What Sneaky Things Should I Look Out For?

  1. No offense to staff nurses (I used to be one ), but:

    What are some of the questionable things that staffers (the sneaky ones) try to get agency nurses to do ? I hope I have not opened a fload gate here.
  2. Visit lori999 profile page

    About lori999

    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 10


  3. by   nightingale

    I have done agency nursing on and off for almost a year.... Honestly, I have not really felt that dumped on but have stories by those who have. There have been times when I felt I had the whiner patients, i.e. difficult to please. But I have felt that in regular floor nursing anyway.

    A friend who is a trauma ICU nurse swares he gets assigned the messy patients, i.e. lots of smelly drains and such... He is a traveler....

    I really have not compliants about agency assignments.....

    Love agency work looking for an assignment now... PRN.. in Denver.. anyone know of a great place to work??? Prefer days.. like tele... with pagers, thank you...
  4. by   nur20
  5. by   Tina in DC
    I personally have found that it depends on the agency. If you're wearing a name badge from an agency that is known by the hospital staffs to be very lax in their hiring process, chances are you are judged as an incompetant or slacker right off the bat. I just switched to a new agency a few months back that was very stringent in their hiring process, very thorough in their testing, and I swear I get more respect in the hospitals. Ask around to find out what each nurse had to go through to get signed p with her agency...go with the one that said it took the longest

    Definitely do your research!
  6. by   CATHYW
    I have worked for agencies in 2 hospitals, both in ICU. Both times, they were so short-staffed and happy to have help, that they treated me very well. They kind of "tried" me to see what I would be like, and then my patient assignments were like most everyone else's. I do not know enough about ventilators to manage a vent patient eintirely on my own, so whenever I had to be assigned one of those, another nurse or RT was always available to help. They even included me in staff meetings!
  7. by   frannybee
    *This is a long one....I'm venting to the only ones who understand!*

    I've only ever had one ward that dumped me in it. I had a really bad orthopaedics placement when I was doing my training, but put it down to a personality clash with my preceptor. When I started agency work, I was sent to an ortho ward within 2 weeks of getting my registration. I told them before they'd even started handover that I was a VERY new RN and was still a bit scared of ortho. They assured me they'd be gentle. They lied.

    It was a 6-bay ward with 4 side rooms, each bay held 6 beds. The sister had 2 of the side rooms. The other bays had an RN, student nurse and auxiliary nurse each. I was lumped with my 6-bed bay and 2 of the side rooms, and got a student to boot. I had the wandering patient with osteoporosis and a Hx of falls; the patient with an infected wound and raging bloody diarrhoea; the patient who was dying slowly and in great pain no matter what we gave her (and of course the whole family was there and very upset about her pain which was obviously MY fault); the post op patient who needed 15min obs; and the very large young male patient in the sideroom whose PCA pump needed refilling and because I am agency and therefore not trusted to check DD's had to wait an HOUR before the sister and senior nurse could drag themselves away from their paracetamol and lactulose rounds to get him more pain relief.

    The student did her best to help me, but in the 6 hours I was there (without even 5 mins for a cuppa) we barely got the drug rounds and obs done - we got 5/8 bedbaths done between cleaning up post-op vomit and melaena and urine and trying to keep the wanderer from landing on her remaining intact NOF. I walked off the ward at 1300hrs, rang the agency before 1302hrs and told them I would never set foot back on that ward. Thank Dog my agency is a good one and they've respected my decision - only once since have they offered me a shift there, and it was met with, "No. It's on my profile. Never again."
  8. by   frannybee
    I went off on my own little tangeant there - not strictly on topic but definitely therapeutic!

    1. Making up the hot drinks - in the UK nearly every ward has a tea tray kept in the staff office/sister's office/nurse's station. When you get 2 mins free (!) you come and grab a cup of too-strong lukewarm tea. A lot of the agency nurses I know seem to get lumbered with that one.

    2. Obs - there are 15 million things nurses have to do in a day, but it's always the agency who does the obs while the 'real' nurse does the drug round.

    3. Ditto emptying catheter bags, making beds, continence care, walking patients etc (a lot of wards don't have enough auxiliaries to go round).

    4. LAST BREAK! I have never been asked which break I want to take - floor staff get first, agency get last.

    Permanent staff nurses, I know you're not all like that! I also realise that the things I've whinged about are basic cares. I don't object - I love my job and all the filthy, smelly things that it means I have to do - I simply think that if you have 8 patients and 2 RNs it would be nice to split it in half, rather than have one do the 'menial' work and the other one not have to bend/stretch/kneel/lift etc all day.
  9. by   Puffie
    Depends on the site you go to. Some things I look out for are bait and switch. You are hired for one job and find yourself doing another. Deprivation of information is another thing to be cautious of, that is they just "forget", on a regular basis, to inform you of things you need to know in order to properly carry out your assignment. Overload your assignment while regular staff is given cush assignments. Just don't have time to relieve you for breaks or food. Hiding of equipment and meds, where "everyone" knows where it is, that is except you and other none regular personnel. Change of assignments and schedule at the last minute. Multiple other. Just watch your back and document, document, document. If things are bad, inform your agency, before the sun sets on the shift.
  10. by   nur20
  11. by   nur20
    Frannybee, love your "QUOTE" at the end of your posts !!!!! Mind if I use it sometime !!!!
  12. by   nightingale
    I guess I have been very lucky! I have NEVER been sabatoged.... am feeling alittle nervous now about a new assigment I am going on next week!!! Hope my good luck continues!


    Stolen from a fortune cookie ------------> "The secret to staying young is good health, and lying about your age."
  13. by   Sundowner
    I have never had any horrid experiences,,,,knock on wood!
    I do however pay very close attention to what is going on, my back has never been more covered.

    I did work at a facility once where the night shift nurse relieveing me was signing out narcotics in my name......I caught that real quick and she was busted and canned.

    THe only problems I have encounterd are the lack of hospitality, and information. I have learned to get past both. I don't ask where anything is. I walk right in the door and start nebbing around , find what I need on my own and if I cant,,, well,,, I have to ask. Mostly I have found that behavior of mine to be appreciated. I know when I was on staff, I hated having to hold an agency persons hand all night. TAKE SOME INITIATIVE!
  14. by   nightingale
    thank you Sundowner... You are so right.. The familiar "treat others as you expect to be treated" applies here.... Thank you for reminding me, that I can, with confidence expect to be treated fairly because I too am reasonable.

    People are people and we all have our moments....

    I am excited now (as usual) to start a new assignment... and I have the confidence, once again, to look forward to a challenging and rewarding day.....

    In peace,


    Stolen from a fortune cookie ------------> "The secret to staying young is good health, and lying about your age

Must Read Topics