Recently, I asked recruiters what they would do in these situations. Tara Smith has been a recruiter for 12 years with all of those years being with Trinity Healthcare Staffing Group. Below are her responses:

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. 

In this situation, our company would need to step in and discuss with the facility the terms on the contract that were agreed upon. The initial contract states that there is a limit to where Nurse Floating Flo will be floated. We need to make sure that they are adhering to those terms and determine how we can all keep to the initial agreement so that all parties are able to work the assignment as discussed.

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? 

The first question that I would ask is, at what capacity are they going to be utilizing this labor and delivery RN. Is she is going to be assisting and functioning as a CNA or tech? This, although not ideal, would be agreeable. Or, is the intention to have her take a patient assignment? This nurse is not trained to take on a patient assignment in the NICU and this would not be safe for the patient and would put the nurses license at risk. .

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 at that time contact our housing department and make them aware of the state of the unit. The housing department would then get in touch with the property manager and notify them of the bugs and the mold. If needed, we would find a suitable hotel for the nurse to stay overnight until the situation is corrected or she is moved to a different unit.

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?

I would need to notify the facility that she is going to be unable to work for a 2 week time period and see if they are willing to allow her that time and we could extend her contract 2 weeks to make up for her missed shifts. However, considering this particular situation, it seems that Nurse Asthmatic may continue to have issues with her health in this location. Therefore, I would most likely recommend that we discuss with the facility and Nurse Asthmatic a way to end the contract early due to unforeseen circumstances in an agreeable manner and quickly work on locating a new contract in an area better suited for her health.

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 immediately contact Nurse Roulette and let her know what is going on. Next I would determine if the contract between the hospital and our company is, in fact, going to be approved within the week and will it be possible for her to work there? If not, then we would assess other needs in the Las Vegas area and work very quickly to get an interview and offer.

Finals Words to Traveling Healthcare Professionals:

Communication is key. There are so many elements that go into getting ready for and working on a travel assignment. I think that it is extremely important that a travel nurse is open, honest, and communicative with his or her recruiter. If you have concerns, or if you are feeling scared or worried or have something going on in your life that is causing things to be difficult, share that with your recruiter. We are here to support you throughout your travel career.

Highway Line

If you would like to work with Tara Smith, you can email her at…

tsmith@ trinityhsg.com

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Highway Line