Sometimes, you need a medical caregiver at home, and this oftentimes means turning to a medical nurse staffing agency for assistance.
Finding a nursing staffing agency isn’t difficult, even if your address is more rural. The confusion can start when you’re trying to choose the best one to care for yourself or a loved one. Along with choosing an experienced nurse, you also want to go with the right type—and yes, there’s more than one type of nurse staffing agency.
Here’s what you should know about nurse staffing agencies and how to pick the right one for your medical needs.
Types Of Nurse Staffing Agencies
There are four basic types of nurse placement agencies:
- Per Diem nurses are a good option if you need on-call medical support. The nurse is available as needed for the length of the contract. The contract can range from a few days to several weeks, and the nurse is also available on weekends and holidays.
- Traveling nurses are a good fit if you only need assistance for a few weeks. This type of nurse travels around the country, providing medical services. Traveling nurses can also specialize in specific health conditions, enabling them to provide a higher level of care.
- Placement contracts are precisely what it sounds like; you enter into a long-term contract with the nurse staffing agency. For anyone who requires extended care, this may be the right option (think of seniors who have dementia as an example). Having the same caregiver day after day can also help alleviate some of the stress and worry associated with having to find and vet a nurse constantly.
- International nurses are not as common but are another option. The nurse is typically required to work in the U.S. for at least two or three years, which can mean staying with the same nurse for the duration of your care. If there’s an English language barrier with the person who needs care, an international nurse who speaks their native tongue may be the best one to overcome that obstacle.
Something to remember is not every staffing agency employs all four types of nurses. If you prefer to opt for an international nurse, it’s a good idea to ask if that agency has them available before signing a contract.
What To Consider Before Hiring A Nurse Staffing Agency
When you have an immediate need for a nurse, it’s tempting to go with the first agency you find. After all, you’re already stressed and worried and don’t need to spend time searching for a caregiver.
However, this is often a mistake—not all nursing agencies are equal, and you don’t want to accept lower-quality medical care just to save money.
We understand that overall cost is always a concern and that most people have budgets they hate to go over, but sometimes it’s the best option. You can find extremely low-cost nurse staffing agencies, but this can also mean you are settling for sub-par care.
If you’re getting a budget-friendly deal, it often means the nurses are receiving lower-than-average pay. Agencies with low pay rates will have difficulty hiring top-quality nursing professionals.
Some people plan for when they will need a medical nurse. They have a contract with the nursing agency and can call when it’s time for at-home medical support. Not everyone has this luxury, and accidents and sudden illnesses can happen, leaving you scrambling to find the appropriate medical care outside of a hospital or doctor’s office.
If you do need immediate care, then try searching for a Per Diem or Placement contract nurse instead. These types of nurse staffing agencies can typically provide medical personnel within a day or so of your call. You may also get lucky with an international or traveling nurse. However, the challenge is finding one available in your area.
Quality of Care
This should seem like a no-brainer. Whether the medical care is for you or a loved one, second best isn’t an option. While the agency’s pay rate goes a long way toward ensuring quality care, it’s not a foolproof solution.
Do your research, but don’t worry; most of it can be done online. Look for customer reviews and consumer ratings. You can also ask your physician or another healthcare provider for recommendations. Even your local hospital can be an invaluable source of information. Some hospitals may even recommend a nurse staffing agency before discharging the patient.
However, even with a physician’s recommendation, it’s still a good idea to do some research on your own.
The Right Nurse Staffing Agency Can Make All The Difference
Whether it’s for you or a loved one, you don’t want subpar medical care when it comes to meeting medical needs. A nurse staffing agency can provide you with medical support, but only if it’s the right one.
Take the time to do some research, ask for recommendations, and choose the right type of nurse for your situation.