any feedback on self-scheduling appreciated!

Nurses General Nursing


Our med/surg unit just began self-scheduling. I am looking for others who use this on their units...and how they feel about it. Any input is greatly appreciated!! (thanks to those who already responded)

We started self-scheduling several years ago and it can work real good when you have enough staff. When your staff #s are at the bare bones, it is difficult, everyone is stressed out and no one wants to be the first one to give on anything. Our manager started doing our schedule again about 3 months ago and we are finally getting to trial the self-scheduling again.

Get your rules figured out first. AND, PUT IT IN WRITING, with lots of copies around, so no one can dispute what was said and it won't disappear (and ok the rules with your manager so you have the boss's backing if someone chooses to complain). Who is working what weekends? We have to work 3 mondays or fridays, or any mixture thereof every 6 weeks. You need to figure out your holiday schedules early, so that you can all be planning and see who wants to switch, if any do (we started by looking at who worked what last year and switched it for this year). Determine how many people need to be on each day and let everyone know that if everyone doesn't help to make the minimum staff/day then changes will be made before the final schedule is put out. Our charge nurse ultimately made sure the schedule was filled in and shifts were evenly distributed. It helped us to all "own" the process by taking turns doing the proctoring. It made everyone realize just how much work went into getting a schedule to work. It also helped to keep track of how many changes each person made to get the schedule finalized, you could easily tell who wasn't helping and that person usually didn't like it that you'd started keeping up with how many changes they'd made. And, yes, we all need a bend in the rules now and then, but you really need to enforce them, or one or two will have the schedule they want all the time without making any changes, and it will cause resentment in those who make several changes for the unit.

Good luck on getting it to work!!! And, remind everyone that if they don't make it work, that someone else may be doing their schedule again for them. That usually puts a little boost into the helpfullness. biggrin.gif

Forgot a very important thing: deadlines! How many weeks in advance of beginning do you want your schedule to be finalized and out to the staff? Ours got so that we got it a week before it started. I never did like that, I prefer to know what I'm doing at least 2-3 weeks before the schedule started. That means everyone has to get their date books out EARLY. And, put it somewhere in your rules that if you don't have a schedule down at all a week before your deadline that the charge nurse (or whoever is ultimately responsible) will create your schedule for you and you will need to find your own changes after the schedule is finalized. That last one will nip in the bud those few who never put a schedule down, or complete it and you have to call them to try to get it every time.

Self scheduling works well after you get the hang of it. We have "set" schedules including working every other weekend.The schedule repeats itself every two weeks. Everyone either works a Monday or a Friday with their weekend, even if you are a part-timer. The only time this is altered is if there is a CE, holiday and during primetimes in the summer (only if vacation needs neccesitate a change)The nurses are responsible for getting someone to trade if something falls on their day to work. We fill out a "trade" form, so the manager and charge nurses can make the schedule changes. Having set schedules help all of us to plan our personal time in the future. In most unionized environments, the "new" schedule comes out 2 weeks before the end of the current one. If the unit decides on set schedules it also allows for plan sheets that can be done for the whole year and as requests for vacations and holidays are approved by the manager early in the year, they can be made accessible to the staff, so you can see what your chances are of getting time off and it helps everyone to get a fair chance at time off. I agree that the staff needs to vote on the rules and that they need to be written down for reference. This also helps you to explain it to new staff as they come on board.

+ Add a Comment