Researching Hospitals Before Signing Contracts

Specialties Travel


Hello all,

I am currently working my third travel assignment. I've always used Glass Door to look up staff reviews, and occasionally I can find reviews on The Gypsy Nurse website on hospitals. How does everyone research their hospitals before signing a contract to make sure you aren't walking into a ticking time bomb?

By working with experienced and honest recruiters you communicate well with. By careful interviews with the manager. Being aware that high compensation may be there for good cause. By having several choices of assignments and choosing one with the fewest red flags or the most positives.

I'd ignore most reviews, most are negative and will likely have nothing to do with the actual unit you will be working on in the present. Staff reviews have almost nothing to do with traveler's experience.

Specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown.

I find the opinions of others on facebook groups or glassdoor aren't particularly helpful. In med-surg/tele, experiences vary from floor to floor, so it's hard to take any review seriously. I know what I like in a hospital, so if the information from my research, the recruiter, and my interview with the manager is all leaning in the right direction, I move forward. It's always a risk, but it's only for 13 weeks.

Thanks! I'm finding that this third contract is sketchy in comparison with my first two, but the pay is much better. I was told that the pay was better because it's not the most desirable location. Turns out they are not only short staffed, but do not employ housekeeping, nurse aids, ekg techs, or phlebotomy (this is ER) There is one secretary. Nurses do everything from actual nursing to the aforementioned jobs. I was told no nurse aids on interview, but not about the rest. I guess better luck next time!

NedRN is correct when they state that working with an honest recruiter that communicates well with you is going to help you navigate through these situations. At the end of the day we as recruiters need nurses to make money and the entire process of getting them to buy into you and your company is very tedious. Any recruiter worth their salt would not throw a traveler into a bad situation knowingly because the chances of that traveler renewing with the company is greatly decreased. A harder hospital and work environment generally means more problems come up which means more solutions your recruiter has to come up with and eventually it becomes too much.

Here are a few tips I always tell my travelers before accepting a contract.

1) When you are interviewing for an assignment also keep in mind that this is a chance for you to interview the facility and staff there to see if it would be a good fit for you. This is the perfect time to ask about patient ratio, specific protocols, etc.

2) Doing some internet research may yield some results, but as others have stated they may not always be 100% reliable. I know Gypsy nurse and a few other facebook groups have dedicated subgroups to discuss patient ratio and hospitals to stray away from.

3) Take a look at the contract and see if there is anything out of the ordinary if the pay is astronomically high or if you see the same job getting posted over and over again by multiple recruiters there is generally a reason why they are unable to fill that position.

I've been traveling for 4 years now and I honestly stopped researching hospitals long time ago. Whatever portrait of the hospital that will be painted through the eyes and experiences of others almost never matches my own experiences. I've loved hospitals with terrible reviews, and I've hated hospitals where some travelers extend for years. Im at a hospital right now where the average traveler extends at least 3 times (though there are travelers that have been here since 2015) and I absolutely hate it here! Im counting down the shifts and I can't wait to high-tail it out of here in a month. Plus im labor and delivery and most of the reviews of my current hospital are ER or med surgery so that tells me absolutely nothing. I've learned to not put too much into reviews and to just walk in blind. If I like the unit, good, that's great! If I don't, whatever, it's only 3 months. I can do anything for 3 months.

Specializes in Psych.

Very good question. I am specifically interested in PSYCH travel assignments. I found very useful to Google the name of the facility and add to the search words like "deficiencies at" or " Complaints". With troubled hospitals I always find links to surveys by State agencies or chronic problems reported in the local online newspaper. These can be quite detailed sometimes and indicative of structural endemic problems that never go away. And as the saying goes "where there is smoke there is probably fire..." Your question reminds me of the need to have a section, sort of a consumer guide section to alert travel nurses for the good, the bad and the ugly out there before we commit ourselves to an assignment.

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