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bunky

bunky BSN, RN

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bunky's Latest Activity

  1. bunky

    Nurses Calling it Quits in B.C.

    Yes, as an agency nurse I decide my schedule, and that's really great, but the job itself is just the same. I actually talked to a recruiting company from BC, and was so disheartened to learn about the part time thing still going on. When will they learn? How many nurses have to leave before they catch on? PS. Fergus tell me what are the "fast ferries" I've been reading about here? Sounds hillarious in a typical governmental kinda way. And, I've been to BC and I don't think I'd wanna leave there either. It's gorgeous!
  2. bunky

    Nurses Calling it Quits in B.C.

    But fergus would you feel that way if you were full time there? I agree that the current practice of hiring only part time employee's and not opening up full time positions is making matters far worse back home. You'd think that in a nursing shortage, they'd get the hint that nurses are fed up with part-time jobs. I understand that some hospitals there were actually offering sign-on bonuses to lure back those of us that left to come home and work part time! That's crazy! I wouldn't give up my current full-time job to run back to that part time lifestyle. But... if I had full time there, I wouldn't be leaving it for this. It's true that you can walk into a fulltime job in almost any hospital here, but the hospitals really aren't paying their full time employees very well in my area either, and they treat their employees even worse, because they can, no union. And here's what else happens when there is no union. The agency I work for, just announced a pay raise, and a 31% raise at that, and that will put me making almost $20/hr more than the hospital staff that I work alongside with! That's why I suggested that iseeu270 try travel nursing here first, because being a hospital employee here does NOT pay, and in this area, the workloads are down right scary these days, no matter who you work for. Like lalaxton, I too have seen how patients get put at risk rather than management cancelling a surgery here due to lack of staffing! They put all of us at risk, and don't seem to give a rats a** about anything other than profit. Guys I'd really think this over hard before you pack your bags to head south. Try a travel nurse job here and see it for yourself first. It's getting worse and worse here. I sympathize with your plight up there, and understand only too well how frustrating it is to work part time and never seem to build up enough seniority to go full time, but don't burn your bridges.
  3. bunky

    Nurses Calling it Quits in B.C.

    I totally agree with lalaxton. I am down here, without a union, and yes, I am making really great money working for a staffing agency. The drawback is that my employers health insurance benefits are really bad, and I elected to insure myself and my kids through a private plan which I pay $289 a month for. The benefits I get from this plan are NOTHING compared to what you currently have. The working conditions here are no better, I promise you. If you work full time for a hospital here, you're salary is around the $20/hr mark, and don't forget that if you want healthcare benefits, you'll pay in the neighbourhood of $110-120 a paycheque to cover yourself and any kids you have , it doesn't matter if you have 6 kids, you pay the same rate which kind of makes me mad as you'd think that it'd make a difference but it doesn't. And despite paying that insurance premium there is still a deductible, and the drug benefits are a joke compared to up there! Taxes are lower, but when you deduct the benefits from your cheque and you go to the doctor and still end up paying a bill because you haven't met your deductible yet, and then to the pharmacy to pick up your medication and pay through the nose for it you'll realize exactly what you left behind for THIS?! I have laughingly called the benefits here "Benefits that aren't really of benefit" by comparison to there. And the holiday pay and sick time, workmens comp, maternity leave, UIC? Forget it! It doesn't even come close to what you have there. I also agree with lalaxton's suggestion that you do a stint as a travelling nurse for awhile and check out the working conditions for yourself before you commit to anything more permanent. On the plus side, many hospitals do pay for continuing education, even paying you to attend these courses. Your potential new co-workers will be happy to see you too because they are tired and overworked and you're a fresh warm body. Think it over carefully before you do anything radical though. Had I been able to walk into a full time job in Ontario (gee for that matter, ANY nursing job cause there were none) I wouldn't have left. Now that I am here, I have made a life for myself, incurred debt in US dollars that if I were to move home I'd be buried by due to the exchange rate, so I stay. If I were in your shoes, working full time, I'd share your frustrations but knowing what I know about the conditions here, I'd stay put up there.
  4. bunky

    New Nursing Forum for Canadian Nurses!!

