Is there a good method to decide who works what holiday?

  1. In the years before I was a mother I used to always volunteer to work Christmas, Halloween, etc.........once I became a mother I worked nights to be able to be home with my kids on the holidays. Now I'm about to become a grandmother and am stressing already about what holidays I'll have to work next year knowing it will be the first year my grandson will be opening his own presents and I sure as heck would like to be off this Christmas as well. Going back to nights is definately NOT an option.

    Where I work, every year they ask us to turn in a sheet with which holiday we would like to be off and in which order 1 thru 3. Well it doesn't matter what you put down. If you worked Thanksgiving last year you'll be off this year and work Christmas and visa versa. The one who makes out the schedule does not work any holidays. None the whole year, nor does she work any weekends. Although I do like her very much I think it is so UNFAIR! I complained to my NM who told me oh no she worked every holiday last year and one weekend each month. I don't think so, I didn't see her. Well she took call for me every holiday. Big deal. The censes is low on the holidays and we always end up cancelling staff and putting staff on call. Even when were busy the NM or whoever has call never has to come in, so I repeat BIG DEAL. I was told that the DON is good friends with the person who makes out the schedule and she has approved her not working weekends or holidays in order to have her stay. But no one else can have that same offer because it would not be fair. :angryfire I venting now, can you tell? :angryfire anyway, how does your floor handle the holidays? We tried signing up for them ourselves but it didn't work out because the majority wouldn't sign up for anything other than New Years Day or New Years Eve. Although I really like my job and the people I work with I'm seriously considering changing jobs. I'm starting orientation to Home Health on Tues on a PRN basis.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   achot chavi
    If working holidays is such a problem than change venues because it is part of the job and everyone has to chip in. Yes it is infuriating when the NM plays favorites and doesn't cut the pie fairly but.... it happens in every facility unless there is an effort to be fair. I understand that there are nurses who dont need to work holidays such as school nurses etc. Sometimes there are nurses who WANT the extra dough and might want to take over your shift! Try early to auction off your shift if its that important to you, but remember, patients need nurses on holidays too and its not fair unless we all pitch in. We dont work in a gift shop that closes when it chooses!
    By the way I once brought my kids with me one holiday and the patients had a real kick out of it as you sail the unit was 'light' and not busy, so they did not disturb. LOL
  4. by   Tweety
    We self-schedule all year long, so we continue to attempt to self-schedule along the holidays. So the manager takes into consideration what you've signed up for. But if enough people don't sign up, preference is given to those who worked it the year prior. It usually works out with most of us getting what we ask and a few people angry.

    It's also complicated by the per diem people who only have to work one holiday and the rest of us staff having to pick up more holidays. But it's our choice to be staff or not.

    Good luck.
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from achot chavi
    but remember, patients need nurses on holidays too and its not fair unless we all pitch in. We dont work in a gift shop that closes when it chooses!
    My point is that "not everyone does pitch in". I'm just really irritated now. Sorry, nothing personal. Thanks for your reply.
  6. by   fergus51
    I think the fairest solution is to rotate holidays. If you worked it last year, you should get first dibbs at having it off this year. No one should have to work 2 Christmases in a row regardless of seniority IMO, though if they volunteer that's fine.
  7. by   Tweety
    Quote from fergus51
    I think the fairest solution is to rotate holidays. If you worked it last year, you should get first dibbs at having it off this year. No one should have to work 2 Christmases in a row regardless of seniority IMO, though if they volunteer that's fine.

    I like the preference one better. I prefer Thanksgiving because I invite my parents down and it's a tradition for us since I've moved. So far I've gotten every Thanksgiving off for about ten years, but I have worked every Xmas by choice too. More people are happy this way.

    I don't expect someone to work two Thanksgivings in a row against their will for me to get it off just because I have family coming from 1000 miles away. I'll work it if scheduled.

    But I agree, no one should have to work two Xmas's in a row unless they choose to, it should be rotated in cases where there isn't enough volunteers who express a preference to work and have another holiday off.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 22, '05
  8. by   fergus51
    Quote from Tweety
    I like the preference one better. I prefer Thanksgiving because I invite my parents down and it's a tradition for us since I've moved. So far I've gotten every Thanksgiving off for about ten years, but I have worked every Xmas by choice too. More people are happy this way.

