Recently, I asked recruiters what they would do in these situations.  This is Michael’s answers.  He has been a recruiter for 8 years with the last 6 months at Cariant Health Partners.

  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.  I would always contact the facility and the Nurse’s Supervisor to make sure that they are aware that their distance requirements were negatively affecting our Nurse and find out if they are able to adjust their requests or altogether, keep the Nurse at the regularly designated facility. If such a request was not possible, then I would refer to the terms of the contract between us and the facility to review any particular sections that cover distance/travel specifications. In some contracts, the facility can dictate a minor travel requirement between facilities. Typically, we do our best to advise our Travel Nurses in situations like this possibly coming up before they begin an assignment so they are prepared.

  2. Baby Nurse Betty is a skilled labor and delivery nurse, who also can float to post-pardium 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?  I would ask the Nurse if, while they have her floating to the NICU, they were requesting her to perform duties or take on responsibilities outside of her competencies. In many cases, Nurses can float to areas that may be designated as other advanced specialties, but they are limited to only performing tasks that within their scope of designated responsibility. In such a case, I would advise the Nurse to go ahead and float to another area, but to be up front and honest with her co-workers and associates about his/her limitations.

    If there was a request to perform duties outside of her specialty and demands given to our Nurse, I would advise her to stop and consult both myself and her supervisor. At that point, I would contact the Supervisor to address our concerns as well as contact the Facility Coordinator or Vendor Manager. If she was still being required to perform extra duties beyond her specialty then we would not hesitate to pull her from the assignment.

    This could potentially be a situation that puts the Nurses license at risk, and we will not accept putting our Travel Nurses in such a circumstance.

  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 respond?  I would advise our Nurse to immediately return the keys to the housing manager and request a new room. Everyone is entitled to a proper inspection of their living quarters and if deemed unfit or unsafe, he/she has a right to refuse accommodations or request another option.

    If the housing management is stating otherwise, or is unable to work with the Nurse on fixing the problem, then I would contact them directly to see if we can help with a solution. At worst, we may need to get to work on finding our Nurse new housing, in which case we would work very diligently to make sure we get our Nurse situated in better housing.

    I would also advise her to find a temporary hotel for the night until we figure out a solution or new place to stay.

  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?  Ultimately, the safety and well-being of our Nurse is a priority. We would not want to have our Nurse in a situation that jeopardizes her health. I would consult with her to find out if she would consider staying on board if the environmental conditions improve with time-passing. I would also contact her Nurse Supervisor to discuss possible solutions or remedies. If that is not an option, I would ask our Nurse if she would prefer to have us work on finding a new assignment if that is in a better environment.

    We would definitely work with the facility and Nurse to find a workable solution that protects the Nurse’s health, but also does not negatively sever the relationship of parties involved.

    We would always back our Nurse in this situation.

  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 would contact our Travel Nurse immediately and apologize for the significant inconvenience. I would let her know that this rarely happens because we do all we can to make sure any business parties involved have all necessary documentation signed and agreed upon before I would commit to having our Nurse travel out on the road to her assignment.

    I would do my best to help with providing a gas card or some means of compensation to help with any of her losses financially for having to start her trip.

    Also, at that point I would do everything we can to identify another assignment where she could start immediately.

    Ultimately, however, we would never send a Nurse on assignment without a signed contract between all parties.

  6. What would you like travel nurses to know about being a great traveling nurse and making your job easier?  Travel Nurses and Recruiters share a unique relationship, and one that can produce fantastic career opportunities for a long time. Given that the Industry provides so many options and recruiters that Nurses can work with, it is important to keep in mind that behind the emails and phone calls, the recruiter is likely putting in much more time in identifying relevant opportunities for their candidates.

    As a recruiter, I appreciate when a candidate demonstrates a willingness to update me and provide any requested materials or responses in a timely fashion. As some of the positions we are working move very quickly, it is essential for Candidates to understand that by being diligent and organized can often be the variable that lands them the job. When considering the competition of other candidates and working in response to the facility’s timeline, for a recruiter and candidate to have all the necessary documents in order as quickly as possible, there is a greater opportunity for successful placement.

    To summarize, it is often said that the early bird catches the worm !! And even better than that, the organized, early bird, catches the job !!

    I strongly advise Travel Nurses and anyone considering a career change to keep multiple copies of certifications, licensures, resumes and references available for immediate reference. It is also beneficial to keep a simple WORD or EXCEL document that tracks the jobs they have been applying to in addition to the different recruiters and companies they are working with.

    Open and often communication is key !

Highway Line

If you are interested in working with Michael Haller. You can email him at: 

mhaller@ cariant.com

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