Holiday staffing

  1. OK, please tell how your unit decides who is working what holiday, and who is off first.

    In many places I have worked, we always started a wish list. Then the scheduler(s) usually plugged people in according to seniority for 1st, second, and third choice.

    The we passed around a wish list for what shift we would like to be cancelled for first if possible.

    Also, in reading some posts about thanksgiving, it seems like many of you are working part of all 3 holidays? So, my next question is are you given both xmas and the eve off, or NY and the eve off, or could you be stuck working both eves, and one holiday? We always treated them as a package deal, even though we didn't get OT for ther eves, we always gave the nurse either both the eve and the day, OR her choice of one eve and the other "unmatching" day.

    OK, now let me ask you what you think of this RIDICULOUS staffing idea.

    I am in HH, I am scheduled for xmas as my holiday to work (good news, in HH we only have to work 1 winter and 1 summer holiday, all staff.) Anyway, I am per diem, so not in the union. However, evrything revolves around union stupidity. Sorry, but that is true.

    A wish list you say? Oh no, that would be too easy. This is the way they do holidays. Every single nurse who is due to work Christams must come in to work. Every nurse is given like 3 visits to do, or one admit. I mean, why roll out of bed for that? For crying out loud, I begged them on labor day to let me work a full day and give someone off. BUT, according to union rules, it would have to be the person with the highest seniority, and they didn't think that was fair for the same person/people to get off every holiday. (DUH! Hello union nurses, why don't you CHANGE the rule??) NO that makes too much sense!

    On Labopr day, I came in along with about 7 other nurses. Out of my 4 revisits, only 2 agreed to visits. Around the room, other nurses didn't have much more luck. 2 nurses had every pt refuse a holiday visit. So, I am thinking, 4 of them could have stayed at home with their families and not dragged their butts out of bed for nothing!!

    Guys, I do NOT want this to happen to me on Christmas. When I was doing the holiday staffing on Christmas, I called every pt the day or even 2 before, yes even if in their hospital room, to see if they had family, would be "available" for a visit, etc. Out of about 18 new referrals, 2 needed/wanted visits. I suggested the sup at VNA do this. OH no, that is too much work. BUT, not if you get all the supervisors to make the calls! I am seriously thinking about that cold I may develop, since obviously, there will be more nurses than needed to show up to work.

    Now that I am done kvetching, how about you? You want to beech about the holiday schedule?
  2. Visit hoolahan profile page

    About hoolahan

    Joined: Dec '99; Posts: 3,786; Likes: 129
    Quality Nurse & Home Health Nurse


  3. by   radnurse2001
    I am fortunate enough to work with only two other nurses but, this is how we delegate holiday call--- I am the only one with kids, which is nice because they want new years off. If you take Thanksgiving, you are on call Thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday. For Christmas, Its the day before Christmas eve, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, and the day after. The same thing goes for New year's--That way we get the whole holiday off. Would your supervisors let you work from home on Christmas? That way you can make the calls, be available by beeper, and still have time with your family. You have probably looked in to this already, but it's just an suggestion. Maybe this could work on other holidays too. Good Luck---
  4. by   psnurse
    I will attempt to explain how we do holidays, but it gets complex. So if I stop making sense....... well you will have to ask questions.

    We maintain a holiday rotation list. Everyone is required to work every other holiday (our facility recognizes 6). So usually what happens are the holidays are overstaffed BIG TIME. So the scheduler can go by seniority and start asking who wants to shift their holiday to another day during the week. Usually there is enough takers, these people work another day during the week for holiday pay (2 1/2 times).

    If you are not one of the ones who has been there since the cornerstone was laid, you can request off. This is handled on a points system. The points are maintained by the staffing office. If you come in extra you get points, if you stay late you get points, if you go home because of overstaffing you get points. Get the picture. The one requesting off with the most points wins the prized day off. But you never know until the day and the unit needs are evaluated.

    The regular charge nurses work every other holiday but.......

    Our relief charge nurses get this perk.... they only have to work 2 holidays per year to everyone else's 3. And they ask me why I do it!! The relief charge nurses also get to choose which holidays they wish to work. Last year I was to work July 4th and Labor Day. However, since the facility pays 2 1/2 times for holidays, someone usually wants the money more than me, so I traded off July 4th, and requested off Labor Day. I had to work 8 of the 12 hours on Labor Day, so I worked 8 total holiday hours all year. I was off Thanksgiving, and will be off Christmas. Was to work New Years, but am going per diem, and our per diems have no holiday requirement or weekend requirement.

