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Temporary Agencies Often Employ Incompetent Nurses

The Los Angeles Times reports some firms that supply temporary nurses to the nation's hospitals are taking shortcuts in their screening and supervision.  An investigation found numerous instances in which staffing agencies skimped on background checks or ignored warnings from other hospitals.  These practices put seriously ill patients in the hands of incompetent or impaired caregivers.  As a result, some temporary nurses with documented histories of poor care fall asleep on the job, fail to perform critical tests or have stolen drugs.  With limited regulations, workers can jump from place to place to avoid the consequences of their misconduct.  Failings in the temporary industry are also magnified because nurses are in particularly short supply.