self scheduling

  1. Hi everyone! Our unit has about 50 night shift (we do 12 hr shifts) and we recently went to self scheduling, but what we are doing is not really self scheduling. We are currently using tracks, in which everyone has a set repeating schedule. The problem with them is that they are unbalanced, forcing the scheduling committee to move people. This causes a lot of friction. My question is for people who are doing real self scheduling. How does it work for you? What are the rules/guidelines that your unit uses to be fair? Do you go by seniority or assigned groups? How do you make sure that all days (weekends, mondays and fridays) are covered? Thanks in advance for your time.
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    About Natalie_appau

    Joined: Sep '10; Posts: 1
    Staff RN; from US
    Specialty: 13 year(s) of experience in NICU

    6 Comments

  3. by   cindyloulou
    I work nights on a tele unit. We do 12 hour shifts and self schedule. We have to pick up 3 weekend nights per 4 week scheduling period. Otherwise we get to pick and choose. If we absolutely cannot work on certain days, we put an "R" for reserved. This is great as long you don't overuse this during the month. To have our shifts not moved around too much, the staff looks at the schedule and tries to fill in the gaps where needed. We usually need 8 nurses per night so if there is a night where there is only 5, we will try to work it out amongst ourselves, otherwise the manager will do it to make sure there is adequate coverage each night. We try to make it work because self-scheduling is the best when it does work. Now, there will be occasions when you cannot please everyone, but I would say 80% of the time, everyone is happy.
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    i work in an icu. we do "self scheduling" by groups. nightshifters get first pick all the time, rotaters either get second or third pick. and then we also do on call. again, nightshifters get first pick every time, rotaters alternate between getting second or last crack at the schedule. when all is said and done, management balances the schedule. depending upon whether your star is ascending or descending and how well you followed the rules, your schedule may or may not be recognizable when they're finished.

    there are 7 paid holidays, and we work every other. so this year i have christmas off, but work ny. have mlk day off but work memorial day . . . etc. everyone works two weekends out of six, and everyone works two mondays and two fridays. if you're new you work 50/50 ams and pms. the longer you stay, the fewer nights you have to work. i work four in six weeks. usually. sometimes i get really sick of visitors and work more nights.

    my only complaint -- and it's a huge one -- is that the same group of people always get first crack and the schedule and first crack at on call so they never have to worry about getting five days off in a row to go see granny in wichita or their favorite band 200 miles away. and if you're not in that group, you have to have approved vacation time in order to be sure of not having to pull a call shift in the middle of the five days you carefully arranged to have off to hop a quick flight to bermuda.

    if you can avoid having one "a" list who always get what they want and a "b" list who have to take what they get, it makes for a lot less hard feelings.
  5. by   RN-ing
    I work nights on a 36-bed ICU. Our staff is separated into 3 groups, randomly-assigned. We rotate which group puts in their schedule first. For example, the order will be group 1 puts their schedule in first, the group 2, then group 3. The following scheule, group 2 will go first, then group 3, then group 1. Whatever group goes first gets whatever schedule they put in, guranteed. If management has to move people, they start with the second scheduling group. The third scheduling group gets moved the most.
    It stays fair because every 3 or so months you get a perfect schedule, and every 3 or so months you get screwwed on your schedule!
    Every group must work 3 weekend shifts, 1 Sunday and 2 on call shifts per month.
    We do not request off shifts outside of vacations using PTO. We do a lot of switching, and every seems happy with the scheduling process.
    Hope this helps!
  6. by   proudnurseRN
    Quote from cindyloulou
    I work nights on a tele unit. We do 12 hour shifts and self schedule. We have to pick up 3 weekend nights per 4 week scheduling period. Otherwise we get to pick and choose. If we absolutely cannot work on certain days, we put an "R" for reserved. This is great as long you don't overuse this during the month. To have our shifts not moved around too much, the staff looks at the schedule and tries to fill in the gaps where needed. We usually need 8 nurses per night so if there is a night where there is only 5, we will try to work it out amongst ourselves, otherwise the manager will do it to make sure there is adequate coverage each night. We try to make it work because self-scheduling is the best when it does work. Now, there will be occasions when you cannot please everyone, but I would say 80% of the time, everyone is happy.
    The way we do it is similar. We do have an "A" and "B" group, those switch. However, no matter what group you are in there's a good chance you may get move one scheduled day. To me, that's not too bad. There are other units in the hospital that use the "a,b,c" groups- where one group is not changed, one is changed a little, and one is changed a lot. I prefer our method, just getting together and working it out.
  7. by   Abbygirl09
    We do self scheduling for 12 hour shifts as well. Each person must work 1 monday and 2 fridays for each 4 week schedule. We have set weekends, every third weekend I work (2 off, 1 on). Otherwise we try to pick the days we want while balancing the needs of the floor. For each 4 weeks we can put two request off days. We schedule on a computer program so I can even put in my schedule at home.
  8. by   Otessa
    WE had set weekends and holidays (every 3rd weekend and every 3rd holiday).

    If you wanted to switch to a different weekend or holiday it was your job to find someone to switch with you.

    There was a one week window of putting in what you want and then there was a week 'negotiation' period and then the schedule guru would write down all the number of switches people were willing to make to get the schedule evened out-holes filled (difference between want and 'negotiation'). The people that were more willing to switch got preferential treatment for their 'wants' on the following schedule. It was very much a give-take situation.

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