1. The agency I am working for has a scheduler who works in the office. She is responsible for scheduling visits to keep everyone on quota for visits. She spends her day in the office with all the clich group. I get so frustrated that I want to scream! It seems she has no common sense when she schedules our visits. My visits are an average of 25 to 45 miles apart which makes for a very long day. Last week, I drove 53 miles to do a routine visit. I talked with another nurse and found that she had driven to the same far away location on the very same day. This is stupid and definitely a poor use of resources. There are many, many issues that boil down to problems with the scheduler. She does a good job to make sure productivity points are met and so therefore is admired by the office staff. Issues with scheduling are not realized by our supervisory staff but they ALWAYS defend the scheduler and not really seem to care that we spend the majority of our day driving and end up being out in the field for 10-11 hours and then go home and finish the paperwork. Just recently called a patient I was going to admit and told them there was no problem with me being there by 9:00am the next day. The next day was the day for Case Conference which begins promptly at 9:00am. Our Branch Manager is very strict about attendance at Case Conference. So, the night before, I emailed the Branch Manager to let her know I would not be able to be at Case Conference that morning because the scheduler "promised" the patient that I would be there no later than 9:00am. I received an e-mail being scolded for not being at Case Conference. I can only be at one place at a time!! I felt being on time for the patient more of a priority. I attached the email I had received from the scheduler telling me that I MUST be at the home by 9:00am but apparently the Branch Manager did not read the entire email and just went off on that I would not be able to attend Case Conference. This is crazy and I just do not feel it was fair of me to get this scolding. It should have been addressed to the scheduler for making the promise to the patient as she KNOWS Case Conference is on Thursday mornings. She just once again did use common sense and of course was protected by the office staff. So far, I have not responded to the email and deleted it because it really ticked me off and pretty much ruined the rest of my day. I also have not talked with the scheduler because I was concerned I would raise my voice and be accused of "hassling" the office staff who seem to never do anything wrong. What would you all have done?
  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   KelRN215
    I am an in-office Case Manager and field nurse. I do scheduling in that when I get a new order for a patient, I make sure there is a nurse to see the patient that day but, for the most part, we self-schedule. The field nurses who follow their primary patients all do their own scheduling and even when I "schedule" a nurse to see a patient, the nurse calls the family herself to set up the time. I don't think it makes any sense for anyone but the nurse doing the visits to set up the time and decide the order of visits.
  4. by   AnnemRN
    I've worked for agencies that use a scheduler and I fully understand the problems you're dealing with. I would approach the branch manager in person and tell her the scheduler created a scheduling conflict by telling the pt you would be at the home at 9am. I know you attached the scheduler's email, but I would approach the manager because she ignored your email.

    I would also let her know the ongoing problems you're having with the schedule and be specific. I would add that sending 2 nurses to the same location 50 miles away on the same day ended up costing the agency double in mileage and driving time. I think by focusing on how much poor scheduling is costing the agency will make her pay attention to what you're saying instead of her thinking you have a personal problem with the scheduler.

    I've had the same complaints in the past when I worked for an agency that had a scheduler and no real scheduling system in place. The nurses I worked with all complained before anything changed. We eventually changed to assigning pt visits by zip code and keeping the nurse assignment within the same or neighboring zip codes. It not only made the nurses happier, but it saved the agency a ton of money.