I would contact the account manager and have them contact the facility on the travelers behalf to work out a solution to the facility not adhering to the written and signed agreement. Hopefully a positive solution could be agreed upon (adhering to agreement, increase in pay to compensate the traveler for the additional facilities, etc.), if not I would help the traveler find another assignment, if that was their desire.
As the nurses recruiter I am required to respond to my travelers 24/7 (all my travelers have my cell phone number) especially for circumstances outlined above, we do not require them to go through a hotline and talk with someone the are not familiar with. Our travelers know they can contact us anytime and since the NICU is out of the nurses scope of care I would inform the traveler to let their supervisor know they will not be floating to the NICU. Our agency would contact the facility immediately (no matter the hour) and explain to them that our agency does not allow our employees to work outside of their scope of care.
Our housing department would immediately find new accommodations for them. This may take a few days so we would book the traveler a nice motel room until the new accommodations could be found (since the traveler is already in the area, we would allow them to inspect the new housing prior to securing it, if they wanted to). Under no circumstances would we allow our travelers to stay in substandard accommodations.
We do have contingency solutions in place for situations such as this. For this situation we would contact the facility and the travelers supervisor on our travelers behalf and keep them informed on our travelers situation (adhering to HIPAA regulations). I would request that the traveler continue to be paid M&I and housing stipends while not working as well as paying normal pay for any sick time they have earned. Once the traveler has recovered I would discuss with them their desire to continue to work in that location or if they needed me to find them another assignment in a new location that was better suited for them.If they elected to stay in the same location I would offer to talk with the facility on their behalf to see if they would be willing to extend the agreement for the two weeks they traveler was ill.
You are correct, this should never happen since the agreements between the agency and traveler and agency and facility are required to be signed prior to final approval of the assignment. However, if this did occur we would immediately find the traveler anew assignment expediting the interview and acceptance process (we do have very good relationships with many of our facilities and this is something we could make happen quickly). In addition to the new assignment, we would compensate the employee for any travel expenses they would have incurred as well as compensating them for lost wages while they wait on a new assignment.
A great travel nurse understands that being hired as a travel nurse is different than being hired asa staff nurse. When hiring a staff nurse the expectations are that the nurse will be there for many years so they are looking at the whole person,personality, skill set, promotion potential, ability to fit their culture,etc.. When being hired as a travel nurse the traveler is being hired because of their skill set within a set specialty and usually only for a 13 week period.Great travelers can go into most facilities and rely on that skill set to do their job. They do not have to worry about the culture, office politics,personalities of staff, etc. just utilize the skill set. Making friends, fitting in and enjoying the facilities culture are all pluses and can make a travel assignment very enjoyable but not all travel assignments are the same. To make my job easier I would ask that the traveler not lump all recruiters together,we are not all the same. I do not do this job to sell you anything, I do notwork on margins so you will not need to negotiate your agreement. All our nurses in the same location and specialty are paid the same, which is the rate we advertise prior to ever asking you to provide us your contact information. I listen, I respect your privacy and desire not to be cold called and I want you to have a great experience because that is the only way you will continue to use me for future assignments. I understand you have a life outside of traveling, you may have a family, you have bills to pay, you have circumstances occurring in your life I know nothing about so my job is to find you an assignment in a location you want, at a rate you desire. If I do not have one available I am required to be honest and let you know I have nothing available now and encourage you to find another agency that can help you. The most important thing for me, as a recruiter, is to ensure you stay employed even if it is not with us. However, I do hope that the relationship we have built allows you to provide me an opportunity to find you an assignment after you have completed your assignment with another facility.