    But I agree, no one should have to work two Xmas's in a row unless they choose to, it should be rotated in cases where there isn't enough volunteers who express a preference to work and have another holiday off.
    In my experience, no one has a problem if they want to work Xmas and not Thanksgiving every year. It's the other way around that would be impossible. When I worked at a facility that rotated, you could just put a note up in the breakroom offering to work Xmas for someone if they worked Thanksgiving for you.
  9. by   jmgrn65
    in our hospital everyone has to work 3 holidays it is divided into two groups, staff are put into a group and that is the holiday. Basically it works out that you work everyother holiday. and next year it changes so you don't work the same holiday everyyear. If i can remember correctly group 1 newyears day, july 4 thanksgiving, group 2 memorial day labor day and christmas. If you work christmas we generally give off christmas eve. People trade if they don't want to work thier holiday.
  10. by   sdavis56
    i've been at the same hosp. for 20 yrs(great place to work!) we have always alternated holidays, one year you work christmas eve, next yr you work christmas, one year you work new yrs eve, next yr-new years day, if you work thanksgiving this yr, you are off next yr. if you are unhappy with your shift you can trade with your co-workers but it does not change your rotation for the next year. this has worked great for our unit. we don't differentiate-you have kids/you don't to factor in to what you should work, that would really open up "a can of worms".
    good luck in what works best for you to resolve this issue.
  11. by   unknown99
    We work every other holiday, with the rotation changing at labor day. That way it is fair. If someone is scheduled to work a holiday, if they call off, then they lose their right to holiday pay. If a person is scheduled to work a holiday and they want it off, they can always trade with someone who is willing. We have had fairly good success doing this.
  12. by   Daytonite
    Most of the hospitals I worked at had 6 official holidays. They were split so you worked every other one. Each year you were scheduled off for three. Then the next year you were scheduled to have the other three off. One of the nursing departments kept an accounting of what holidays every nursing employee worked that would have made an accountant proud. The reason the lists go up over the winter holidays is because most places have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's as their holidays. These are a big drain on their staffing because they occur so closely and people have to be scheduled to work to cover for those who have off. Also, some people would rather have the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve. A lot of places do the lists to get an idea of who wants what. A really nice person who does the staffing will often try to work your holiday with one of your regular days off to give you two or even three days off together around one of the holidays you have off. It's sometimes easier to get yourself scheduled for the days off you would like, if you can do it instead of depending on having to swap holidays with another employee. Christmas and New Year's are the worst. It seems like everyone wants Christmas off. I used to trade off Christmas in order to get a promise from someone that they would work July 4th for me. If you want to work in holiday heaven, work for a V.A. hospital. They recognize all the legal holidays--something like 15 or 16 of them during the year. Woo-hoo!
  13. by   Tweety
    Quote from fergus51
    In my experience, no one has a problem if they want to work Xmas and not Thanksgiving every year. It's the other way around that would be impossible. When I worked at a facility that rotated, you could just put a note up in the breakroom offering to work Xmas for someone if they worked Thanksgiving for you.

    Agree. But it would be nice to spare the drama of having to put up that note every other year, although it wouldn't be much drama. A lot of young people also want New Years Day off for partying and work Xmas and I've seen people get Xmas off more than one year in a row in the self-scheduling method. But definately I agree preference first to those who want it off and worked the year before.

    This year will be interesting. I'm the only one signed up for Xmas. The Thanksgiving schedule is out and I'm off again, so I'm happy.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 23, '05
  14. by   meownsmile
    We used to do the preferential 1-5 method. But some it seemed never got what they wanted. So they switched to every other method and it has worked. Everyone knows a year in advance what holidays they will be scheduled for and can make plans accordingly. If they want a switch with someone that is their choice and both people have to agree, but that usually doesnt happen.
    Usually on holidays our census is low enough they dont actually have to have the staff they schedule, so there is always a possiblity that you may get the day off due to low census. Then it is a first ask, first off basis, with people willing to take vacation time or accumulated holiday time having first availablity.

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