Originally posted by sjoe
Very often, a facility has to decide between a policy of short-staffing and one of mandatory overtime.
There is a surprising amount of truth to this statement in my experience.
When a company desires to manufacture widgets and considers an area for expansion of production, they always carefully analyze the available workforce. In healthcare, however, the quantity and quality of the available workforce is often little more than an afterthought; "Growing services" is the mantra.
On more than one occasion I have observed entire healthcare facilities constructed, multi million dollar investments, only to discover upon completion that there was not sufficient qualified workers (primarily nurses) available to staff the place-----or at least at the "competitive" wages that they were willing to pay.
And although new facilties provide the most dramatic examples, I believe we have all seen facilities with numerous seemingly unfillable vacancies attempt major service expansions with similar results.
So yes, with that type of planning it becomes more likely that short staffing and/or MOT are the only solutions. Of course that's because quality of care considerations then become secondary to keeping all available beds open, not going on divert status, reducing reliance on agency usage etc.
Another alternative available to employers would be to meaningfully strive to become the area's employer of choice---that is, offer the best work environment, wages and benefits etc such that "everyone" wants to work there.
My point is---employers who feel short staffing and MOT are their ONLY alternatives need to get honest about how they ended up that way.