The Surprising Benefits of Working for a Nursing Agency

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Despite recent discussions on an economic recovery, many people still find it hard to secure jobs in healthcare field. One alternative to a full-time job is to seek temporary work. Even though temporary employment is often associated with lower wages, fewer benefits and less possibility of unionization, it can provide job seekers with greater flexibility, experience, skill acquisition, and knowledge diversification, according to Statistics Canada.

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Becoming a nursing agency worker is not usually part of someone’s chosen career path. However, there are times when temporary employment can be helpful until you find your dream job. Here are some of the key benefits of temporary jobs along with some tips on making the most of this strategy.


Helps You Stay Motivated and Active


When it comes to advancing your career, your state of mind plays an important role. If you’ve been out of work for a long time, it can get discouraging. You can only spend so much time browsing job boards or making telephone calls. Long-term unemployment can lead to a rut. Your self-esteem can suffer and you may feel like you’ll never find a job. A temporary job keeps you in motion. It gets you out of the house (or working at home, as the case may be nowadays). Even if it’s not ideal, it helps you stay positive. It’s better to feel energetic and productive when you finally get an interview for a job you really want.


You’re Earning a Paycheck


The most obvious reason to get a temporary job is that you get paid. It may not be the salary you want, but it’s still better than nothing. Money starts to go very fast when you’re not working. Living off savings, government benefits, or the charity of family or friends is stressful. Working for a nursing agency can help you stay afloat during extended periods of unemployment.


Temporary Work Can Last Longer Than You Expect


Many healthcare facilities are using nursing agency workers for long-term assignments. They find it more economical to hire temporary workers than to have full-time employees to whom they have to pay benefits. In the past, a temporary assignment was usually a few weeks or even a few days. There are now long-term temporary assignments that can last many months. This still isn’t a full-time job, but it provides you at least some short-term security.


A Temporary Job May Lead to a Full-Time Position


It’s not unusual for healthcare facilitates to hire nursing agency workers for full-time positions. Some facilities like to try people out on a temporary basis before hiring them permanently. If you do an outstanding job, you might even create a full-time job for yourself where none existed before. A temporary job can also lead to something more permanent in a less direct way. Any type of work puts you in contact with people. A co-worker or manager might know about a job for which you’re qualified. Being busy in the world, even at a temporary job, opens up more networking possibilities than sitting at home.


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You Can Acquire New Skills


You can learn something new at almost any job. You may need to be proactive to make the most of temporary jobs. Ask questions. Volunteer to learn new skills even if it’s beyond the scope of what you were hired for. If you have some downtime, ask someone if you can help out in a more complex procedure. This might introduce you to a new skill such as learning an assessment technique.


How to Find a Nursing Agency Job?


There are quite a few ways to find nursing agency jobs.

  • Sign up with a nursing agency in your area. You can also sign up with many healthcare staffing agencies online.
  • Contact employers directly. Some job hunters seek full-time jobs by contacting healthcare facilities for which they’d like to work. This strategy can also work for temporary jobs.
  • Online Classifieds. You can find temporary jobs listed on Workopolis, Indeed and other sites.
  • Freelance Sites. Online freelancing jobs actually overlap with temporary work. If you get hired for a project such as a flu clinic, palliative care case, or anything else, you’ll do something very similar to temporary work. It’s another option.


Today’s workplace became more flexible and multifaceted than it used to be. In addition to full-time jobs, there are part-time jobs, temporary jobs, and freelancing gigs. If you find it challenging to look for a full-time job, it may be time to consider other alternatives. Temporary jobs are a good place to start as they keep you busy and provide income while you plan the next stage of your career.

If you are looking for a Nursing Staffing Agency in Windsor, our healthcare professionals can help.

How to Survive Life as a Nursing Agency Worker

How to Survive Life as a Nursing Agency Worker

Many new graduates and workers who are being laid off in today’s economic climate will turn to temporary nursing agency employment while looking for a permanent position which will ultimately satisfy them in their career progression. And, even those workers who haven’t lost their jobs but are discovering that now is not the best time to look for that dream position are biding their time with temporary employment. So, how does working as a nursing agency employee differ from working as a permanent employee?


You may have read about the pros and cons of temporary assignments, but received scant advice on how to survive life in the world of temporary work. What follows will ensure that you get to pick and choose which positions you accept, and when you accept them.

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Be Prepared – and Not Too Rigid


Most temporary nursing agency assignments involve a very steep learning curve. While it’s important to remember all you’ve learned to date in your working life (that is, after all, how you’ve secured the assignment in the first place), remember that organizations have their own procedures and processes and these may differ greatly from those that you’ve worked with to date.


