Frankly we were appalled when we read the article on Samantha Rivera, who said she was a nurse, and worked for a 13-week contract assignment through a staffing agency at a St. Louis Hospital – and in the ICU!
Her contract wasn’t extended and she applied at another staffing company. Thankfully, they were astute enough to realize she was not a nurse.
We cannot help but wonder how this could ever happen.
The nearly endless checks on travel nurses
In this instance, the hospital trusted a travel nursing company to provide an RN for them because they were working short.
But, for any new hire – whether it is the hospital directly or a staffing agency – there are nearly endless checks that are required.
Here is just some of what should have been received and checked:
1) An application with complete employment history
2) Skills inventory thoroughly completed
3) A current Nursing License
4) Copy of nurse’s diploma or transcript
5) A registry check in every state that the nurse holds a license. Is the license current? Has it
6) OIG Search
7) Sam Search
8) Sex Offender Registry Checked
9) National Criminal Background Check
10) Driver’s License and Social Security Card
11) And any other check or search required based on the state
Also, the article states she was an ICU nurse. She would have needed ACLS. Did she provide that documentation?
Were references thoroughly checked?
How could she have had references for two years of hands on experience which is a requirement to work for and through a nursing agency?
Tell-tale signs had to be flashing
Even after her assignment started, it is hard to believe that, with no formal training and experience, her skills were enough to fool the hospital staff in the ICU. What went wrong there?
After one day or even one patient, there should have been red flags flying. Later in the article it does state that her skills were so “off” the hospital transferred her to another floor. However, they still didn’t check her authenticity.
A different approach
At Fidelity On Call, we are focused on quality. We are committed to hiring only top-notch professionals.
We will not hire anyone with a disciplined license.
We thoroughly interview and reference check. We talk to their supervisors. We want to know how they interacted with patients and staff, if they are skilled and confident and if they work safely, etc.
All the necessary background checks are completed.
We are aware that not all companies operate in this manner. However, we would encourage every hospital that is outsourcing to thoroughly interview and check references on their travel nursing company. Fidelity On Call is proud to share references and company history with anyone who asks.