Travel nurses. What a bitter taste it brings to some RN’s mouth. They often ask, if they can pay THEM that much, why can’t they pay US that much? Of course during this nursing shortage, travel nurses can be a life saver to the already worn out, overworked staff.
So after those lovely thoughts, last night was my first experience with a travel nurse. Our group had 10 patients on a med-surg floor. Quick run down of clients (very vague-HIPAA!): A mix of 1, 2, 3 day post op clients, most with PCAs, one DNR on a 100% non-rebreather.
One client is suppose to go home, but wants to stay until the morning so he can get the results of a certain test. One is still in surgery, may or may not come to the floor (vs ICU). The DNR has O2 sats in the 70s. After asking me several times if she needed to pass any of my meds (and me declining several times), she still passed meds to one client (couple of POs). In passing I tell her that one clients IV has gone bad and I’ll fix it later. In the meantime, the charge nurse was dealing with the one wanting to go home (calling all the doctors, making sure the client could stay), with the DNR client’s family, and with one client who was throwing things (calling their doctor). The surgery client comes to the floor, the travel RN goes and assesses him. Next thing I know, she’s is leaving. Like leaving to go home and not finish her shift, or the remainder of her seven (of eight) weeks. WOW. Just WOW.
Her reasoning was that it wasn’t safe practice, she was having to give meds (really now?) and it was too much to deal with. She had charted on not one client at 10PM, only really dealt with the post op client, and the one to be discharged for a few minutes. There were two other strong RN’s on the floor (plus the charge), three LPNs (experienced) and the two PCTs.
Really, I just would think that this would be considered abandonment, but since she gave report to the other RNs, I was told it was not considered as such. Is this what we are to expect from travel nurses? This is the first time in the 100 year history of the hospital that we have brought in travel nurses. This is my only hospital I’ve worked in, and like I said, my only experience with travel . Am I missing something? Are we expecting too much of the RN? Yes, our ideal modality would be 5-6 clients, but right now, because of the nursing shortage, it’s not a possibility.
Two words: Not Impressed