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David Graham

David Graham
Squad Medical Staffing
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Question 1:
In a large metropolitan area, Nurse Floating Flo contracts to float between three hospitals within a 10 mile radius of her housing. Starting in the 6th week, the company ask her to float to a hospital 15 miles away, the 7th week she goes to one on the other side of the city, that is 30 miles away, plus one that is 17 miles away. The nurse is willing to take the first few, but after the behavior continues, she has had enough and voices this to her recruiter.
Answer 1:

It is never fun to have curve ball after curve ball thrown at you as a Traveler in the midst of an assignment. In this case I'm a fan of referring to the source of record which is the confirmed details of the assignment. These details should always match between SquadBuilders/Facility and SquadBuilders/Traveler. So my ear is open let me hear it - if the floating farther is too much, it is a conversation we need to have with the facility/vendor to reign the floating back in to the 10 mile radius. In my experience 99% of hospitals are going to stick to the contract and what was agreed. I tell the travelers who I'm fortunate to work with - tell me everything that is even remotely a concern as early as possible so we can address, find a solution and move to a successful remainder of the assignment.

Question 2:
Baby Nurse Betty is a skilled labor and delivery nurse, who also can float to post-pardum care after the delivery as well as the well-newborn nursery. At 7:30pm, the staffing company hotline gets a call stating that they want her to float to the NICU, which is beyond her competency level. What is your company’s response?
Answer 2:

This actually happened to me about a year ago. I asked my traveler to pass the staffing office number to me (after she text me) and I called the coordinator to discuss and explain the specialty area wasn't in her wheel house and she nor the patients would be setup for success and [Betty] needed to stay in L/D or float to an area of competency, which NICU is not. I followed up with my vendor manager the next day to make sure they understood the situation and that our traveler didn't refuse to float etc. All worked out fine and smooth.

Question 3:
Nurse Roach is all excited about her first travel nursing assignment. She drives 750 miles to her new assignment housing. After getting the keys from management, she opens the door and three cockroaches scurry across the floor. After further investigation, she also finds a ring of mold in the shower. She can’t stand it and immediately texts you with pictures. How do you respond?
Answer 3:

Since we are a smaller firm we don't do provided housing. But if this was happening - I'd be on the computer and on the phone trying to find a hotel (roaches not included) to "bridge" their housing for the first few days and make sure our nurse has a good place to stay. Hotels aren't that costly especially for a few days and that is worth us assisting with to help the assignment start smoothly.

Question 4:
You have worked with Nurse Asthmatic for 3 years now and she has done a great job for you, when she takes an assignment in Southeast Colorado. She envisions magic mountains that reach to the sky, only to find that she has landed in wheat country. Not wanting to cause problems she continues to work and everything is fine, until harvest. She has an asthma attack, ends up in the hospital, and is told that she is going to miss at least 2 weeks of work related to asthma induced pneumonia. How do you work things out?
Answer 4:

We have a saying at SquadBuilders - treat our travelers like family - and that is what we'd do. Make sure our nurse gets well and in the process find a solution. I'd want to discuss if the providers caring for our Traveler feel they will have more attacks, if so then we'd have to communicate with the hospital and properly exit the assignment. After working together for 3 years, we'd find a new gig once the nurse is back to full strength assuming they are up for it. I never want an assignment to end but if it is a threat to a clinician's health, we have to act in their best interest.

Question 5:
You have worked hard to find Nurse Roulette a job in Las Vegas. You send the nurse a contract that she readily accepts, signs, and sends back. The next morning the bags are packed and Nurse Roulette is on the way to the assignment of her dreams. At 0800 she is out the door and to the hospital. Checking in with HR, they inform her that there is no contract between the hospital and the company, related to the fact that it has not been approved by HR. About the same time, the recruiting manager comes to you and tells you not to send Nurse Roulette on the assignment. This shouldn’t have happened, but unfortunately it does happen. What do you do?
Answer 5:

Correct - this shouldn't have happened as we typically always ensure we have a confirmation form signed by us and the facility within a few days of offer while we're working through compliance. BUT if it did happen, we'd cover travel costs and typically additional compensation for lost time etc. Then we'd work to see if the facility can make a spot for the Traveler - or look to find a new position close by or in a new location if the Traveler is still willing.

Question 6:
What would you like travel nurses to know about being a great traveling nurse and making your job easier?
Answer 6:

If you're flexible, a hard worker, take pride in your abilities as a clinician and communicate openly [with me] your life as a traveler will be prosperous. We feel lucky we don't have a ton of contracts gets cancelled - but when it happens I'd say 95% of the time it is because the traveler has poor attendance, personality conflicts with staff and/or are not willing to meld into being part of the hospital team. It usually isn't a clinical issue. I love the travelers I work with and they mean the world to me, so when someone falls in these positive attribute categories I'll move Heaven and Earth to make you happy and work with you for as many years as you'll allow. P.S. have fun as often as possible, that makes everything better.

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