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Issue with and questions about contract extension

ChristopherB specializes in MICU, SICU, CVICU, CCU, and Neuro ICU.

I have an issue with my current agency and my assignment. I took a 13 week ICU with occasional float to tele position. One of the nursing supervisors asked if I wanted to stay after my current assignment is over and take an assignment working on the tele floors. I declined because of a few bad experiences I had there on the tele floors and I really don't enjoy working tele at that hospital.

I was talking with my recruiter about my next assignment and some requirements I had. She asked if I would like to extend my current assignment for 6 weeks. I agreed to that. The next week when talking with my recruiter, it came up that my assignment extension would be for working on the the tele floors. I was dissapointed with that and told her about some of my bad experiences there and how it was not addressed by the management at the hospital. When she asked if I wanted to extend my assignment, the previous week, I guess I made the mistake of assuming she meant my current assignment and not being switched to working tele.

I ran into several safety issues on the tele floors. One time I was asked to take a patient at 6 PM because they forgot to assign the patient to a nurse at 3 PM when the patient's nurse left to go home. It was overlooked at change of shift because report on the tele floors is recorded and I guess not everyone follows up before they leave for the day.

Another time, the unit secretary told me that a patients husband was asking when the patient was being discharged because they have been waiting two hours since the patient was told she was discharged and the tech took her tele monitor off and helped the patient get back into her regular clothes. When I arrived that day to the floor, I was told that I was not getting that patient because they were already discharged. The discharge became my responsibility according to the charge nurse because they woud have been assigned to me anyway if they weren't discharged. So I had to discharge a patient I knew nothing about. I stupidly agreed to do the discharge because I didn't feel that making an issue out of it would have resolved anything at that point and I'd end up having to do the discharge anyway.

I've also run into many instances of, "No one wants these patients, so lets give them to the agency nurses." For example, one day I was given 4 different patients in three different hallways on contact or droplet or airborne precautions for four different things. Most of the patient assignments are in the same hallway for each nurse in these units. I can understand giving one nurse patients that are on contact precautions for the same thing to reduce the chance of infecting other patients, but that wasn't the case. Its a larger hospital floor with quite a few rooms and is shaped like a X. I had patients scattered about the hallways, some at far ends of the hallways, and no way to see my all of my call bells. I also saw the earlier shift assignments and no nurse had a similar assignment to what I had before I got there. They had nurses give up these patients and get different patients so I could be assigned these patients. I've also run into instances of taking a 5th patient as an admission when the regular staff nurses have three patients because they discharged or transferred patients out. Some of the other agency nurses there reported similar experiences on the tele floors when we were talking about our experiences there.

I never signed anything for this extension. I didn't sign anything for my current assignment either. I work and travel in an at will employment state. I can't find anything in the agency's policy manual about what would happen if I declined to extend my assignment at this point. I still have over a month left on my current assignment and the extension doesn't start until 6 weeks from now. Can the agency do anything to me legally if I decline the extension now? I have a feeling that if I turn down the extension, I won't be working for this agency again.

They cannot do anything to you. Just make sure they do not extend your housing or lease agreement, thats where they will try to stick you.

flnursemichelle specializes in pcu/stepdown/tele.

Hmmm, are you in south Florida? I've had several of these types of things happen to me too. I've since decided to stop traveling because I'm sick of being dumped on & hearing "well you make the big bucks" when in fact I make the same as they do! Anyway, if you tell your recruiter that you don't want to extend & why, she will understand. They want to keep you as an employee, they've already gotten most of the hard stuff done with you. If they are going to let something silly stop them from giving you an assignment, they aren't the company for you! Good luck & tell the right away.


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