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Help- Unfair Scheduling and Favoritism

Nurse Beth   (1,079 Views | 6 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

19 Followers; 115 Articles; 238,149 Profile Views; 2,169 Posts

Dear Nurse Beth,

Fair scheduling practice question. I work in a unit open Mon-Fri.

The charge nurse is off every Monday because “ I have been off every Monday since I’ve worked here” we are a unit of seasoned, PT and FT RNs.

We do not think it is fair for one person to have a 3 day weekend consistently and we do not have any Monday/Friday scheduling policy in place. We have asked about developing a policy for Monday/Friday requirements so that each RN would have to do a total of say 5-6 per 6 week sched. But have been told “ this will not work for our unit”(by the RN who is off every Monday and prepares the schedule.) Any thoughts how to fairly and tactfully address this? We have brought this to the plate a few times in the past as have new applicants but it’s always skirted over.
Thanks!

Dear Unfair,

This sounds unfair on the surface, but that's assuming the charge nurse and the non-charges are interchangeable. Why is a charge nurse PT? Who serves as charge on Mondays? 

Playing devil's advocate, if the charge nurse position is PT and she doesn't perform the same duties as you, this is apples and oranges.

On the other hand, if she is PT and performs the same duties as you and the other PTs, the  non-desirable days, which include Mondays, should be shared fairly.

Another question is, is this charge nurse working every Friday? If so, the other PTs are presumably not working every Friday. Are you considering both Mondays and Fridays equally undesirable? Or is it that part timers are working a split schedule, such as Mon-Wed, off Thursday, on Friday? Finally, does volume or caseload figure into staffing needs?

Somewhere in the past, this charge nurse was given a cushy schedule and now she is claiming squatter's rights. The thing is, some unwise person above her is tacitly condoning this.

I say unwise because favoritism breeds resentment, which affects team work, which affects patient care.

Let's assume this is truly unfair. You have already been fair and tactful, and even offered a solution.

I take it you do not have a union. I would not suggest initially going to HR because in my experience HR backs up the manager, and it angers managers for employees to go over their heads. Check your job description and other policies. Although they probably address weekend/holiday coverage, it's unlikely they address Mon-Fri coverage.

It sounds as if you've only gone to the charge nurse herself with this, but as the scheduler, she is the fox guarding the hen house. Have you approached the manager? Go to your manager and respectfully explain that the PT RNs would like to share in the Monday coverage fairly and that you would like to present a fair solution.

It is time-honored in nursing that weekends are equitably shared, and your weekends are Mondays and Fridays. 

Be prepared that nothing may change. In that case, all you can do is change your response, and let it go. That means you have to decide if you can appreciate the positive aspects of your job, and live with this one dissatisfier, for your own happiness.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

2 Followers; 5,747 Posts; 47,734 Profile Views

One consideration here is that almost all holidays fall on Mondays. Is that allowing an inequitable distribution of designated holiday time??? This could be a bargaining chip for OP.

Also, with designated holiday time, comes the expectation that the worker receives holiday pay benefits. Is there something awry here?

Just a couple of thoughts ...

Late thought - are the sub charge nurses receiving any 'charge pay'?

Edited by amoLucia
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34 Posts; 1,130 Profile Views

Perhaps you could put together an example schedule for 90 days, have your peers look at it and get their input then present it to the Director for consideration. Make sure to include holidays, PTO time.  Consider fiduciary responsibility also.

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elikat02 has 4 years experience as a ADN, LPN and specializes in Gyn.

16 Posts; 736 Profile Views

I can totally relate to this. I work M - F 9-5 and another nurse always has Friday's off. I asked if I could shorten my work week and was told it wasn't possible. Well, her friend got hired as the "Nurse Manager" and she doesn't work Mondays because of other obligations. So both of these people get nice 3 day weekends and myself and another co-worker work the whole week. Not only does the nurse manager not know how to perform the same duties as we do, she refuses to work with the md on surgical day, refuses to cover shifts or work Saturday surgical clinic because she has "other obligations". The other site nurse managers cover shifts, do phlebotomy and surgical procedures. Basically there is nothing that can be done because she's someone's bff. Sorry to hear you're going through that but sadly it happens and I truly know what you're going through. 

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3 Followers; 4,808 Posts; 36,842 Profile Views

On 6/21/2020 at 6:08 AM, elikat02 said:

I can totally relate to this. I work M - F 9-5 and another nurse always has Friday's off. I asked if I could shorten my work week and was told it wasn't possible. Well, her friend got hired as the "Nurse Manager" and she doesn't work Mondays because of other obligations. So both of these people get nice 3 day weekends and myself and another co-worker work the whole week. Not only does the nurse manager not know how to perform the same duties as we do, she refuses to work with the md on surgical day, refuses to cover shifts or work Saturday surgical clinic because she has "other obligations". The other site nurse managers cover shifts, do phlebotomy and surgical procedures. Basically there is nothing that can be done because she's someone's bff. Sorry to hear you're going through that but sadly it happens and I truly know what you're going through. 

We are never satisfied.  Many nurses would give their eye teeth for a M-F day job.  

Just sayin'...

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rn30 has 25 years experience and specializes in peds.

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We are never satisfied.  Many nurses would give their eye teeth for a M-F day job.  

Just sayin'...

 

 

I have been an RN for 31 years, 26 of those years in the ER working holidays/weekends/nights/days/evenings/missing family events etc...I had enough and was able to land a Mon-Fri job and well deserved after 26 years of the ER, wouldn't you think?? It's not a matter of not being satisfied, I paid my dues! 

Just sayin...

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

2 Followers; 5,747 Posts; 47,734 Profile Views

I always wanted to work at a place that would give employees their personal BIRTHDAY off. There are places out there that DO, but I never worked at one.

I just thought that that was a small but nice measure of employer appreciation or acknowledgement of the employee. Yeah, stock options or a generous bonus would also have been nice.

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