Published Mar 9, 2021
I am a relatively new grad - I graduated in May 2019, but I took a year off because my baby was born a week after my cumulative final. I worked June of last year until Sept but had to leave because it was not a feasible work situation since I had the baby and 2 other children aged 5 and under and was unable to find a babysitter I trusted. I was advancing quickly in orientation on the busy stepdown telemetry unit - 5 patients on my own by the time I left.
I'm currently pregnant but feeling great (and low risk) and I'm itching to get back out there at least until I give birth. I keep running across agency nursing as a good, flexible option. I've had an agency reach out to me saying they would accommodate my situation. My biggest concern is that I'm not necessarily secure enough in my knowledge (and a few of my skills) to do a good job in agency nursing. Could anyone give me some input and advice concerning this?
If you have limited work experience, you shouldn’t be working through an agency at all. You definitely need to find yourself a hospital that offers new nurses the opportunity to enroll in their nurse residency program. Nurse residency programs are usually 3 to 6 months long and new nurses will learn a lot. apply for a nurse residency position and accept the position. And You need at least continue working as staff there for two years experience.
Many places now away don’t even offer agency nurses even a hour orientation or tours around the facility where you’re going to work. They want you to hit the ground running. So, you being an inexperienced nurse it will probably not be fun for you.
Oh, please don't do agency..remember they are for profit only. I have worked for Home Health/Hospice and still do for the last 22 out of my 38 years and I have seen management promise brand new just graduated nurses the moon, only to give them sometimes four admits and two or three recerts every single day ( you may have one day to ride with another new nurse and then one day to learn the computer system) each admit usually takes about 3 hours if you are good and recerts are about 2 hours, you have 24 hours to turn them in or you are fined $10 for each late note each day. This is standard practice with all HHA's, Please just don't
Consider a Private Duty Nursing (PDN) agency vs a Home Health agency.
You won't make as much as a floor nurse, but there's generally better flexibility. I started out as a new nurse saying I'd never work for an agency because all the agency nurses & HHAs I'd encountered prior were under-supported, and frankly quite sloppy in their work (which was probably due more to over-work & burn-out). BUT...I decided to give PDN a chance. I've been with the same agency for 11 years now. I started as an LPN, worked through my RN and a Pregnancy, and now I do Care Management. My DoN took a similar path as I did - she was a field nurse for this agency as an LPN, worked through her RN, eventually was recruited for a CM position, and is now the DoN (she's been with the agency for about 18yr now I think).
You can do this if you want to. Not to make is sound trivial, but a lot of it is common sense. While PDN patients obviously need extra medical support, if they weren't in a stable condition they wouldn't be in their home (btw...don't use the word "stable" in your charting - insurance thinks it means the Pt doesn't need medical help/support).
Be upfront with your questions & concerns. Will they provide you additional training if you feel uncomfortable with a specific aspect of care? (mine was the trach - I was so nervous with trachs....now I could probably change a trach in my sleep LOL) Do they have a 24/7 support line? How much experience does the office staff/support staff have? How long have the office/support staff been with the company?
It's not for everyone and there is often a high degree of independence required - which can be intimidating, but could also be rewarding. Lastly, remember every agency is different (just like every LTC or hospital is different) and for every bad one out there, there is probably a good one too. 🙂
Been there,done that, ASN, RN
I cannot tell how much experience you have. Your post focuses on your child rearing issues. Trust me, employers do not care.
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