Addendum to BEWARE!

  1. :angryfire I just got off the phone with the manager of the unit where I am working. I have 5 shifts to make up because I was sick. My travel company took out money from my paycheck for 3 shifts for housing. My assignment ends 04/03/2004.

    My manager informed me that she is not going to pay me overtime to make up the shifts unless she has a need for me to work! My contract says that I have to work 26 shifts to fullfill it. I DID NOT PLAN TO GET SICK. This was a major illness with me. The hospital ER doctor said I had chest wall pain. I followed up with my own doctor at home and he said to call him back if I got worse. Well, I got worse and ended up going to the ER at my own city and a CT scan was done. It showed a mass! Gladly, the follow-up test the next weeks showed no mass.

    I have been in constant communication with the hospital where I have my assignment and my recruiter. My contract only states that I am obligated to work the 26 shifts. It does not say what would happen if I missed shifts due to an illness. I feel I am fullfilling my contract by agreeing to making up the shifts. Now I am not so sure I will because they already penalized me for missing the shifts. (Of course, they will gladly reimburse me when I make them up, but my manager seems to be not working on this with me). Nowhere in my contract does it say that I am to be penalized before my assignment is over!

    Please, please, please check into this in your contract before agreeing to anything. I never thought I would get sick. This put me in a major financial bind because I never thought this would happen during an assignment. My assignment is not over and I feel that I have been treated unfairly. My recruiter is rooting for the money side of this and the hospital.

    I am so tempted not to go back, but as I said, I had always planned on fulfilling the contract. I am NOT the bad guy here.
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    About webbiedebbie

    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 771; Likes: 77
    Remote Data Review Consultant
    Specialty: 22 year(s) of experience in OB, Telephone Triage, Chart Review/Code


  3. by   llg
    It certainly sounds to me that you had all the best intentions and had an unavoidable absence from work. But certainly you can't expect the hospital to pay for it ... or your agency to pay for it.

    What exactly are you expecting them to do? Do you really expect the hospital to pay you overtime pay for making up your sick time at your convenience instead of theirs? It's a shame that you were not aware of the policies and procedures related to sickness -- but that's the kind of thing that should be clarified BEFORE you agree to take a contract. No one should assume they will never be sick or injured. ... OR ... Are they acting in any contradictory to the policies and procedures given to you when you negotiated the contract? They need to follow whatever they they said they would do at that time.

  4. by   webbiedebbie
    Well gee...I was merely trying to let others know what happened to me. My contract only states that if I break it, I am responsible for the housing fees. My recruiter told me I had to make the shifts up. Then she mentioned that if I didn't, the fees would be taken out of my paychecks (plural). They weren't. They were taken out of one paycheck, and I didn't know it was going to be that very next one. Again, my contract is not over. I felt it wasn't fair to take out the full fee out of one paycheck.

    I didn't know what I was thinking...I never thought I was going to miss any shifts. I was trying to help others to avoid this situation. I spoke with another agency, and the recruiter says their contracts are more explicit about what happens if a shift is missed. Mine didn't. Mine only states that I am responsible for the housing fees if I terminate my assignment before it is over.

    I had no intention of breaking my contract. Again, I just didn't appreciate how this was handled by my agency.

    As for the "overtime", my manager called me last week to come in two hours earlier so she could go home to pick up her kids. I ended up staying another hour because we were busy. This was approved by her. When I was out sick, she said I was lucky that they weren't busy.

    Again, I know I am responsible for the housing fees if I miss a shift. I had 5 weeks left in the assignment. They could have taken out the fees in each of those paychecks instead of out of one paycheck.
  5. by   igloorn93
    Debbie: I am curious as to which agency you are with. I'm thinking about traveling and would like to know who is great and who is not so great. If you don't want to post the name of the agency (Which I can understand) then please e-mail me. Thanks, Iggy.
  6. by   cardsnurse
    That is ridiculous!
    Do you mind sharing which agency and hospital, so this doesn't happen again?
    New traveler's need all the help they can get.
  7. by   webbiedebbie
    The name of the agency is Onward Healthcare.

    Another agency I won't do business with is Liquid Agents. They sent me on an assignment on an emergency basis to complete an assignment for someone else who couldn't fulfill her contract. When I got to the place, the house was already occupied and I went to a bed and breakfast for the night. When I met with the manager at the hospital the next morning, she said the contract was for 5 weeks, not the 2 weeks I was told. We parted on friendly terms and the company still has not paid me for the 2 hours I met with the manager, not to mention paying for 5 shifts that I was out of!
  8. by   luv2nurseinER
    I work for Onward. After working with Mobile Medical Staffing (who should be sued for extreme problem with truth telling) and American Mobile Nurses ( who should be sued for pyschological damage related to frequent roomate disasters) and Clinical One, I found Onward's direct approach and honesty refreshing. Again, I think it all has to do with your recruiter. Lindsay knew I wanted to go to the soutwest. She didn't have any needs posted, so she called her contact at Reno's Washoe Medical Center and found out they had an opening coming up in October. I was offered the position today. I have also been working with a great recruiter at Medstaff. Unfortunately, they have had very few positions in ER. Each company has its pros and cons, it's up to us to figure out what is acceptable in our situation.
  9. by   natasha700
    I am looking into traveling and I have to tell you some of the recruiters are idiots. I was inquiring about a travel assignment in Los Vegas and when she told me the rate I laughed! She kept telling me that it is not like California which is true but I was quoted a higer rate in Cincinnati plus getting transportation to and from work. I think it depends on how much these recruiters want you to work. I am starting to think that travel nursing is overrated it is not all peachy you really have to find a good agency to work with.
  10. by   Dixielee
    Natasha, like any other job, there are many variables. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! All agencies are NOT created equal. All recruiters are certainly not created equal. Companies are paid the same rate by each hospital for each nurse. It is up to the company to pay you a rate, benefits, etc. Some companies may pay you a little more money, but the benefits are horrible. Some scrimp on housing. You have to do a little research, decide what is important and then take the dive. I was lucky to find a great company and great recruiter on my first try, but I have known quite a few travelers who have horror stories about getting to assignments that were NOT as advertised. Talk to lots of travelers and get advice as to what to expect. A good recruiter is the key to a good experience.

    I talked to one company who would not give me a dollar figure when I asked for salary. He kept saying the salary really didn't matter, it was the take home that was important. He said they fold benefits and housing in to give you a certain amount per year, etc. Too much trouble for me! He also said I should get my own insurance because theirs was not very good. Not a good salesman for this company!

    I have one company who calls me so often I am ready to change my phone number even though I have told them not to call and that I am committed until April. I have called companies where you always get a voicemail and then they call you back at THEIR convenience, not yours. So check around. There are good companies and great recruiters out there, but like any other job, they are not all alike.
  11. by   malernicu
    When I had 3 shifts to make up I just worked it out with the company and the unit to extend one week and make them up. That way no overtime for the unit.