Understanding Your Contract

March 16, 2017

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Paperwork and reading through contracts are a major piece in being a traveler. As you become more experienced, you learn what to look for and what to ask, but in the beginning it may seem overwhelming. Here are a few things to always make sure you look for when reading your newest contact, when to ask questions, and red flags to look for. 

One of our first tips is to ask any questions you may have in your interview. This is because anything you discuss in the interview should appear on your contract. Along with the questions in your interview, make sure you are asking questions about the contract if you are unfamiliar or need clarification. Strong communication can prevent any issues down the road. 

Travel Nurse Contract

Starting from the top: The Basics

Details of the assignment: Always make sure you understand what is expected of you, your company, and the facility. 

  • Days off you requested - make sure they are listed in your contract
  • Assignment dates - make sure everything matches
  • Floating - read to make sure any floating discussed is listed, and if it was not discussed, make sure it is not listed. 
  • Shift - the agreed upon shift. 
  • Hours - If you have guaranteed hours, look for that to be listed. 
  • Pay - Contracts differ in how pay in broken down. Along with the pay, look for anything on your end about a fee for missing shifts. If you do not understand how the pay is broken down in the contract, ALWAYS ask questions first. (This includes On Call Pay, Overtime, and Call Back) 
  • Holiday Pay - Again, anything that was discussed regarding days off or on, you want to make sure that holiday pay is noted. This is also something to discuss with your company prior regarding what is recognized as holiday pay. 
  • Benefits - By law, all of your benefits should be listed, as well as an explanation of when those would kick in or be terminated if you were to end your contract. 

Processes: 

  • Compliance with Laws and Regulations - Make sure you read through what is expected of you as a traveler & what the company will be doing (drug testing, background checks, health records etc.) 
  • Timecards - Before you start an assignment, have a full understanding of how you need to have those submitted and when. Ask questions if you don't understand. If you don't submit your time by the deadline for any other job, you would not be paid as scheduled. Missing the cut off as a traveler is no different. This is VERY important to stay on top of.

Everything Else: 

  • Questions about contract wording - Often travelers have a question or issue with the wording of a contract. Typically (an in Fusion's case), we have a legal team who has created and structured the contract for a specific reason. We are not able to just change the wording around and customize a contract. 
  • Red flags - Rule of thumb: A very brief contact should raise some red flags If you are not seeing everything up front, make sure you are asking the right questions. 

If you are preparing to take you first assignment or even your tenth, these are some great interview questions to always remember. Asking these Top Questions will help insure your contact covers all of the bases above. 

 

If you want to know more about how traveling can help your medical career, download our free eBook.

 

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