The agency I work for talked me into taking an assignment at a nursing home about 50 minutes from my house. No big deal, one shift, and I like the time alone when driving. Anyway, it was a 3-11 shift. I was working with another nurse. She left at 7. I was the only nurse between 7-11. And I had 60 patients. I was floored! Now I have worked LTC facilities for 10 years, and have been asked to do a lot, but 60 patients? It would have been bad enough on an 11-7 shift, but 3-11!!! And these weren't rest home patients. This was a medicare skilled hall. I am steaming! And then, when I was going home, I asked for the code to get out the door (which was 10 ft. from me) and the nurse says "Hold on, I'll tell you after I'm done with report" I stood there 20 minutes waiting for her to finish report and counting just so I could get out the door. Arrgggghhhhh! And they wonder why they need agency so much! Sorry, just needed to vent :angryfire
Dec 17, '06
That's awful! You must've felt like you were locked in..... 60 patients is a very dangerous amount!! Why did the other nurse leave??
Dec 17, '06
Apparently that's the norm. They have what they call an 8 hour cart, and a 12 hour cart. I was put on the 8 hour cart, relieving the 7-3 girl. Then, at 7p, the 7a-7p nurse left, only there was no one coming in to fill her slot. The 8 hour cart nurse just keeps them both until 11. They say it's doable because the nurse passes all her night meds before she leaves at 7. Hello!!!! I saw where patients had gotten their sleeping pills at 630pm! I worked too long and hard for my license for that.
Dec 17, '06
Oh no... yes... definitely you can lose your license... I could only imagine when those pills were ordered for?? 9 pm? well if it's out of the 1 hour window, it's a med error! So sad...
Dec 18, '06
OMG that is terrible.......
I am an Agency Nurse too.....& geesh I could tell some pretty horror stories too...maybe another time though.
As for meds given at 6 that's down right wrong! Not to mention looking after 60 pt too. ouch ....Nope I wouldn't return either!
Dec 19, '06
Agency nursing simply stinks. Don't do it. Its not worth the extra money.
Dec 19, '06
I just started agency myself. Mostly have been going to the county jail, I did two Nursing home shifts 3-11 and couldn't believe how hard it was. I hadn't finished my 5p meds and they went for dinner. They came back and I finished the 5 pm meds. The other nurse was done a lot quicker, and when It came time to do the 9p med pass she was charting, talking on the phone ect. When I was finished I was getting the treatment book out to start those. She says oh hunny you must be new at this, I should have told you on 3-11 we pass out all our meds at 5p, we give them all at once it saves time. she also said and if they have prns give them then too. then she laughed. I couldn't believe my ears. OK, that was my last shift at a nursing home doing agency. What in the world, has any one else seen this done?
Dec 19, '06
Agency nursing can actually be a wonderful thing, if you get an agency that is concerned for your welfare, and you get good assignments.
Have never seen a nursing home have good assignments, and if you take a moment to think about it: on a good day, you have at least 30 patients, and they are not going to be paying for agency if they are not desparate.......and there are some that routinely give 60 patients for one nurse to manage. Is it the way to go? Not in my opinion, also the fastest way to lose a license.
But please do not put down agency nursing, it can be a wonderful thing.....
Dec 19, '06
Actually I don't mind the Agency work........It is some of the places we go to that I have a problem.....But then it is an eye opener too & we don't have to go back if we don't like it....
I know one place here that a lot of Nurses or Agency Nurses will NOT go full stop & if someone mentions this place all the horror stories begin & usually the ones who work there are either new or don't give a Sh!te...It's a disgrace!!!
Overall Agency Nursing can be good...you can choose when & where you want to work & most often you go back to places you have been so you get to know the regular/permant staff anyhow only you don't have to put up with all the Buracratic sh!te that normally goes along with Nursing...
I know some Agency girls & guys who work 80 hour weeks pfffft not this lil black duck! I couln't anyway, my Autisic son complains I work too much now & I only work 26-38 hour week..
Dec 19, '06
I usually work critical care, telemetry, or med/surg staff relief for one agency. It is interesting to experience different hospitals and nursing staff. Often they don't give me the most acute patients, but will give the long term ones so their staff can have a break.
Once I did go to a nursing home. My experience was very similar. I was so late with meds on 3-11:30. There was a book with photos of the residents and their names on the wall by their table in the dining room.
Thank heaven for the CNAs. These wonderful people knew the patients and helped a lot. Still I was very late with meds. At 11:30 they all left me with 72 patients on two units. The other nurse left too.
I called the DON who didn't answer so I left a message. Then just walked around and around until the night shift, who car pool together arrived. I was truly locked in!
Nights was upset because I hadn't started washing the socks. Yes their priority was those socks with sticky parts. They wash them and put clean ones on each patient after the bath.
With my giving meds late, and charting the actual time given plus taking forever to count narcs they asked for me back!
I do think it would be quite doable once a nurse became familiar with the patients. The acuity was much lower than I'm used to but I'm not used to 34 patients.
Dec 26, '06
I have been a long term care nurse for 30 years, and the circumstances you describe are dangerous not only for the patients but for yourself. If I were in your place I would contact the Department of Health, or whatever the equivalent oversight agency is in your state, and report this incidence. No nursing home I know of would put a regular staff person in that position, never mind an agency nurse who is unfamilar with the patients and the facility.
Dec 27, '06
Quote from bshaw96
The agency I work for talked me into taking an assignment at a nursing home about 50 minutes from my house. And I had 60 patients. I was floored! This was a medicare skilled hall. I am steaming! And they wonder why they need agency so much! Sorry, just needed to vent :angryfire
I don't blame you for venting. Since I'm almost at the end of my career I would have first called the agency and if that didn't help I would have called the DON at the facility.
I hope you got paid OT for having to wait to get out the door. The nurse you spoke with could have taken a minute to tell you how to get out. How rude.
Feb 16, '07
Girl I SOOO feel your pain! I just wrote another thread on ethical d's.. I mentioned less then a handful of problems. 1 problem was they do 12 hours and at the time I could not come in until 11. They told me they had coverage. Their idea of coverage was putting the nursing supervisor on the floor to do nothing. She handed me 2 blank report sheets with just room numbers on them, no report, no narc count (she said she'd do it in the am) None of the HS pills were passed.. I felt bad and was passing them (now I know better-rookie mistake!) 3 people had died (they were in the process of passing away when I came on) it was just a nightmare! Then the facility called to complain about the horrible job I did and told me I needed to come in on my own time and finish charting I didn't get done. The DON ended up calling me and saying sorry.. When they had complained they had no idea I had never been there before, got no report and none of the pills were passed.
I've overall been very satisfied with my agency experience. Basically none of the places I've ever been have been so desperate for staff that I get loaded up with a ton of patients.
The other facility though, that I think just cost me my job with my agency, is a different story. I'm pretty torn up over the entire ordeal.