An Interview With Fidelity On Call
What was the impetus that got you into medical staffing?
In 1994 when we started, we were watching aging relatives live out their lives in nursing homes that had moderate to severe staffing shortages. In our lives’ we have been fortunate to have great aunts and great uncles, aunts, uncles, grandparents and many loved ones whom live into their late 80’s and 90’s. Our maternal grandmother was within four weeks of 105 when she passed away. While watching what was happening in various nursing homes and hearing from the staff/administration about the problems they were experiencing with the outside staff they were being provided, it became abundantly clear that there needed to be a company that cared. Our original mission was simple. Hire only nursing home experienced CNA’s who truly cared about the people they would serve and place them into a facility that would appreciate them. It was a total team effort. No one passed our muster unless we felt we would allow them to personally care for our precious loved ones.
How has staffing changed since 1994?
When we started, it was not uncommon for a home care company to also hold a staffing license. This meant, when they had a CNA or nurse who was not involved in a home care case and a facility called for help, they would assign their personnel into a nursing home or hospital. Can you imagine the frustration of a CNA or nurse who was used to taking care of one person, being assigned to a nursing home and now trying to handle a work load of 10-12 residents or more? It was simply unfair . . . not only to the residents, but to the facility, their staff and to the person who was assigned there. Because we were targeted – and held only a staffing license – we hired those individuals with the proper background.
You said you started in nursing homes. I understand that you now work with hospitals. How did that come about?
Within a year of our start-up, we heard from a hospital asking us to help them. They had just had a nursing home skilled nurse placed on their Cardiac Cath floor by a home care/staffing company. Once again, the goal was clear – hire and supply only nurses with the appropriate skills for the floors to which they would be assigned.
What about finding the right employees?
That’s changed a lot, too! And, we have to really know our team, their skills, what shifts they like, how far they’ll travel and much more. It becomes very challenging to know all your staff and to keep them motivated and happy. That’s where our office team comes in and they are great at their jobs. They know our mission. When they hire, schedule or place a staff member, they keep our goal firmly in mind. All of us, without exception, feel totally responsible for ensuring Fidelity On Call’s team holds true to its mission.
You’ve referenced your mission. How do you ensure your mission is followed over the years?
We follow a coaching and teaching approach – both for internal and external staff. Among other more formal means, we perform quality checks with our customers and staff members. Those quality checks give us the opportunity to see if more coaching or teaching is needed.
When we formally wrote our mission statement, we made sure it was shared with and accepted by all of our team members. We wanted to not only say it, but do it. Several years ago, staffing companies had the ability to become certified by the Joint Commission. We decided we wanted their “Gold Seal” and became one of the first agencies to receive the designation in 2008.