Recently, I asked recruiters what they would do in these situations.  This is Sara’ answers.  She has been a recruiter for 1.5 years with all of that time spent at Fusion Medical Staffing.

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 bottom line is that if something is not discussed up front and included in the contract, the recruiter and agency need to support the nurse and the original agreement.

In this situation I would advise the nurse either not to “take the first few” shifts, or any shifts, at these additional facilities, or to voice to her supervisor very specifically that she is wiling to work these 2 shifts (or however many she is comfortable with) but that since this was not discussed prior to the assignment and is not in her contract, she will not be able to accommodate the additional facilities in the future. As her company, we would also be having this discussion with the hospital.

Baby Nurse Betty is a skilled labor and delivery nurse, who also can float to postpartum 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? 

As a nurse myself, this one really hits home. It is never appropriate to ask a nurse to work or float to a unit that she is not experience or competent to work on. Unfortunately I have run into this scenario already as a recruiter, and we immediately advised the nurse not to float to this unit and reminded the hospital that it is outside of her competence and experience. The hospital was not very happy but we stuck to our guns and all worked out in the end.

Sometimes the people who are making the staffing decisions are not clinical and don’t understand how important something like this is and this situation always needs addressed immediately. It is not safe for the nurse (or her license) or for the patients and hospital to practice this way.

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?

Call her right away and arrange for her to stay in a hotel until something more acceptable and long term can be found. I wouldn’t want to live in that environment either.

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 it is up to the traveler if they are comfortable going back to work in this environment, and then of course up to the hospital if they are able to wait for her to come back after she recovers. Health and safety always come first, so if the traveler needed some time off and to find a new contract in a more appropriate area, that is what we would do.

Ultimately it is up to the traveler if they are comfortable going back to work in this environment, and then of course up to the hospital if they are able to wait for her to come back after she recovers. Health and safety always come first, so if the traveler needed some time off and to find a new contract in a more appropriate area, that is what we would do.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 honestly can say I could never see this situation happening at Fusion. Something as important as the contract between the client and the travel agency would not go up until the nurses first day without being taken care of. Especially not when you are as “type A” as I am.

What would you like travel nurses to know about being a great traveling nurse and making your job easier?

I would say:

  • Most important one to me- always go with your gut! If something doesn’t seem right with an assignment or a recruiter, it probably isn’t. It’s just like nursing, trust your instinct!
  • Always know your priorities when looking for an assignment, and communicate those clearly with your recruiter.
  • Be realistic and know that you won’t always have every priority met, but knowing which are truly the most important will help.
  • Be open to hearing about things that you might not normally consider, sometimes those turn out to be your favorite assignments!

 

Highway Line

If you are interested in working with Sara Spanjer, you can email her at:  

Sara@ fusionmedstaff.com

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