The most valued attribute of nursing agency workers is their ability to quickly adapt to and learn new processes. This is most easily done when they remain open-minded and willing to learn. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t advise your supervisor if you see how a process or procedure can be improved upon. Any manager worth his or her salt will want to know how a process can be improved, especially if it results in cutting costs and/or time.


What is the Right Way to Talk About Changes?


However, there’s a right and a wrong way to go about suggesting improvements. When researching the subject, acknowledge that the current working practice is good (you could after all be talking about something very close to your supervisor’s heart), but you believe that there is a way to make it better. For example, your suggestion shouldn’t be met with too much hostility if you phrase it this way: “This shift report works well in capturing information for the shift significant events, but with an additional column for X, Y or Z data it would also be useful for the falls prevention program.”


Keep an Open Mind


While all managers will welcome suggestions on improving procedures, don’t be blinkered and steadfastly hold on to the view that the way you used to work was the best and only way. If you were in your previous position for a considerable number of years, you could easily fall into the trap of believing that the procedures you once used were difficult, if not impossible, to improve upon, and, as a result, you may be heard proclaiming to all that, “That’s not how I did it where I used to work.” Keep an open mind: not only are you learning all you need to know for your current temporary job, but you could also be learning tips that could serve you well in any future assignment.


Be Flexible


As well as being able to adapt and learn, a good temporary worker should also be flexible. Don’t see your workload as a specific set of tasks. While you will probably be reporting to a single nurse/supervisor in the workplace, be prepared to help out in all areas as and when the need arises. Your charge nurse could well be called away unexpectedly and you will then have to take instruction from an interim person in charge.


Be Proactive


Assess the pace of the workplace and offer your services when you have quite times. Your attitude will be reported to the nursing agency and will definitely merit you a gold star, which will undoubtedly result in your inclusion in the selection process when future assignments come in. It is really important if you want to continue working for the nursing agency. You will not only have an opportunity to learn, but might also be considered for the position on a permanent basis.


Be Discreet


Stay away from facility’s politics. This is a good advice whether you’re a temporary or a permanent employee. Sometimes, when facility “battle lines” are drawn, employees try to recruit whomever they can to their side, so don’t be a “casualty” of the facility “battlefield.” You don’t want your nursing agency to receive any reports of uncooperative behavior on your part. It is important that your nursing agency is confident that it can send you on assignments regardless of the personalities involved. You might not be offered assignments if your agency has to first take into consideration the people you will be working with in order to prevent any workplace confrontations occurring.


Remain Professional and Call for Help


Remember that you are employed by the nursing agency and any concerns about your employment should be raised with your agency contact in the first place. If you feel that you can’t complete the assignment, for whatever reasons, stay professional and report to your agency contact advising him or her of the situation. Your contact will arrange for another candidate to take over the assignment. Your agency contact will also deal directly with the supervisor of the facility for which you’ve been working, fully explaining the situation. Likewise, if you feel that you’re being asked to perform tasks that weren’t included in the job description you agreed with upon accepting the assignment, let your contact at the agency know.


Be Punctual


One of the disadvantages of working for a nursing agency is that you may feel you can’t get away with bending some of the “rules” in the same way that permanent workers seem to. For example, you may be at the nursing station 5 minutes before your official start time, while the permanent worker working the same shift rolls in 15 minutes later. Regardless of what your thoughts are on this, focus on keeping the hours you are assigned to work in respect of both your start and finish times.


Discuss any overtime with your supervisor before undertaking it: he or she won’t be too pleased to be presented with your hours of work at the end of the week if it shows additional 2 hours of work that you claim you had to carry out to complete the shift. All overtime should be agreed to before it’s carried out and claimed in accordance with regulations of your employment contract.


Be Conscientious


Don’t adopt the attitude that just because you’re working on a temporary basis you don’t have to give your best on the job. Don’t believe that you have no vested interest in the position: the job you do has consequences, whether in respect to feedback that is submitted to your agency after you complete the assignment, or the work you’re engaged in during it.


Keep in Touch


Keep in regular contact with your nursing agency, especially when you’re on-call and ready to work. Let the agency know when you’re available for work. Call every Monday and advise of your availability for that week.


One of the best ways to survive life as a nursing agency worker is to strive to be an exceptional team member, contribute where and when you feel it’s appropriate, and always try to do the best job you can. In order to survive, and even thrive, in the world of temporary work, treat any assignment in the same way you would a permanent position. Even if it is an assignment in which you end up doing more than your fair share of bedside care!

If you are looking for a Nursing Agency in Vaughan, our health care professionals can help.