    First of all, Thank you Brian! This is such a wonderful idea! Secondly, I am so happy to see you all here. I miss Canada terribly. JMP I am with you. I left for the same reasons you are considering it, only when I graduated in 1995, even a part time job was not available. Some of my friends from school were reduced to working in minimum wage jobs after gradution. I headed south, and while I do miss Canada, I am doing pretty well here financially, and with two kids to support, that has kept me here. I am looking forward to reading all about what's going on back home in nursing. Privitization scares me. While Canada is having it's healthcare woes, I will always maintain that it is Canada that has the right idea as far as healthcare is concerned. Can it be saved and preserved for future generations?
  5. bunky

    Agency Nurses: Advice needed please!

    Ok but what I am getting at is do any of you feel, or perhaps know that because you are an agency nurse that if there's a unit that is going to be shortstaffed it'll be the one that YOU are on? I mean do any of you feel that the hospital while not purposefully short staffing you, will ultimatley choose to shortstaff the unit that has the agency nurse on it, simply because of the fact that there is an agency nurse on that unit and who cares about keeping the agency happy? By the way, I did discuss this with my agency and was told that the agency does cover me legally for pulling charge, and I have never had to be secretary either. And yes, I do get charge nurse pay, a couple of bucks more an hour. Has anyone else gotten the sense that the hospital will look twice at the staffing or lack of it because it's an agency nurse on duty?
  6. bunky

    Agency Nurses: Advice needed please!

    Hi. I have some questions for everyone including unit managers, nsg supervisors etc... How many of my fellow agency nurses have been put in the role of charge nurse, even when it means that you are in charge over regular staff RN's? Do you feel that you are treated the same as any other regular staff RN? I need advice on this, here's why: I come into work and find I am put in charge. I see that my staffing for the day is just a joke, while another similar unit's staffing, for several less pt's than mine is what I would consider, "safe". This other unit is expecting massive dismissals, and mine is not expecting any. And for staff co-ordinators, unit managers, nursing supervisors, when the staffing is set out, does the fact that agency is being used come into play and mean that it's OK to short staff a unit? Be honest. Even if it means that the regular hospital staff working under the agency nurse gets screwed too? And how about the pt's? Does their safety count? And you regular hospital staff, how do you feel when agency is cancelled and you work short despite knowing that agency was cancelled that day? I am dying to have these questions answered. While I maintain the position that I will never work as a staff nurse again, I am seeing things that make me sick, and I guess I want someone to rip off my blinders here. If I was a regular staff nurse again, it'd still anger me to work short and unsafely just to save the hospital a few bucks for cancelling an agency nurse that day.
  7. bunky

    Charge Nurse-ing

    No Canoehead I am the one who does say no, and I've been threatened with termination several times now due to that fact. I am the so-called "troublemaker" who stops working and calls my agency to report unsafe conditions, and I will continue to do so. I have quit jobs before and am not afraid to do so again if it means keeping my license. I am no one's stooge I can assure you! I didn't feel too unsafe considering the other experienced orientee was a gent with over 20yrs experience.
  8. bunky

    Charge Nurse-ing

    Thank God I am not the only one having to do this! I am agency staff and have loved the fact that they'd never make me pull charge again. I had been exclusively charge for a few years and loved the break. Well they did put me back in charge even though I am agency, and not only did I do charge with a full pt load, but I had working with me, one experienced RN who is on orientation, and a new grad, as well as an LVN whose pt's I had to validate all her assessments on. From a staffing point of view, I was the only RN for 16 pt's because the other two weren't supposed to be counted. Guess they figured I am made of silly putty and can stretch myself to incredible lengths?
  9. bunky

    Relocating Canada to Us

    Hi from a fellow canuck Neuro6. I made the move 5 yrs ago from Ontario to Texas due to lack of jobs back home. Why are you wanting to relocate? That's the big question, and when you answer that, we can all provide you with the pros and cons of such a move. If it's for better working conditions, it's bad all over. If it's better wages, realize that you will make less per hour and pay somewhere around $110 per pay and upwards for some really lousy health insurance and will still have out of pocket expenses on top of that insurance premium. Yes the taxes are considerably less but I have learned that you get a LOT more from the Gov't in Canada for your tax dollars. Food and clothing for the most part is much cheaper here, but the H&H bills are really high in this part of the US. Dollar for dollar considering the exchange rate, housing is about the same. Gas for your car is much cheaper here. Answer why you feel that moving to the US would be a good idea and I can get more specific.
  10. bunky

    What Freaks You Out?

