From Staff to Agency – A Nerve-Racking Transition

As more clinicians move from staff to agency, its a great idea to learn more about what got them there.

Being staff at a hospital or healthcare facility has historically been something to strive for as a clinician. Though, as the healthcare field meets modern standards, that is not the norm anymore. More clinicians are making the move to agency. It is a scary jump from the safety of a staff job, to the undefined world of agency staffing. Lucky for Chesapeake, we have clinicians that are not only willing to jump, but to dive in head first into their assignments; no matter how scary it may be.

One of our clinicians broke down the tricky move, and how her perspective changed once she buckled down and made the decision to fully go agency.

She has worked in three different hospital staff positions during her nursing career. Each time looking for something special, but didn’t know what it was just yet. She loved the people she met in every new position and the work she was doing. Even with those two factors, it still didn’t feel like everything “clicked” for her. After her second staff position, her friend who worked for Chesapeake suggested she make the switch. At the time, it didn’t feel like the right move. She said, “I’ll give it one more shot at another facility.”

She gave it the old college-try, but her last staff position paved the way for the final decision to be made. “Something needs to change, and I need something new.”

Her friend told her the general list of benefits like no meetings, no facility politics, and working as an individual without the hassle. These all sounded great, but what about the human connection? She wanted people who made her feel comfortable, welcome, and most of all, people who always had her back. She wanted a family like in her staff positions, and wondered if an agency could give that to her.

It is a daunting notion to think that meaningful relationships can be created in a 13-week timeframe. She didn’t know if the facility would give her the working environment she wanted, and she also didn’t know what level of participation her agency would have in the transition. Instead of the hands-off approach she expected from this type of experience, she was pleasantly surprised by the amount of support she received on both ends. She had nothing but great experiences with the Chesapeake staff, but also with her co-workers at the assignment.

“There is a particular unit that is focused on high stress situations. I was surprised that an agency worker would be assigned to a unit like that off-the-bat, but I just put my head down and got to work. There was a specific case with a young boy where I was asked to look to see what was wrong. After a quick look over, I diagnosed the situation as a diabetic emergency. The doctor came in and said, ‘I like you, can you always run this for me?’ That situation made me feel really valued as a new comer. Everyone has been treating me with respect, and I feel like every day I get to meet someone new!”

This type of change isn’t always something people want. In the professional world, there are tons of barriers present that would make us stay in our safe space at a staff position. Our clinician was brave enough to try something different, and we couldn’t be happier she did.

All in all, some people are made for a staff position, and we absolutely applaud that choice. Then, there are others who want something a little more unstructured. They want something where they can pave the way based on the rules they create for themselves. Its just the experience some clinicians need, and have been looking for their whole career.

“Based on my current experience in agency work, I am very excited to see what’s in store for me next!”