Recently, I asked recruiters what they would do in these situations.  Emily has been recruiting for Randstad Healthcare for 3 years now.  Here are her responses: 

  1. In a large metropolitan area, Nurse Floating Flo contracts to float between three hospitals within a 10 mile radius of her housing. Starting in the 6th week, the company ask her to float to a hospital 15 miles away, the 7th week she goes to one on the other side of the city, that is 30 miles away, plus one that is 17 miles away. The nurse is willing to take the first few, but after the behavior continues, she has had enough and voices this to her recruiter.  The first thing that I always tell an RN is to speak to her manager and let her know in a professional manner what her concerns are to give them a chance to make it right.  If there is no resolution from that conversation, we can definitely step in and speak to our contact and let them know that this was not part of what had been agreed on and see if it is possible to keep the RN at the original agreed upon hospitals.  If that is not possible, we can look at trying to get additional mileage compensation. Communication with the manager and the hospital is important.  Often times these issues can be resolved with a single conversation before drastic action needs to take place. We always support our RNs and have their best interest in mind while trying to work through any conflict or surprise that may pop up on an assignment.

  2. Baby Nurse Betty is a skilled labor and delivery nurse, who also can float to post-partum care after the delivery as well as the well-newborn nursery. At 7:30pm, the staffing company hotline gets a call stating that they want her to float to the NICU, which is beyond her competency level. What is your company’s response?  First and foremost, we NEVER want an RN to be put in a situation where they feel they are practicing outside the scope of their specialty or skill level.  I would tell her to immediately voice her concern to the Charge Nurse, manager, or house supervisor on duty at the time.  I would ask her detailed questions, such as, what is the acuity of the patients assigned to you?  Often times they will take a newborn RN and assign her patients in the NICU that are very low acuity, no vents, no drips etc… or have her monitor a patient that is being ready to be moved etc… or have her on the unit to assist the other RNs with no patients personally assigned to her.  I would tell her to make sure she has all the details of the assignment before panicking when hearing the word NICU.  If there was no resolution and she were in fact scheduled to work on the NICU and assigned patients that she is not trained to care for, a member of the Randstad Healthcare team would call the manager and speak on her behalf regarding the decision and request to be placed on a unit where she is more qualified to work.  There is nothing more important to an RN than her license to practice nursing and we take that very seriously and will support and protect our nurses to the fullest.

  3. Nurse Roach is all excited about her first travel nursing assignment. She drives 750 miles to her new assignment housing. After getting the keys from management, she opens the door and three cockroaches scurry across the floor. After further investigation, she also finds a ring of mold in the shower. She can’t stand it and immediately texts you with pictures. How do you respondI would immediately apologize.  Our goal is to find comfortable, clean, and safe housing at all times, within 10 miles from the hospital.  We do our best to research every apartment that we use.  I would have our housing coordinator immediately get involved.  There are options to try to take care of the problems.  We could have her moved to another unit and request that they spray for insects and make sure there are no other issues with the new unit.  If the entire apartment is not clean or free of insects, we could definitely try to set her up in a hotel for the night and move her to another complex.  We cannot however move to a new complex because the complex is older or not “fancy” enough.  There are some cities ie; Baltimore and Boston, where all housing that is available in the city is primarily older.  We do our best to set expectations accordingly so that travel nurse, would know what to expect.  If they are looking for certain amenities or a new apartment complex, we can try to find something accordingly, letting them know that they may have a longer commute. Our housing coordinator is very involved, sends pictures and tries to give every RN a few choices to pick from and also takes personal requests for certain housing as long as it is within the housing budget.

  4. You have worked with Nurse Asthmatic for 3 years now and she has done a great job for you, when she takes an assignment in Southeast Colorado. She envisions magic mountains that reach to the sky, only to find that she has landed in wheat country. Not wanting to cause problems she continues to work and everything is fine, until harvest. She has an asthma attack, ends up in the hospital, and is told that she is going to miss at least 2 weeks of work related to asthma induced pneumonia. How do you work things out?  My first concern would be the health of the RN.  Is she ok?  What does she want to do?  Does she want to go back to work once she is feeling better after the two weeks or does she want to go home? Is she cleared to return to work by her doctor? If she wants to go back to work, we would have been in communication with the unit manager and found out if that was a possibility from their end.  We could extend her contract those two weeks if necessary.  If she just wanted to leave the assignment due to her health concerns, I would do everything in my power to help her find her next assignment.  To preface this, we to try to prepare our RNs in advance for their assignment.  We let them know what the local weather and topography might look like.  Will there be snow, will you be isolated, is it a small town, will it be extremely hot, is there a beach?  Communication is the most important part of traveling.  Often, situations similar to this one can be avoided with great communication on the front end when discussing jobs.

  5. You have worked hard to find Nurse Roulette a job in Las Vegas. You send the nurse a contract that she readily accepts, signs, and sends back. The next morning the bags are packed and Nurse Roulette is on the way to the assignment of her dreams. At 0800 she is out the door and to the hospital. Checking in with HR, they inform her that there is no contract between the hospital and the company, related to the fact that it has not been approved by HR. About the same time, the recruiting manager comes to you and tells you not to send Nurse Roulette on the assignment. This shouldn’t have happened, but unfortunately it does happen. What do you do? I want to start out by saying, that there is such a precise onboarding process with our company, where all contracts are checked and double checked that this would have been picked up on long before it got to this stage.  We would try to resolve the contract issue directly with the hospital and have our legal team get involved to try to save the contract. That being said, I would immediately help the RN either find another job immediately in Vegas or as close to as possible.  If that were not a possibility I would help the RN to get home and begin trying to find her another position anywhere that she was willing to go.

Highway Line

If you are interested in working with Emily.  You can email her at: 

emily.matteson @RandstadUSA.com

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