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ideas for nurse satisfaction and scheduling

Med-Surg   (7,209 Views 9 Comments)
by jjacobson307 jjacobson307 (New) New

1,227 Profile Views; 5 Posts

I Co chair the hours/scheduling committee on a 40 bed med/surg unit. Looking for ideas to increase nurse satisfaction with scheduling. Over the last 3 years we have switched everyone to 12 hour shifts that wants to be and changed the nurses to every third weekend (having to work a random weekend day every 4 to 8 weeks, to cover the unit). We want t he nurses to feel like the have as much control as possible with their schedule. Have thought about surveying staff to learn their likes and concerns about the current scheduling process...any ideas for questions that would promote sharing of ideas? Or any input on how your unit does scheduling.

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tainted1972 has 3 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in MR/DD.

271 Posts; 5,265 Profile Views

I worked a med surg floor where we did our own scheduling, it was awesome.

Everyone was assigned weekends so the manager started out by scheduling the weekends then she placed the rest of the schedule blank. Vacations were pre approved and placed on the schedule by the manager.

The staff filled in the rest of the schedule.

Full time staff went first then the part time and Prn staff filled in the blanks.

All full time staff were already assigned a shift so a person on days could not schedule themself on nights( and vice versa) unless they were switching with a person on nights.

It was really nice to be able to schedule my off days for when I needed them and I did not have to use my vacation time.

as far as I know there were never any arguments about the schedule or days that were short.

.

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2 Articles; 11,114 Posts; 14,406 Profile Views

I know units that are very successful with self-scheduling. Everyone agrees on the basics-- like, everyone has to work every other holiday, everyone has to work X weekend shifts per month, everyone has to rotate to off shift for X shifts every X months... whatever the majority agrees on. After that, the annual schedule gets posted on the wall, and everyone gets a crack at it. In March, you're finalizing the schedule for May, in April you're finalyzing June, etc. Any holes in the schedule by 30 days in advance will be filled by decision of the manager...but that still gives people a month to swap around prn.

 

Expect there to be some annoyed people for a few months-- "She got to fill it out before I did, she always gets the .... shift and I have to ..." but as people get used to doing it, start to trust each other (and learn who not to trust), make trades, and such, then they start taking responsibility. Shared governance is a wonderful thing.

 

Pretty soon you have people who will always trade for the holiday or the weekend because it's OT or holiday pay... some people will be happy to give theirs up if they can have the time. You'll have people who will say,"SuziQ is on vacation this week but I know her kid is graduating on June 6, so I'll work there and she says she'll work my kid's birthday..." People will post notes at the board: "My spouse will be away for work from Nov 1-15 and I can work extra. Anyone interested in trades?"

 

Is it perfect? Nope, but what is? Have your staff brainstorm what they would like-- have them take responsibility for it, jointly, so they can't blame you for the inevitable glitches, and they can take credit for the successes.

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5 Posts; 1,227 Profile Views

We basically do this self scheduling..the committee fills in weekend and holidays and them the staff fills on the rest...w have two groups, based on points that ate granted for unit involvement, level of education, certification,etc-...the problem is on med/surg we have frequent turnover due to new grads gaining experience then moving on to what they really want to do...and them after everyone has filled in the schedule we sometimes have to move people around to fill the wholes.. You mentioned it is up to the manager to full these wholes...how does she do it- mandatory overtime, volunteers???

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2 Articles; 11,114 Posts; 14,406 Profile Views

What committee? Staff should be filling this in themselves. No committee. If staff have some skin in the game, they are more committed.

 

It is management's job to have a sufficient workforce. Have you all sat down to discuss what it would take to have less turnover? If there are holes in the schedule and nobody wants to volunteer for overtime even with premium pay, that's a very clear message that you have insufficient staff and/or your pay and benefits aren't enough. It would seem that your management has to either increase the premium for overtime or pay some staffing agency an arm and a leg for travelers (suggestion: use the money to raise the base pay in your department and you'll decrease turnover right there).

Edited by cafeaulait

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5 Posts; 1,227 Profile Views

We have a committee for hours/scheduling because we do practice shared governance...the committee just does what the manager would --approve vacations, fill in weekends and holidays, then the staff fills in the rest. Unfortunately we have staff leave and the manager is unable to fill the empty slots due to our hospital is being very conservative because of all the changes in reimbursement in the coming year. This is out off our control..so was just looking for ideas on creative staffing.

We have actually many seasoned nurses on our floor, i have been there 12 years and have seen many people come and go--a few for dissatisfaction, but most are young nurses that took the job for experience our to get their foot in the door and then moving on to specialty areas such as ICU,ER, L&D.

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Nurse ABC has 14 years experience.

437 Posts; 10,408 Profile Views

Our hospital for med-surg units people are hired for straight nights or days and only weekends or only through the week. The weekend nurses get paid a lot more money (like $7 more/hr). Then if you need a day off you request ahead of time and they try to schedule it in. Holidays are rotated. The weekenders choose to work weekends to get paid well and the weekdayers are happy because they know they get every weekend off. Everyone is happy! Not all hospitals will approve of such a thing but it does work great if they do!

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1 Post; 392 Profile Views

ah, scheduling....what a nightmare. We have 9 full time day nurses on my unit and because our coordinator cannot handle the scheduling, the ninth nurse never has to work weekends..... no...I'm NOT kidding.... I am looking for assistance in building a 3-day, 12-hour shift schedule that will fit us all in equally.... Perhaps using this ninth nurse to allow the rest of us to have an extra weekend off now and then. Does anyone have any advice, templates, etc? I am not in charge of scheduling, but this is so unfair that I am willing to work on making a schedule that works out fairly for all nine of us. I'm open to any and all ideas!

Please email me with your thoughts and/or suggestions. Thanks! Pattie

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TCheers has 12 years experience.

4 Posts; 630 Profile Views

Wow, this is like almost two years old but scheduling is still a nightmare. What does everyone use. There isn't any solutions here. We hated API so much we went back to paper. Lovely IT forced it down our throats without even consulting nursing. Gotta love those guys.

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