Saturday, August 11, 2012

Whew! Where to start? It's been a long while since I made time to blog! I'm still working 12 hour shifts, in addition to have started working agency as well. That in itself has been a whirlwind! The money is awesome, but the short notice to go in and the cancellations after arriving are downfalls. Luckily, I've only been cancelled one time since starting. I'm compiling a list of Do's and Don'ts for agency LPN's. Some, or rather most of the tips, can apply no matter if you are a CNA, an LPN or even an RN. These are just a few things/ideas I have thought of, I'm sure you can think of things to add.
     Meanwhile, at my full time job, we have had lots of nursing turnover the past 6 months or so. This may be the norm for most LTC facilities, but not ours. The only way I even got my job was due to a day shift LPN going back to school and a night shift LPN moved into her position. Our average LPN has been at our facility for 5 plus years. So when I say turnover is rare for us, it is. We have gone through lots of RN's as well. We had one leave, one get promoted to the ADON position, and have hired so many fresh out of school RN's that  have come and gone before I could even learn their names!
     Me and the hubby have finally managed to get all 6 of the boys in school, the baby started kindergarten, then we have one in 4th grade, 5th drade, 7th grade, 8th grade and a Senior. So, the agency money will definitely come in handy this year!
   I'm looking forward to attempting to make time to do more writing, both here on the blog, as well as getting back into being a contributing writer for Scrub's Magazine and Yahoo. I've got plenty to write about, just not enough time in the day to get it done! I hope you enjoy the following list, and maybe we can even read it again if it makes it to Scrub's or Yahoo!

Do's and Don'ts for Agency Nurses:

*Show up on time or even a little early
*Ask your agency about uniforms/colors
*Be polite to everyone
*Ask plenty of smart questions
*Have a confident, positive attitude
*Confirm your appointment the shift before you're due
*Be open and willing to learn new things like computer systems-the more you know the better your chances of getting placed more often
*Take careful notes when given report
*Make time to introduce yourself to your CNA's, they are your lifeline!
*Keep in touch with your agency, don't just sit and wait for them to call you
*Do give your agency feedback on your assignments-do you want to go back, do you not want to go back and why?
*Be open minded and flexible enough to try new ideas, yours may not always be what works best
*Bring your own supplies such as scissors, tape, stethoscope and a name badge with your first name and title on it

*Be late
*Dress slouchy, i.e. wrinkled or worn out scrubs
*Be rude or cocky to staff
*Don't assume you know everything-you don't!
*Do't accept assignments for areas you are not comfortable or competent in, this could land you in trouble, cause you to be placed on a facilities "DNR" (do not return) list, and it makes your agency look bad. Be honest with yourself and your agency about which areas you are comfortable working
*Don't discuss your agency pay with regular staff members, this is not only unprofessional, but can cause extra resentment leading to them not being willing to help you out when you need it
*Don't use your cell phone unless it is an emergency
*Don't get caught up in gossip about any facility, people know if you blab about everywhere else, you'll blab about them or their facility
*Don't skimp on your documentation--We all learned the proper way to chart in nursing school, and remember, your documentation is your only defense in CYA!