One of our travelers recently showed us a few apps being used by other companies to hire nurses. These apps have no recruiters involved and no personal screening. Just an app! Concerns and red flags popped up on so many levels. Sure, the app was slick. However, what quality checks are done and how are they done? Literally any nurse (this app specifically targeted nurses) could download the app, enter their information, upload some forms, and immediately gets jobs assigned to them. There were not credible references done and no verification process on what they were uploading. We found it disturbing to say the least.
We recently had one of our nurses retire after being a travel healthcare professional for 20 plus years.
It still surprises our healthcare recruiters when they are networking with candidates that the stigma of “agency work” is part time or a short-term option. It then surprises those very candidates when they learn that we have team members that have been employed by Fidelity On Call for 10 plus years.
Did you know that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) classifies workplace violence into four basic types? Types II and III are the most common in the health care industry.
- Type I: Involves “criminal intent.” In this type of workplace violence, “individuals with criminal intent have no relationship to the business or its employees.”
- Type II: Involves a customer, client, or patient. In this type, an “individual has a relationship with the business and becomes violent while receiving services.”
- Type III: Involves a “worker-on-worker” relationship and includes “employees who attack or threaten another employee.”
- Type IV: Involves personal relationships. It includes “individuals who have interpersonal relationships with the intended target but no relationship to the business” (Iowa Prevention Research Center, 2001; NIOSH, 2006, 2013).
It is disheartening to realize that the very people who provide care, compassion, and medical assistance, and in many cases save a person’s life, are on the receiving end of violence. While we do acknowledge that many of our clients have excellent security and steps in place to help prevent such occurrences, we know there is a long way to go for many facilities and there must be an overhaul to stop such violence. Fidelity On Call acknowledges there are many contributing factors to the increase of workplace violence.
Here are some tips that we can offer travelers to help avoid and/or educate themselves for such events happening to them while on assignment.
1) De-escalation training
Knowing how to defuse a hostile situation has been shown to be more effective than having armed guards in a hospital. Formal training in how to de-escalate a tense situation or encounter can have a major impact on the safety of doctors, nurses, guards, or other staff members. There are classes available online and in-person.
2) Ask to review the facility you are contracted at WPV Prevention Plan
We must acknowledge that there is an abnormally high risk of workplace violence breaking out in hospitals and clinics around the country and arm ourselves with as much information as we can. As a traveler, you may not be receiving the same thorough orientation as a staff member would. However, you can ask what the plan is for the facility, so you know how the facility would handle workplace violence and they have a plan in place should it occur.
In short, if you have a concern about a facility you are contracted in, you should immediately reach out to your recruiter to get further information. Your SAFETY is our PRIORITY.
Fidelity On Call has been in the business of travel healthcare since 1994. We have learned a lot of tips and tricks of the trade and we believe knowledge is power. We want to share that information with healthcare professionals who are exploring the travel industry for the first time. SUCCESS is what Fidelity On Call strives for with every traveler.
✓ GET ORGANIZED– Health documentation and complete work history are very important no matter what travel company you choose to work with and no matter what hospital you go to. For example, vaccine documentation, if you took any breaks in your professional work history etc. Keep a binder with up-to-date work history, immunizations, certifications, etcetera! Trust us when we suggest the binder or electronic record storage app.
✓ Be Flexible to location, setting and facility. Sometimes a new traveler must have one successful contract under their belt before your desired facility/unit will allow you to be submitted. A good recruiter can help you get a contract – maybe not exactly what you want – that provides an opportunity that can then open the door to exactly what you want. It takes one successful contract to see many more doors open for you.
✓ Have a Positive Attitude! Stress is part of every job and going down the rabbit hole of negativity will 100% not help. Smile, breathe and remember you are there to be a seamless part of staffing, not part of the problem. You take care of the patients to the best of your ability and everything else really is not your problem.
Travel Healthcare is such an exciting, nerve wracking, lots of questions industry. There are never too many questions you can ask to get as much information as possible before making the choice to jump in. We have had a front row view of how this industry can be life changing for many healthcare professionals. These are just some simple tips and tricks to getting ahead of the game and to start you on the right path to success in travel healthcare