    This discrepancy between the regular charge nurses and the relief charge nurses may seem unfair, but our regular charge nurse traded holiday deal to keep from working any weekends.

    Also Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, and the Friday after Thanksgiving are not considered holidays and no one is required to work them are part of any holiday rotation.
  5. by   hoolahan
    HI rad,

    Well, yes, I could make the calls from home, but here is what happens when I used to go in Friday night to pick up charts from Saturday. They ask me to call the pt's first. So, if someone isn't home they can give me another assignment, OK that's cool. Unitl I am there for 2 hours making phone calls whicxh as far as I am concerned it si the sup's job to make. One of the sup's I think just uses me to make calls, then "changes her mind" and gives it to someone else. This is all on my own time BTW. So, I have stopped going in the eve before. Esp since that is Christmas eve, I will be darned if I will get stuck making calls the lazy supervisor should! Then if the people aren't home, I end up getting mnore and more charts, calls to make, and it never ends. So, if I go, I'll have to take my chances in the am like everyone else.

    psnurse. I LOVE the points system! How very fair. So, if you give to them, you finally DO get a reward, if possible.

    Like you pointed out, with the VNA, the problem is big time overstaffing!! God forbid they should do something logical. I e-mailed the shop steward about a proposed change in their policy. I mean why should I get screwed b/c of the union I am not even in, and get NO benefits from? It's just not a well-thought-out system, like your obviously is!! Wow, it is planned too! Fair and square though, everyone will know eher they stand for sure! I just LOVE efficiency!
  6. by   Riseupandnurse
    Holiday staffing in the hospital where I work is handled by the holiday rotation list. All full time and part time nurses are either "A" or "B." We have six holidays, and the rotation changes with Thanksgiving each year. People can sign a request list for time off on or around the holiday. At Christmas this is the whole week, and also New Year's week. They'll let you know (supposedly) an hour before the shift if you get off, which is determined by seniority. On Thanksgiving last week, the only nurse who got off on my floor wasn't told about it and had to dress and come in before she found she got it off. And she was the lucky one.
    What I really hate about it is that Christmas Eve and Christmas are both considered holidays, and so are New Year's and New Year's Eve. So you're either working one or the other, and even if you get off (which you won't) you aren't told about it until just before the shift starts. My family and my husband's all live at least five hours drive away. So my kids never got to spend Christmas or New Year's with their cousins while they were little. I will always hate the hospital for that. And yes, I am leaving patient care as soon as I can swing it.
  7. by   ucavalpn
    I work Home Health for a VA . We don't work w-ends or holidays , so no problem. I used to work as a staff nurse . at the same hospital. On the units I worked it was every other holiday . If you had Christmas off one year , You got Thanksgiving the next. If you wanted to change with someone that was o.k. as long as you both agreed . Or you could vol. to work. I would usually work Christmas , for someone who had little ones . My daughter is grown and we do "Christmas" on Christmas eve. Always vol'ed for New Years /EVE as well . I'm not to much for the party thing .
  8. by   deespoohbear
    We are suppose to work every other holiday but some people get "special" treatment and manage to get off their scheduled holidays. I worked Thanksgiving, so I will have Christmas off. I am working 7-3 on Christmas Eve. Seniority doesn't matter, just who in management you can kiss up to!!
  9. by   cmggriff
    I've always worked ICU's or ER's. Different policies at every hospital it seems. The thing is we just did things to suit ourselves.
    I always wanted off Christmas eve so I could be home in the am on Christmas. Someone else always wanted the opposite, so we traded if the sup didn't see fit to schedule that way. I have been indiferent to every other holiday, so I always traded with anyone who asked. There always seemed to someone on the staff willing to do that.
    As far as the Union thing, man I would think you guys could work that out. Of course it is flu season. Gary
  10. by   psnurse
    Yes hoolahan,

    The points system is a nice thing if you are requesting off. It eliminates all those nasty little conversations about who is who's favorite.

    The other side of it doesn't make everyone as happy. This same point systmen is used to decide who goes home on adequate staff time if no one is requesting off. Again, the most points wins. So in that way, it might not be ideal. Those who love to pick up extra time don't always want to go home, even if it is their turn.

    But let's face it.... the above situation almost NEVER happens. There is usually at least one person willing to go home early or take an unplanned day off.

    But it is all written down. It is systematic. And everyone knows the rules in advance.