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NurseCentral / Forums / Specialties / Aged Care / PCA Agency Work - reassurance needed...

PCA Agency Work - reassurance needed...

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Author PCA Agency Work - reassurance needed...



  • Joined: Oct 2008
  • Location:
  • Posts: 12

Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:11 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm a nursing student and have finished 1st year. I've been doing work over the last couple years, in PCA work both in nursing homes and more recently home and community care. I was hoping someone might be able to offer me some reassurance. I had a bad experience working as a PCA about 12months ago for an agency in high level care at a nursing home. I was spoken to very rudely by other staff, and yelled at for asking assistance to put a lady from a shower chair to an arm chair using a standing machine. I've always been taught in my studies that when using lifting machines, two staff members are required, they even have signs in the bathroom's at this workplace stating that, yet i was abused for asking for assistance. It put me in the sort of position where i felt as if i was darned if i did and darned if i didn't. If i didn't ask for assistance and something had happened, that would potentially be my nursing career down the drain, yet i don't feel i should have to put up with this treatment for asking. I also felt going to a high level care place like where i was at, it was my first shift doing agency work, and i was thrown completely into the deep end. Asked to shower residents that i'd never even seen before. So when i asked other staff qn's such as if these residents can walk and talk (as other nurses would know, important to know if you're goign to be showering theml, especially with dementia patients, like these were) i was again abused for asking and no one really told me anything. It was truely the worst shift i've had to do, and put me off doing agency work again.

However, a year later i've found myself in a situation of needing more work, and agency work being really the only casual work that i can come accross over the summer that's flexible. But i've got to admit, i'm a little scared to go back. Is anyone able to offer me some reassurance on this or has anyone had a similar situation? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I think agency work has the potential to be very good, I just have to get over the bad experience!

I look foward to hearing from whomever wants to add something. Thanks in advance for the help!




  • Joined: Nov 2008
  • Location: melbourne
  • Posts: 2

Nov 06, 2008, 05:08 pm

hi rachel, i am still doing my aged care cert 3 and hacc course and my first placement was similar and didnt know whether i wanted to carry on, but i really want to work in the community so im plodding along and have a new placement tmorow ugh!!! but hey please dont give up you will kick yourself if you do just take a deep breath and go for it. all this will make you stronger.



  • Joined: Oct 2008
  • Location:
  • Posts: 12

Nov 07, 2008, 04:23 pm

Hi Heaven

Thank you so much for your feedback, it was greatly appreciated, nice to know others feel similar to myself. Where abouts I'm guessing in melbourne are you studying your Cert 3 and HACC? Are you enjoying the studies thus far, how long do you have left? Are you hoping to do agency work when you're finished? Sorry for all the questions!

Thanks again,




  • Joined: Oct 2008
  • Location: QLD
  • Posts: 44

Nov 11, 2008, 05:49 pm

Hi Rachel,

I have a lot of aged care experience at a different level BUT I do know what it feels like being in an agency.
As an RN, I did it for a year BUT one becomes 'selective' about the places to accept the shifts at. Some establishments
can unfortunately find themselves with a reputation and if it is bad, well, they don't attract the good staff or the agency nurses.
Being agency, you can say 'yes' or 'no' to a place. The places where morale is poor are very difficult to want to work in (the
one place you describe sounds very sad as if the management are NOT supporting the staff). Believe me, in my area I have
worked all the aged care facilities and some are better than others. Stick at it as our older people deserve the SAFE CARE that
you obvious wish to lend them. I wish you well :)



  • Joined: Sep 2007
  • Location: Melbourne Victoria
  • Posts: 25

Nov 16, 2008, 07:21 pm

Hi Rachael.

I too worked Agency as a PCA many years ago. And also got abused by Div 1's, 2's other PCA's and even patient's. I hated Agency and vowed never to do Agency work again as it was not worth the risk to my personal, and patient's, safety and mental health too!.

That was until I became an RN and found, after much asking about first, the Caring for You Nursing Agency. And I can not recommend then highly enough. They are an outstanding, supportive and RESPECTED Agency group in Melbourne and Queensland. I am in awe at how much understanding and assisitance they offer. Never once have I had ANY trouble what-so-ever working for Caring for You.

I want to repeat again too, that the Agency and it's staff receive nothing but the highest respect from fellow staff member's from the Agency but the places you get to work.

They accept PCA's. Div 1's and 2's.

There are a lot of bodgy Agencies and I am truelly sorry that you had so a dreadful experience. I would actually report the Home as they are placing resident's safety at risk by not passing on basic info, as they should, to assist you in assisiting the resident's.



  • Joined: Jan 2009
  • Location:
  • Posts: 2

Jan 06, 2009, 03:36 pm

I too like Rach have experienced similar circumstances where lifting is concerned and other staff not beig very nice, do you think they might feel threatened by you

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