Quote from beewink
You really can't take into account the sudden death of a family member, and I don't see how you could schedule for it. Same with the rest of the examples you gave. There is no reason that employees can't have a set schedule - but they would be expected to adjust said schedule in the event of the above situations. That's realistic. You could have a set schedule that alternates biweekly - Wed, Thurs, Fri one week, Sun, Mon, Tues the next. Why would that be so uncalled for? We really don't do a great job of taking care of ourselves, (or each other), in the nursing field...
I think that the fact that you can't take these things into account was the point of the post you quoted. Thus, schedules would need to change at times.
It is definitely possible to have set schedules, understanding that they would need to change to cover openings in the event of those things already mentioned. The problem with them is that you will NEVER make everyone happy with the schedule that they get.
There is just no way to make a schedule that gives everyone even close to what they want, unless maybe you have a really small department and everyone can work it out among themselves.
I have worked where there was self-scheduling and set schedules, and both have had problems with some people really liking their schedules and others really resentful that they don't have the schedule that they want.