Hi all, I work for an agency, and up till last month, had no proble getting as many hours as I wanted at the University hospital. All of a sudden, the V.P. of nursing services was fired, and they aren't using agency anymore. I am lucky to get one or two days a week now at other hospitals in my area. I figure it has something to do with budget. I have to wonder how the hospital is staying afloat, without us agency people. There were sometimes 15-20 of us there a shift. Hope it picks up soon, or I am gonna have to get a regular job!
Jan 17, '03
That is happening to me at one hospital too. I pm'd you what little I know. I have a back up hospital so I am still keeping busy and it is always slow the month of Jan. I think the regular staff get their credit card bills for Christmas and work extra to pay them off. Hope it picks up soon.
Jan 18, '03
That's happened to me too, Marnna. I work exclusively agency work for many years. Sometimes a place will consistantly use me for months, then stop. Others pick me up and keep me busy. Agency work can be very "iffy". It DOES have its ups and downs. December, for me, is usually the slowest. Hardest part is leaving patients and staff that you know so well. Anyway, if you're going to work agency, you'll have to expand out to other areas, besides hospitals. Like a store, you're going to have to offer more than 1 service.
. Another way is to pick up 1 or 2 other agencies. That should keep you busy during the slow times. Good luck.
Jan 18, '03
Hi, I am also low on hours at this point. I do think it will turn around in our area. One facility says they are going agency free but had 16 agency staff there on Thursday. We will see. Another one is just slow calling hours because our agency is the highest paid in the area but we show up and do the work. They have been calling other agencies and getting stuck working short. Sometimes I "help them out with short notice" and sometimes I don't, when they cancel me the day before for the shift the next morning they are calling for unless I feel poor I do not, then the next time I work there they are kissing my feet, because they one they got was not used to the res and staff on the area and did not complete everything. I am at this facility that the kitchen staff and maintanece staff all know me by name. I only have 3 shifts scheduled next week and 1 the following, but I think I will be busy. I have to get my cpr renewed anyway so I think I can get that done this week on my first day off. Just hang in there, routine staff always calls in for this and that they will still need us.
Jan 18, '03
In the year 2002, I was cancelled on New Year's Day and then not again until Thanksgiving week, when all hell broke loose. I have not had more than 24to 36 hours in two weeks time since then.
It has picked up a little this week. I always schedule myself three days a week, usually 3 12's, sometimes 2 12's and an 8. I did get work all three days this week, but one day was four hours, the second was 12, the third was 8. Not great, but better than it has been.
Now if my creditors would understand this.
Jan 18, '03
OH,OH, this sounds familiar. I went through this in 1992. A bunch of places I worked agency decided to go agency free just about the time other places cut staffing. I got caught out in the cold. Could not get a job to save my life and since I was working exclusively agency found myself with no work at all. I was working casual pool one place and managed to get a regular job there because people liked me. It was the only thing that saved me because I had two kids in college at the time. I went from making $25 hourly to $14.00, ouch did that hurt but not as much as being unemployed. I tried to warn some people here that it could happen again but they said "no way".
Jan 19, '03
Originally posted by oramar
OH,OH, this sounds familiar. I went through this in 1992. A bunch of places I worked agency decided to go agency free just about the time other places cut staffing. I got caught out in the cold.
I went through the same thing in 1992, but I was working some agency and some staff per diem at the time. The hospital where I had been working almost full time for 5+ years as per diem staff began to phase out per diems, and ceased to use agency at all. They had imported nurses from other countries at a much lower rate of pay with "no cancel" clauses in their contracts.
It was very difficult for several years after that. Looks like the writing may be on the wall again...
Feb 17, '03
I've experienced the same. I had to find a facility and work per diem to still keep the my hours I needed and to make sure that I was still working. I found out that the people in charge of scheduling at the agency that I am with, kept their "favorites" working. Make sure that this is not happening to you.
Check with the facility personally to make sure that they really cancelled you and that the agency didn't replace you with someone new to the office to make sure that they are getting the hours that they requested.
Feb 18, '03
Bundles of Joy:
That would make me SO mad....
Last edit by nightingale on Feb 18, '03
Feb 19, '03
My agency employs a few fulltimers and they get the hours first, I find. But I don't want fulltime hours so it's a trade off I guess.
Mar 3, '03
I'll expand a bit on mattsmom81's post... though this may not be exactly how her agency does it, just kinda assuming (sorry if I'm off base MM).
It was explained to me when I hired on with my agency that those who've been here longer and have done a good job get calls for shifts first. "They've made a long term commitment to the agency, and we do everything to do our part right back," they said. While I wasn't thrilled about having to take the back seat for a while, I understood and respected the policy. Now, I am one of those people who've made "a long term commitment", and I fully expect them to deliver right back and not give that new hire my shifts. It works for me. It just meant I had to pick up some less desirable shifts for the first few months to "get in". Now, I just call my agency a few times a week and tell them what I want, and they call me back with the shifts I requested. It was worth the initial sacrifice, and now I am very glad that this is their policy. I still do late calls here and there, but now more out of choice than needing the cash.
Mar 5, '03
I'm finding the same as you Eddy. Now starting my third month with this agency and it's true that once we've 'paid our dues' the tune changes a bit.
Now that I have demonstrated 'my worth' so to speak, and facilities love me and ask for me, my agency calls now calls and asks ME "What will it take to get you out there ?"
I am finding I have negotiating power.
But the first few months, I went everywhere and anywhere to get my reputation established. It was worth it.
Yes there are slow times but overall I'm very happy with my choice to work agency and call my own shots.
After years of being 'under the thumb' of facilities, I am gratified to feel this free.
Mar 5, '03
When I was doing agency work, I kept signed up with about 3 agencies at same time so that when one slowed down, I could get work with the others.
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