Then I listened as they (those left on this train wreck of a unit)...proceeded to shred her to pieces..and talk about her shortcomings!! Believe me THEY have NO room to talk!! Then of course the old...WELL she was making MORE MONEY..statement was made!!! My only comment was...DON'T start that crap!!! They stopped..but I'm sure this is a continual topic when when I am others aren't there!

    The thing is they even had the nerve to have her a going away pot luck...mostly store brought junk!! I bet she was kicking herself for agreeing to stay for the few days she did!

    They had given her the train wreck...that should have been in ICU...and not on a unit where she had FIVE other pts on the day shift!!! When she came into the break area after she was finally reduced to made me sooooo angry....that they just couldn't stop for once and think about how THEY would have felt in this situation!!! All they could do was critize how she did or didn't just HANDLE IT!!! I mean they were having second helping of this young tenderly! But...I know I won't be able to expect any better! But I on the other hand...WON'T be staying over MY contract on this unit!! In fact at this point I would even PAY someone a very nice bonus to TAKE this contract for me...:chuckle:

    I wonder what this situation will teach this young nurse??? Give you three guesses and the first 2 don't count!!

    I think the punishment for miss treating this nurse ...should be that these people have to continue working on this unit forever...with NO agency help!!
  11. by   nightingale
    The Dogs Maybe just desserts is for them to have a night like they gave that new nurse....:angryfire

    I hate these kind of stories....
  12. by   mattsmom81
    When I'm on staff I generally give agency the least complex patients, unless I know them very well and we're BOTH comfortable with the assignment.

    I HATE when my own staff whines at me because they got a PIA patient..."Give it to the agency nurse". Yeah right, give ALL the PIA patients to one agency nurse and THAT'S supposed to be fair?Some folks have no concept of fair play...only want to ensure the lightest load for themselves. This attitude is one I get SO tired of out there (from a charge perspective). It also makes me see red to hear staff saying.."Well, she should work harder, she's making more $$$.....(urge to kill). I really don't miss the whiney staff nurses at all, can you tell? LOL!
  13. by   Brownms46
    You know what mattsmom...and nightngale??? One of the people chewing on this young one who herself has said this unit was too much for HER! She is also on contract and trying to get her agency to pull her OUT of here!!

    Sometimes people just don't have a clue!

    Three nite ago when I worked....I had a tough assignment...PLUS got the admission...and when the nite charge came on duty...she had the nerve to try and give me the next admit...back to back with the first I had just two seconds before finished admitting!!

    The last nite I worked...the secretary called back to the conference room where the charge nurses were getting report....and told them an admit was coming up. Guess who this secretary kept on naming as the one who should get IT...give you 3 guesses and the first two don't count.... Since I was standing there....the CNs gave it to someone else....
    Later I volunteered to take the next admit...but I was tired of being given the first admit every nite I walked on duty..

    I have become the squeaky wheel ......much to my chagrin...but I refused to be dumped on any longer!

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