Career advice

Showing appreciation to agency nurses brings rewards for all staff

Practice-related feedback from an agency nurse caused Sarah Priday to reflect on the importance of good communication

Feedback from an agency nurse caused Sarah Priday to reflect on the importance of good communication

Sarah Priday

While working as an agency nurse I found that employers are quick to contact you regarding mistakes but slow to pass on compliments. Managers at the hospitals where I work regularly have told me that they have given positive feedback to the agency, but I rarely hear about this kind of praise.

I love getting positive feedback. It makes working feel so much more worthwhile and encourages me to be kind to others.

When I was on the staff at a hospital I received the following feedback from an agency nurse I worked with: ‘When I was posted to the hospital for the first time for a night shift, Sarah Priday was among the permanent staff I worked with.

‘Once Sarah found out that it was my first time in the hospital, she voluntarily took me on my orientation, not only on the floor where I worked but all the floors, including the canteen. She also went through the hospital paperwork with me. She told me to feel free to call on her for help or ask her about anything I wasn’t sure of.’

Helping first-timers

‘Due to a shortage of staff and heavy workload in hospitals, orientation is often poorly done. Sarah took the time to make sure I was looked after despite her own heavy workload. On subsequent shifts I worked at the hospital, Sarah always took the trouble to properly orientate other first-timers.

‘Sarah’s actions were inspirational. I was happy to go back to this particular hospital. Since then I make sure I properly orientate new nurses and students in hospitals I am familiar with. It makes things easier for everyone.’

Thanks makes a difference

I always make a point of thanking agency staff. After being thanked for their contribution the staff tell me they are determined to work even harder and more efficiently on their next shift.

Only one distressing night shift comes to mind when I was treated terribly as an agency nurse. I was not shown round, not communicated with and told, rather than asked, what to do and when to take my break. Suffice it to say I never asked to work on that ward again.


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