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Learning how to walk

From a company's perspective, we want to tell you "DON'T DO IT" with every breath in our being but, there are various reasons why you may get into a situation where you absolutely have to end your assignment. This past year alone, I've had 10 people that had to walk off assignment. The longer you contract, the more likely it is that you'll eventually run into a situation that you can't fulfill a commitment. One nurse had a family medical emergency that was unforeseen, another found herself in unsafe medical conditions where the facility wasn't responding to documented requests. So, from the receiving end of having to pick up the pieces, here's how handling that situation can be improved.

1. Put it in writing immediately and early. I've had nurses say "for the past two weeks..." We completely understand that you're trying to fix things yourself, but telling us early and in writing gives us something to rely on if things get ugly. As a company, we get charged cancellation fees per our facility contracts so to prevent things getting even uglier , give us what you would argue before it all falls on you.

2. Texting your recruiter isn't the best way to communicate and document an issue. Email is a much more reliable and clear way to put the entire conversation into a few paragraphs. Texting leaves too much room for error on how the message gets delivered.

3. Start asking questions on notices that can be given and allow for the possibility that giving a notice early will allow you to more adjust your commitment vs cancel your commitment. From housing notices to canceling a contract, giving a notice allows you to prevent costs from finding their way to both the company and inevitably you as the nurse.

4. If it's clinical, get clinical involved. Recruiters are not nurses and no matter how good of an ear you have with your recruiter, there comes a time to getting a director of clinical services involved from the company to get on the same wavelength. From a risk management perspective, everyone involved is better served if a red flag is translated into a communicated and well documented request.

5. Allow for a company to fix it's own problems. Recruiters may not want to take these issues to management so there may be an appropriate way to get these concerns to the powers that be. If you feel like you got dooped, keep getting paid incorrectly, haven't gotten what you were told you would get... These are all fixable problems. Again, put it in writing early and as often as you need.

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