From NATHO: Understanding your assignment contract
Each time you accept a new assignment, you're given a written contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the engagement, as well as the responsibilities of both parties – you and the agency that you're working with.
1. As a traveler, you shouldn't need a law degree to understand your contracts. These documents are generally written in a clear, straightforward manner using language that the average person can easily comprehend. If you're given a contract that's unclear, or contains a lot of legalese, call your recruiter to clarify any portions that you don't understand. If your recruiter can't answer your questions satisfactorily, ask to speak with a recruiting manager.
2. Because hospitals are becoming more stringent regarding when basic documentation should be submitted prior to the beginning of an assignment, that's information that your contract should clarify up front.
Assignments may be delayed or even cancelled if items like health records, drug screening results, competency test results, and other records aren't delivered to a hospital's HR department in a timely manner. Remember, your contract should outline exactly what documentation is required before you show up.
3. More and more agencies are offering guaranteed hours. This can be a good thing for mobile professionals, but what it actually means can vary. In written agreements that don't include guaranteed hours, there is a general expectation that a traveling professional will work 36 to 40 hours per week.
However, if a hospital has low census and shifts are cancelled, then so is the pay for those shifts. Contracts that call for guaranteed hours might be "iron clad," where a traveler gets paid for a certain number of hours each week, even if he or she encounters shift cancellations.
A contract may also state that hours are guaranteed with the exception of one shift every two weeks, or outline one shift per month that is exempt from the guarantee.
4. It's expected that travelers will work every scheduled shift because hospitals employ temporary staff when they need the extra help. However, personal emergencies and illnesses do occur. Read your respective agreement and understand how to make up for lost hours or what penalties might occur if you can't fulfill your obligation.
MORE ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE
A recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports that nurses who handle chemotherapy drugs have a rate of experiencing a late state miscarriage twice that of nurses who don's handle them.
Healthcare gained 49,000 jobs in February, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
About one in two nurses experiences blood exposure, other than from a needle stick, on their skin or in their eyes, nose or mouth at least once a month when inserting a peripheral intravenous (IV) catheter, according to a new study by the International Healthcare Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia.
One of California's most historical cities, Long Beach has a lot to offer to the healthcare traveler.
Established in 1872, by the Society of Jesus, Saint Peter's College is the only Jesuit college in New Jersey and one of 28 Jesuit schools of higher learning currently in the United States.