traveling-and being charge nurse

  1. How many of you when you are on assignment are required to be charge nurse and if so how far into the assignment do you start doing this?
    I just started a new assignment (am in my 2nd week) and am being required to be the night charge nurse for both a speciality unit. I feel very uncomfortable in this position as I am not familar with the hospital, its policies, its physicians and all the little intricaties that make a unit run. If an emergency were to come up I do not feel I would be equipped to handled it and would be wasting precious time trying to contact clinical mgr for the answers. I have years of experience in my speciality and have confidence in my skills, but do not feel comfortable being the charge nurse at this time.
    I have talked to my agency and they have been supportive and I have talked to the asst. clinical mgr., but I just was wondering what some of you have run into in your experiences. Thank you.
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    About seanymph

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 187; Likes: 15


  3. by   GirlArcher
    It happens often to me. I walk into a facility and I'm it....either charge or house super.....I really don't mind, as staff is more than helpful and after a couple of shifts, I understand the way that particular facility runs. Working in mostly rural hospitals, it's to be expected. I'm sure you can do it, as it's mostly about delegating and directing, on top of your regular nursing duties. Good luck!!:hatparty:
  4. by   rick3114
    when you are a confident competent RN the managers pick up on this right away wherever i go and inevitably i end up having to be in charge of the unit. this has happened so much that before i signed this last contract i decided i didnt want to do charge and i was going to negotiate that before i started. use all your experiences to negotiate what you want.

    i am fed up though with my recruiter, and have only used her but i need to find someone who understands me, my needs and goes to bat for me. not some selfish opportunist who tries to control-manipulate me in every way possible.

    can anyone suggest someone that is a good recruiter?
  5. by   mattsmom81
    Boy both you guys have nailed it right on the head... as an agency nurse, I too am tired of the same crap you both described. Rather than be an adjunct team member, we too often are used and abused and given more responsibility than the regular staff...which amazes me. BUT if we don't say no we are assuming great risk/liability its a line we each have to adress.

    There's a thread in this forum which angered me...staff compaining about agency nurses because we did say no.

    I was constantly coming into work and being told 'there's 2 unstable patients in the ER coming and they're yours...we know you can handle it. " Puleeze...this is NOT in the best interest of the patients to have an agency nurse managing these scenarios. Now...with adequate backup/staff support, this situation MAY be negotiable...but lately I cannot get sufficient staff support. Sad. So..I have had to say no, to great hostility. <sigh>

    I believe a nurse owned agency best understands our concerns and I feel your pain guys, believe me.
  6. by   nightingale
    I agree with what you are saying, MattsMom. I think, for most agencies, the bottom line is money and marketablity of their staff. They listen, if they are good, to your complaints, etc. but.... unless you ask for something, i.e. not to work a Charge position, not to work every weekend, you may not get it unless it is outlined and signed into your contract by both parties; I have insisted on having a signed copy before I make specific plans for a temporary relocation.

    Also, when I fax the Agency, I write it into the note to them that they do not have permission to submit me before I give written approval.

    I have had good luck with NurseFinders in Albuquerque and Denver. If you want a recruiter name I will PM you. Please do not put your email on the threads as this can be googled; I could also email via AllNurses if you signed up for it when you set up your account here
  7. by   nurseang
    I agree. Nursefinders is a great company. I have traveling with them for over a year in California. If you want a good recruiter that you can trust, PM me. Good Luck!