    I have been reading these and laughing hysterically. I can do trachs, spit, snot, pus, even when the pus (a lovely gray toothpaste like never ending string of it)came from and 8 yr old scrotal cyst that suddenly came to a head when the guy was on abt's for something else and just happened to squeeze it and out it rolled. But the grossest I have to agree is maggots and poop eaters! Once in nsg school a classmate was changing the diaper of a 4mos old who was in with AGE and this student tended to be a mouth breather and the baby shot out a fountain of diarrhea right into my classmates mouth! GROSS!!!!!!!
  11. bunky

    ATTENTION ALLAGNCY NURSES! QUESTION 4 YA

    Hi again Aaron! $29 weekdays, 7a-7p $31 weekend days, and I get $34/hr when I pull charge. Been a nurse for almost 6yrs, Texas
  12. bunky

    ATTENTION ALLAGNCY NURSES! QUESTION 4 YA

    Hi again Aaron! $29 weekdays, 7a-7p $31 weekend days, and I get $34/hr when I pull charge. Been a nurse for almost 6yrs, Texas
  13. bunky

    Agency or not?

    Enlighten me, heck ALL of us Aaron! I think I know what your solution is though, and am also thinking of the same thing. What if when called into work, we were to say, "Sure for $XX/hr I will." I received a call yesterday from my former employer asking if I could come to work as they were desparate. It was on my answering machine and I was already scheduled to work agency somewhere else this weekend but I think as an independent I could've named my price and got it. Is this what you are hinting at Aaron? Do tell...
  14. bunky

    Non-critical pts in ICU

    Here's another question: Why are pt's being admitted for blood transfusions at all? I work on Med-Surg and those admits can throw your entire day into a tailspin. These pt's come to the floor often times with only a few minutes warning, and we must drop whatever we're doing for our truly ill pt's to give blood and send them home when it's done?! Surely to goodness someone out there can come up with a better place to send these pt's rather than to the floors. People who come in for outpt surgery don't come to the floors so why do people who only need a transfusion come to the floors?
  15. bunky

    Agency or not?

    I too have gone agency, and you wouldn't catch me ever being a regular hospital employee again! I make almost double what I did as a staff nurse, I tell THEM when I will work, and if you are personable, and work hard, you will find that hospitals will want to keep you on, so there is no running from hospital to hospital. It's wide open. If you find a particular hospital that you like, you can work there exclusively! And if you don't like a place, you can move on with ease! This is the best move I have ever made! Like babs rn I have found that the regular staff in most cases are only too happy to have your help. Of course there are a few that seem to think they can take it easy at your expense, but I have actually had a heart to heart with management over it and guess what? Those people are no longer employed there! Due to nursing shortages, they can't afford to have the agency refusing to work in a hostile environment. In the end, the decision is yours, but my decision to work agency has been the best one I ever made, both professionally and personally.
  16. Hi JMP! I am from Ontario, mature student too, currently working in Texas. I hear you loud and clear about the shortage of fulltime jobs in the smaller cities there! I understand that some hospitals there are offering sign on bonuses to recruit us back home but for casual positions. Not too enticing to leave full time jobs here. I have to tell you that in the San Antonio area there is a huge shortage of nurses. But there is a very good reason WHY. The working conditions are horrendous. I disagree strongly with TXERRN on the issue of unions! You DO and will want a union if you come here! It does not take away from the professionalism of nursing, it would create sanity in a system gone insane. If you've ever been unionized and decide to come to the States you will learn this for yourself. You'll also see how the other half lives. We think we had poor people on Welfare in Canada, but you'll see here what poor really is and it's a shocking heartbreaker. On the upside? I make good money here working for an agency, about $30/hr US. The taxes are lower, I get a big refund every year, but I also pay big bucks for healthcare insurance. Houses are cheaper here, as are most groceries and gas. The people for the most part have treated me wonderfully too. When I go home for a visit? I laugh at the fact that everything I buy there is "half price for ME", but I realize how much I miss it there too. It is hot here! Really HOT in the summer. Like you stepped into a sauna when you venture out of the air conditioned areas. Sometimes it feels like we live in a can because everything is air conditioned by necessity. Good luck to you. In the end the decision is yours, but why not look to the larger centers there before you decide to head down south?