I am new to this forum. I am hoping to generate some intrest for travelers to demand better contracts from their agencies. Many of the problems discussed here have to do with inadequate contracts. I have had alot of work and experience with legal proceedings. I have done medical-legal work for over 25 years. TThe main thread I have observed throughout my legal career is the use of a contract. Well-written contracts are hard to break, as well as dispute. I have seen many judgements for the plaintiff due to the language of the contract.
We nurses need to develop a good contract for ourselves. We should hire legal counsel to create a simple one that protects us from the abuse we suffer on a daily basis. How many of you out there go to your travel position each day, worrying if you will be sent home the next day? The low census folks must worry that they will not be able to complete the houres they were hired to work? If the hospital hired travelers to fill in for lack of staff, why then, do they call you off?...BECAUSE THEY CAN!!! I have learned to get that included in my contract...then the hospital pays you to stay home and lay by the hotel pool! If the hospitals knew they HAD to honor their traveler contracts, they would call off their OWN staff! They should not hire travelers if they dont have a need!
Hospitals are forced to make up unfounded stories regarding nurses competency when their staffing needs change, allowing them to dismiss the traveler without notice, and ruin that traveler's reputation. If WRITTEN evals and warning were REQUIRED prior to dismissal, few of these supposed shortcomings would be substantiated. It is interesting to see who is willing to actually put down on paper these problems or complaints. Many travelers are actually RENEWED, then dismissed!
Please try to take your contracts you are now signing to an attorney, and let him/her tell you how much protection you have. Getting INFORMED will give travelers more POWER!
A traveling nurses union would help investigate the avenues for decent contract negotiation, and help nurses stand up for what they deserve.I work in states where there are unions, and those where there are none. The unionized areas are MUCH more secure. I hear complaints from nurses who pay dues and complain that they are not benefitting...but the are making TWICE the salaries, and call pay, and vacations that those from the states without unions do.
Please voice your feelings regarding your contracts...and lets DO something about it!