By Ryann Adoum, benefits manager for LiquidAgents Healthcare
What is the first thing running through your mind after you get the exciting news from your recruiter that you have been offered a travel contract? Maybe it’s how you’re going to get there or how soon they need you to start, or where you’re going to live. These are all things you’re probably thinking of as you begin to tune out your recruiter’s onboarding rant.
“I am going to need a copy of your most recent TB, Mask Fit Test, Hep B, MMR, Varicella, TDaP, Flu Vaccine, BLS…” your recruiter continues as you suddenly snap back to reality.
Do you really need all of these things she is listing off? You should already have most of these documents ready to go, and here’s why.
Importance of compliance documents
The world of travel nursing is extremely fast-paced, and the room for error is slim. Once you have been extended a job offer, you are expected to get the ball rolling on compliance as soon as possible.
You will need to be compliant with your agency first, and then your future facility. If you are not organized or committed to the process, onboarding might be much more of a headache than it needs to be.
Compliance can be a hassle, and it means a lot of running around on your part, but there are certainly benefits to getting it done quickly. Not only does it build a great rapport with your agency, but it also means that your start date could be pushed up by the facility.
Orientations for travelers are typically held every 2 weeks, so if you are quick enough on compliance to make it at least 2 weeks ahead of schedule, you could start working sooner than expected.
There are several ways you can manage your compliance documents digitally so that they are easy to access when you need them, like using an online file dropbox or signing up for free compliance managing tools.
Compliance items you should always have ready
Along with signing your contract and human resources paperwork, a compliance department will always ask for these industry standard items. These requirements are directly from the Joint Commission, and any agency or facility who is JCAHO certified will require these.
- RN License
- MMR, varicella, hep B
- TDaP vaccine
- Flu vaccine
- Mask fit test
Ensure that you always have copies at your disposal, ready to send over to your agency immediately after an offer has been extended. Remember, these are just the base requirements, and you will more than likely be subject to additional documentation and testing before becoming totally compliant.
Keeping compliance items current
Along with keeping copies of your compliance documents, you should also ensure that certain items do not expire.
Health documents such as the TB skin test, physical, vaccines, and certifications all expire and can set your potential start date back if you need to get new ones.
Titer results take a few days to come in, TB skin tests require a 48-72 hour window for results, and certification classes take time to coordinate on top of the actual class time. The last thing you want is to push back your start date further– or even worse, have your contract canceled because of non-compliance.
Once you are working with an agency, your compliance manager should keep track of the expiration dates for you so that you can focus on doing what you do best- working on the hospital floor!
If you ever have a question about your documents, or you need to know the expiration date of something, get in touch with your compliance manager. They are happy to help, and being proactive in the compliance process will help both of you stay on track.
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