guaranteed hours?

  1. Just curious if someone could provide a little insight-Ned?? My last travel company (and several others that come to mind) boast 'guaranteed hours'. However, I'm told by my current recruiter that this is all dependent upon the facility and that her agency cannot give any such assurances if the hospital doesn't agree to those terms. I'm having a lot of difficulty believing this and don't understand how other companies can promise this and if they don't, why a clause couldn't then be written into a contract as I've had before. Something like, "Traveler will not be called of for X number of hours per 13 weeks..." I suggested this to her, and she gave me some convoluted answer as to why this couldn't be done either?? Since I work in a specialty niche area (CVOR) in which case loads can vary considerably from day to day (and travelers are usually the first to be called off), without this protection, I sometimes an sent home early and do not receive a full paycheck. Wondering if I need to be looking for a new travel company?
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    About morelostthanfound, ADN, BSN

    Joined: Jul '16; Posts: 62; Likes: 262
    R.N.; from VA , US
    Specialty: 25 year(s) of experience in CVOR, General/Trauma Surgery

    3 Comments

  3. by   NedRN
    It is dependent on the contract. That said, agencies can pay you per your contract (and legally must) regardless of whether they can bill the hospital for your unworked hours. CVOR travelers are a scarce and valuable commodity, and contract exclusions can be made on a case by case basis. So yes, agencies that fight for you (and their own profit margin) are a good thing. Agencies that do not do this, do not recognize your value and you shouldn't prop them up.

    Barring unusual circumstances (like a new program), case loads are entirely predictable - I can promise you the hospital analyzes trends like nobody's business. The cardiac surgeon and perfusionists get paid based on annual business, and we are a relative bargain compared to them.

    Flexibility helps too. If you are unwilling to float to general, you are less likely to have unworked hours paid.

    Finally, life perspective. Treat time off as a surprise vacation. Go do something fun locally, or farther away. As long as at least your stipends carry on, and your debt load is not high, you can turn this into lemonade! You may prefer mandated overtime, but just flip your perspective and go with the flow for 13 weeks.

    Sure, I know all about call requirements. But that is really unfair to turn your $70 an hour total pay into $4 call pay and restricted to a 30 minute radius from the hospital. It is difficult to get recruiters/agencies to understand this issue, but just say no to slave labor. One thing to realize about your recruiters, the agency managers, and the hospital administration, is that none of them may have ever punched a clock and do not relate well to the working class (which is what we are). They get billable hours, but don't get that our incomes and life need to be predictable and stable like theirs.
  4. by   ChrisMMS
    This is a tricky one because almost every agency is going to advertise their contracts as having "Guaranteed" hours unless the facility is stating otherwise. A majority of the contracts that are placed by vendors will have some sort of guaranteed hours listed and the recruiting agency uses this number along side the bill rate to calculate everything according to their margins. If you aren't getting your full hours the company and you are both losing money! As NedRN stated you should find an agency that will fight or advocates for you because they should be losing out on money as well and if they aren't worried then something is wrong there. An agency is able to bill the hospital for your full hours if they agreed to the guaranteed hours on the contract. I've seen this go both ways for a traveler where the facility had no problem with it and made sure they got their full hours and I've had it gone in the opposite direction where they terminated the traveler for "Low Census".
  5. by   travelRN555
    I work in ER and we never get called off and it's extremely rare that we are flexed when it's a slow day because you never know what will walk through the doors. My agency guarantees my pay, but not my hours and there are stipulations. For example, there was one week that I went home on my contracted days off, but the hospital didn't give me shifts on the days I was available, so I was short hours that week - and I was responsible for missed hour charges because I was not available when they had needs. The agency also requires that the manager or charge nurse sign a form saying that it was the facilities decision for you to miss hours and you didn't elect to be flexed. Then you will get paid for your contracted hours, without having worked a full set. My agency will also reverse any missed hour charges if you make up the extra hours in another week (and you get overtime pay too).

    I think more agencies are including guaranteed hours into the contract with the hospitals, because the few times I have asked to go home on a slow day when I was the 3rd float nurse, they tell me they can't let me go because they have to pay me anyway.

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