CA_ABQ 607 Views
Joined: Oct 9, '07;
Posts: 3 (0% Liked)
I don't think you screwed up, but, if it's weighing on you, I'd talk to the agency and clear the air.
The reason so many shifts get cancelled is because hospitals have one agency set up as their "vendor manager". They get the calls first. If they can't fill the shift, then other agencies start trying. However, if the "vendor manager" comes back an hour later and finds someone, they'll cancel the nurse from the alternate agency so they will get the billing.
If you're having this issue, I'd look for an agency that is the vendor manager of the healthcare systems for which you are working. That way, you won't get bumped.
Geez, I think I missed the point--I thought you were asking how to chose an agency.
I have thoughts on agency recruiting, too.
Salary - Agency nurses (if placed in hospitals) command a higher rate than direct employees. In ABQ, agency nurses at hospitals make about $35 - 42/hour, depending on shift and speciality.
Flexibility - you chose when you want to work and you take vacations when you want to take them.
Try before you buy - You get to sample the environment and the culture of an organization without committing beyond a shift.
In lots of places, the perm nurses are mean to the agency nurses and make them do the "dirty" work.
Less Benefits - most agencies do offer benefits, but the cost is high and they aren't as generous as the packages that direct employers offer.
No stability - If, for some odd reason, there's no work, there's no work.
I actually registered solely for the purpose of answering this question. I am not a nurse, I am a nurse recruiter who has worked for several agencies.
Of course, what a person looks for in an agency depends on what their needs are, but, as an insider, I think you have to look at the following:
1. Do they listen to what you say? If you tell them that you don't want to work step down, do they honor that or do they try to badger you into doing it?
2. Are they responsive to your needs? If you tell them that you're in a financial pinch and need to work as many shifts as possible, do they come through for you?
3. If you tell them that you're not available, do they call you anyway?
4. If there's a problem with your paycheck, how quickly do they fix it?
5. Are they honest and open with you? Did they lure you in with a $42/hour pay rate only to tell you later that it was a "starter rate"?
6. If you showed up in their office, would they be happy to see you? Would they know who you are?
My point is, that, when you work through an agency, you're being placed into hospitals (or other medical facilities) as an "outsider," so your agency should appreciate that and appreciate you.
If your agency treats you like a valued employee and appreciates that you have choices and chose them, then I'd say they're a good agency. If they treat you like "product" and not their customer, I'd stop working for them.
I actually worked for an agency where the VP would ask the nurses: "If your kid's sick, are you still going to come to work or will you flake out on us?" He also referred to our job as "pimping nurses". It was so disrespectful to the nurses.
It takes a special person to be a nurse. Don't allow anyone to treat you with disrespect. You all have choices.
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