agency work / the good bad and ugly of it


this month for me was awfull

i work at a agency that sends the stnas on float perdium assignments

mainly the osu east hospital or the main university hospital

i dont mind the travel or the floating , i kinda like the change of pace

and you dont have to deal so much with the politics and druma of staying on one floor

all the time

but it is frustrating! to me when your sent on a assignment and you drive 23 miles out of your way to work and they send you home!

we dont get gas reimbursement either!

i was just curious to how other nurses and stnas deal with that

i love the fact your paid so much more

and i love the flexability , but like this hoilday

it sucked i had hardly no work :(

so i could not buy 1 present for my daughter that lives in oregon ( shes 23 )

i feel at times we are pulled around by the nose

low pay and not enough hours

does anyone else feel that way with their agency ?

i have been working for them for well over 5 years and still no raise?

i dont get that .

please let me know how you agency pcas and float stnas feel

am i in the lone boat ?


416 Posts

I'm a newly certified cna, but I've been warned time and again STAY AWAY FROM AGENCYS

I know there are probably good ones out there but around here they promise you the world and rarely deliver.

They advertise forty hours a week, great clients, gas money ect.

When the truth is you rarely get forty hours a week, and if you want many hours you spend most of your day driving all over town between clients. There are weeks when there is no work like you said, the clients homes are not always in safe places no matter what the agency says and me I'm not going to a strangers house, just a rule that stuck with me as a kid. Gas money comes once a year in January and its not dependent on current prices ect.

Agencys are always recruiting because people are always quitting. I feel bad for the clients who need it but there is no way, no how, no why I'm going to do it.


83 Posts

It's funny because I have heard from 3 CNAs this past week alone that they love doing agency work and would never work for one facility. Maybe it depends on each agency and each city? I don't have any experience with them but no raise after 5 years seems a bit nuts.


207 Posts

Specializes in CNA. Has 5 years experience.

I've heard both sides as your responses have been. It's hit-or-miss, depending on the agency, how much work is out there for agencies in your area. I don't know if you have any choice or not --- I'm in the Chicago burbs, and there are more choices. In other areas, there may only be one agency for 100 square miles.

So, if you have an option, you may want to explore it. You may also want to sit down and discuss your situation, and your concerns, directly with the agency first. Discuss --- don't go in there with an attitude.


38,333 Posts

After my initial performance-driven raise (advocated for by the supervisor), I never got a raise from my agencies except for the one that was union. It was disgusting when I found out that people hired after me were being paid more. When I brought the subject up, I got the brush off and it would have been a determinant on how long I would have remained there. When you want to work agency, you buy into the agency way that things go. If you get a good agency, then things are fine. When you get with a poor agency, then you can expect to be treated poorly. Maybe you need to look for an agency that provides better for their employees. They are out there; hopefully there is a better one in your area.


18 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 8 years experience.

I worked for an agency as a PCA for three years and never got a raise. That's when I decided to become a CNA and work for a LTC facility. We got gas mileage ( 25 cents a mile, if I remember correctly) between clients. So if you only had one client, you didn't get mileage. I didn't like working for an agency, personally.


15 Posts

For myself there were not many options as to where to work (basically two). The first one had been around longer, with more clients. But while I was attempting to get hired they really gave me the run around (ie: saying on the phone they're in the office.. while I am in my car outside the locked building, with no lights on, during normal posted hours.) That was a major sign, to me, of the dependability of their agency.

The second choice, whom I am with now, has been around for a much shorter timeline (5 years) with a little over 100 clients. Yet, they have a more professional approach with staff and clients alike. The hours we get are based on our personal availability, which is to be expected.

Basically what I am getting at is that the agency path is a pick-at-your-risk thing. So basically do alot of "homework" when you are involved with an agency. I myself, am just using it while going to school so as to get experience needed for a hospital job. I notice that seems to be a norm around here anyways.


26 Posts

Agency's a means to an end for me. Need it to get into the RN program. Not my long-term plan to be a CNA and not my main job so the pay is really not a factor (and it's bad).


343 Posts

Yeah, I spent several months testing and preparing for a HHA job that was to go from $13 to $18 in short order. They were bought out and changed it on hiring day to $11/hr, and I said 'no thanks' after going home and not answering a weeks worth of messages left on my machine. I later 'quit' before my first job so I could not get 'blackballed' in the industry. Nothing could be believed from then from that time on: waiting until the very last minute to spring that on me. I'd rather stand like a cow and study at nights on my security job: about the same pay w/o getting bad directions, addresses, and spending my gas and time travelling on poor travel reimbursement 'strategies'.

But, I'm sure there are better. AND the good thing is, unlike a hospital, there would only be one rear end to clean at each location and not an assembly line, with a platoon of 400 lb men waiting to be bathed when you get through changing diapers. Although they may only give a short time to bath a 400 lb man on contract with no lifting equipment, lol.

A contract LPN I know is making $18/hr at 50 - 60 hrs/week and going to school full time, although he is a bright star performer. So that is a personal known measure (not normal in intelligence, and not CNA either, with a large gas bill every week too).

Hospital CNA's are ripped off for what they do. Ladies are doing what would hurt most men of any size, at near minimum wages. My hat's off to you CNA's! And you paid at least $500 for training and certificate combined. The LPN I talked about earlier said the CNA test was no joke, and some serious work to get. Too bad you can't get reimbursed fairly for what you do though. Just don't kill yourselves doing it. It would be a last resort job for me, but there are not that many jobs left, anywhere! :bluecry1:


5 Posts

Sounds like you may work for the same agency I do, we are certainly in the same geographic area. Anywho yes agency can be frustrating but I do like the changing in assignments, but hate the unpredictibility? of hours. If they didnt cancel you they have to give you show up pay. Some agencies its two hours wages, others its a set rate.

In my agency experience you are generally treated badly by the regualr employees, even though you are there to help. The pay is generally better than most full time offers at a facility but you wont get benefits.

I think agency is a personal choice. Some people like the changes, others prefer steady assignment with residents they know. I just dont like when agency doesnt call you for weeks then they want you to swoop in at the last minute when someone else didnt show up. I work like month taking assignments within 30 mins of shift start, then they starting acting really funny once I decided I didnt want to work at the prison and then called me to be avaliable right away in the event another aide didnt show up.

Yea agency is a trip.

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