The staffing agency for nurses is a key employment strategy both for employers and employees. It enables Hospitals to recruit key staff to fill the gaps that inevitably occur in health staffing and it gives employees the opportunity to gain fast and temporary employment while traveling, and choosing hours to suit themselves at a slightly higher pay rate.
Benefits of Nursing Agencies
One of the greatest benefits of agency work is to enable the staff to experience working in different facilities without having to stay there permanently, you soon get to know which hospitals you would really want to work in. In other words once you are exposed to the culture you soon get to know the good from the mediocre, and often when you are sent by the agency you do get to experience mediocrity at its worst, as these are the facilities that have a higher turnover than others. As an agency nurse once you get tired of living in a town you can move on, and this is a way of life that suits many travelers. In my City every year dozens of nurses come from UK and Ireland in Summer to work for six months, and then when the cold weather descends they head north for the next six months. It enables them to travel with some dignity where many of their peers are reduced to fruit picking, which is not well paid. They tend to stick to the coast as the big attraction is the beaches and endless Summer which they can experience by moving on frequently.
Other people who benefit from picking up agency work are young mothers, who often find it more cost effective to do agency work while their partner is at home with the children, and often this means that they are available on weekends. This way they can pick up two 12 hour agency shifts (weekends), and earn as much as they would if they had four 8 hour days, and be at home with the children all the week. If they find the work too much they can stop for a while and return to it later, in the early parenting years it is often a better option than holding down a job.
These days agency staff are treated with much more inclusiveness and respect than they once were, They become quickly integrated and part of the team, and from the hospitals point of view it is soon known who you want to return to your ward, and who you don’t want on your team.
Disadvantages staffing agency for nurses
One of the down sides, but not for everyone, is that you never quite feel that you belong while doing agency work. That feeling of belonging and being part of what can feel like a family, cannot be underestimated for many. Others however, love the freedom of not belonging and being able to move on at a moments notice. Another downside is that you are constantly working out where all departments are positioned in the facility and some are so big that you can spend the whole lunch break finding the cafeteria.
Staffing Agency for Nurses
Most agencies have very efficient pay systems, and many pay on a weekly basis. If you are traveling around a weekly pay packet is very handy.
Sometimes you are sent, as an agency nurse not to a hospital, but to someone’s home and you may be required to provide acute care, or end of life care in the home. This can be difficult, as the equipment may not be as effective as it would be in a hospital, and the conditions are much more relaxed and informal, but if the family are looking for help it is always important to wear a uniform and to be at your best professionally as they are looking to you to support them in a difficult time. Often specialist aged care is required and the nurse will be able to make a ‘needs’ assessment regarding required equipment for the patient, and the family should be able to get it in to assist the process. Most countries have a shortage of nurses so agency nurses are always sought after. The average age of a working nurse is between 44 years and 50 years, which means demographically the workforce will be turning over in the next ten years, so nurses are always required. Now, more than ever before nursing staff are highly educated, with many going in to management positions later in life.
One of the most difficult roles an agency nurse can be asked to perform is nursing a very sick child, and the children’s hospital use many agency nurses to aid and nurse little children through these critical times. Often if the child is very ill, you have to prevent them from pulling out their tubes.
Other times they just need comfort, and if the parents are unable to be there due to living remotely or other family issues, it is really hard for the child to adjust due to the ‘strangeness’ of the hospital. This is where a good agency nurse can do an outstanding job, and make a world of difference to the life of the little person and their family. Fortunately most children are not in hospital for too long anymore.
Another role that the agency nurse can be asked to perform is the post natal home visiting service. This occurs when a mother delivers in the birthing unit and goes straight home with the baby. The hospital does not keep them in, as they are worried about healthy people being exposed to germs (COVID-19). For qualified midwives this is nice work, as you get to see the mother and baby for several visits and make sure all is well and that the baby is feeding properly, a pleasant change to work with well people.
Agency work is a really flexible way for a nurse to find out what area of work really suits them, as it gives the nurse a chance to experience varied hospitals and patient demographics while traveling around and is a great way to make new friends and see the world while being paid for it.