Holiday policies- what does your unit do?

  1. How do you guys work out the holidays? Are they mandated? If so, how many are you required to work? Do you use the lottery system? Ranking most wanted to least wanted? We've been given the opportunity to try something new and we're looking for suggestions, particularly for night shift.

    Currently, nights works a bit differently from days. We are put on Plan Blue or Plan Red- One plan works the night before Thanksgiving, Christmas Night, etc. and the other plan works opposite. The issue we're having is twofold:

    1) For Thanksgiving, night shift gets SCREWED. If you work the night before, you are coming off of a 12 hour shift- who wants to celebrate after that? If you work the night of, you are supposed to be sleeping during the day when everyone is celebrating.

    2) For Christmas you cannot go out of town, etc. You either work Eve or Night, no exceptions, rather than Eve and Night one year, then off for both the next year.

    I am intensely curious as to how others do this. What do you do about new people/new grads? Do employees who've been there get any special treatment after so many years, or do all employees get the same deal?

    Thanks!
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   mom2michael
    Our shift cordinator allows us to specify what holiday we would like when we sign up for our shifts (we self schedule). This however is subject to change and the final decision is hers. We do our fall/winter holidays early, like in Aug or Sept. so people can make plans if they need to. They look at the last year to see who worked what and she tries to be fair. If no one will opt to work the holiday at all - she'll assign on her own but really I've never seen it to be a problem.

    New nurses to the floor, you would think would get shafted the most, however she tries to be fair and makes sure that everyone gets their fair share of holidays. PRN people are required to work 2 major and 2 minor holidays per year in order to stay PRN, so a lot of time that frees up the regular staff to have the time off if they want it. We also have an in house agency that also has to meet certain holiday guidelines in order to stay at the high pay rate. We also have weekend only employees as well that work our floor - so if the holiday falls on a weekend.......

    Really - the fall/winter holidays were not a big deal this year on our floor, everyone seemed to pick the one that worked the best for them and it seem to go over without incident.
  4. by   NICU_Nurse
    Thanks! I was beginning to think no one was reading this!
  5. by   bethin
    A list is put up. On top of paper is list of holidays. Running down the side of paper is the shifts. Pick your day and your shift. We are required to work one holiday, 8 hour shift only on holidays.

    I chose to work Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. What I signed up for before was always granted but not this year. But I'm weekend option. So what I chose was thrown out the window and now I'm working all holidays except for Christmas Day. Oh, and I'm working 12 hour shifts even though my contract states that I only have to work 8 hour shifts and one holiday. I also did Easter, Labor Day, Memorial Day, and July 4th.

    Think I'm getting the shaft. I'd say something but she'd scream at me like she has others. Did I mention there are people not doing any holidays? Yes, there are and they did not request them off either so I consider them fair game. I haven't been able to celebrate New Years since 2000.
  6. by   kimmicoobug
    What our union contract says is that we have to work 2 holidays a year. However, our director seems to play favorites and gives certain people holidays off every year. Our Christmas is considered the 24th going into the 25th. Last year, I worked both the 24th into the 25th even though I was sick with a terrible head cold. My supervisor took me off for the 25th going into the 26th.
    Now, mind you, I would normally call in when super sick, but of course my director takes people off and doesn't bother to find replacements, so we were working short, so I felt obligated to be there. So, this year she has me scheduled to work, even though technically it isn't my turn...Oh did I mention that I also worked Thanksgiving, and New year's and every single Easter since I was hired.
    The other units in my hospital are a bit more fair and rotate.
  7. by   canoehead
    We alternate working with not working each holiday. If you worked it last year you are off this year. New people get absorbed into the schedule where needed, and trading is allowed amongst ourselves so long as the days are covered.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    we alternate from one year to the next. those who did not work at Christmas last year, can plan to do so this year....and vice versa. same for Thanksgiving. I think that is more than fair.
  9. by   augigi
    Same. Although we did it with Xmas and New Year's eve, as we don't have Thanksgiving.
  10. by   jo272wv
    Ours was pretty fair this year, the nurse manager put out a holiday list and we numbered one to five in the order we wanted them off. I placed christmas eve as one and got it, christmas day as two but have to work, thanksgiving as three and worked it. News years eve and day are not scheduled yet. If you have to work the holiday and census is down the call off and on call go by longest years worked. All in all so far so good.
  11. by   Mulan
    They put up a holiday sign up sheet, and you put your first choice, second choice, etc. down.

    They try to accommodate and give people what they want.
  12. by   BJLynn
    We either work Christmas Eve, or Day. Same for NewYears. Thankgiving was a crapshoot basically.

    If you got scheduled to work a holiday you did not want to work (for instance I got scheduled to work Christmas Eve, and didn't want to work it but didn't mind working Christmas) our DON let us switch.
  13. by   nursemary9
    Hi

    I have to say that I am a nite worker. We have a different policy--sort of--on nites.
    #1 We have NOTHING to say about what Holiday we work; It's every other holiday and it reverses from year to year.
    For example If I'm off on New Years then I work the next Holiday--Memorial Day; then Off again on July 4th; work Labor day; off Thanksgiving--work Christmas
    The next year it reverses.

    #2 There is NO consideration for the number of years worked. (I am with the Company 36 yrs--means NOTHING).

    #3 If you work day shift, you're Holiday is on the Holiday.
    HOWEVER---& this is the part I REALLY HATE---The nite shift Holiday is the NIGHT BEFORE THE HOLIDAY!! So MY Thanksgiving Holiday is Wed. nite.
    I had to work Thanksgiving, so I had to work on Wed. nite. I was able to use a PTO day, tho on Thursday--which I did.
    I am off Christmas so that means I'm off Christmas Eve, but have to work Xmas nite. get it??

    It CONFUSES me to no end!!

    #4. From Dec 15th thru Jan. 15th we are not allowed to take a vacation--altho we can use a day or two pf our PTO time.

    We can exchange with other people, tho--if you can find someone to do an exchange.

    It's kind of confusing, but that's how it is.

    New people coming in, they have no say in which Holiday rotation they'll be on---it's where ever they are needed. Either Group A or Group B.

    That's it

    Sorry it's confusing, but even after many years it confuses me!!

    Oh, sorry, we only have one Christmas Holiday & one New Years Holiday--not Eve & Day

    mary Ann

    PS I work in Chicago in a large level one Trauma center, teaching hospital
    Last edit by nursemary9 on Nov 29, '06
  14. by   Antikigirl
    Last month we all filled out a sheet on what holidays we were willing to work (had to pick two!), on a scale of 1-4. I picked thanksgiving (yeahhhhhh didn't have to cook!) eve (I work swings), and Christmas eve (hubby will be home with the kids, and then he works Christmas day...and I have that off to be with the kids). So I have Christmas day, New years eve day and new years day off!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!

    I had to giggle the other day...I went to work and asked if I could wear a santa hat on Christmas eve for fun...the charge nurse said "I don't know...what about our pts that don't celebrate it...that is getting to close to religious preference". I nodded and stood next to the brightly decorated Christmas tree we had in the lobby..and said "really..wow!". We both laughed!!!!!!

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