Need your input about fixed shifts...

  1. I have found this site and I am in such AWE that it exists! I'm currently doing the externship and part of the objectives for this course is to do a presentation on the subject related to staff nurses working at a hospital that has fixed shifts. I am to examine the pros and cons of changing to rotating shifts and make a recommendation to the administration on my findings.

    So we have to problem solve this issue(much like the nursing process).
    For example...
    *We have to define the problem-probably the most vital step.
    -Think about all the people that are implicated, are there any materials impacting any equipment/machinery involved, and finally what method or process involved.
    *Gather information
    -Information should be valid, accurate, timely, and relevant to the issue
    -Access standards of care, policies, procedures from the unit computer system.
    -Survey nursing research on your topic(consider data only if it has been published within the last 3 years).
    -Analyze data
    -Develop solutions and options(THIS IS MY PART)
    -Select solutions(THIS IS MY PART)
    -Determine how you will implement
    -Determine how you will eveluate

    My part is to devise a plan to make everyone happy on the findings...we are doing this as a group(of three) their findings were something to the effect that...
    Rotation shifts were best during orientations of staff. After orientation of staff, fixed shifts were better, less wear and tear on body etc.

    My question to you is, could you give me your advice about the problem, especially if you've experienced something similar to this issue. And in your words, what ARE fixed shifts, and what solution would YOU come up with. In the meantime, I will be researching this topic on the net. Thank you SO much!

    Oh FAQ's
    1. Select a facilitator
    2. Identify and define the situation or problem.
    3. Analyze the problem. Ask "what do we need to know."
    4. Gather data. Determine the tasks of each group member.
    5. Analyze key alternatives and solutions.
    6. Recommend a specific action.
    7. Determind how your solution or action will be implemented and evaluated.(MY PART)
    Last edit by JesL2bRN2007 on Apr 29, '07
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    About JesL2bRN2007

    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 26
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  3. by   Daytonite
    Hi, JesLRN2007!

    A fixed shift, I believe, is when a person works the same scheduled shift. That would be like working 7am to 3pm all the time or 7pm to 7am all the time. We did rotating shifts at a federal facility where I used to work. We had the traditional 7am to 3pm, 3pm to 11pm and 11pm to 7am shifts. However, within a 3-month block of time we had to rotate through working a block of all three of those shifts. Our manager was very fair about it. We were put on a shift for two weeks at a time with a least two days off between the switch over to the new hours. We all knew that this was a requirement of the job when we were hired on. The advantage of this kind of system is that all the workers know the work routine of each shift and are flexible in being able to work any of the shifts if needed to.

    The biggest problem with fixed shifts is that they are rigid and don't allow for much leeway and change. I never could understand working day shift day in and day out. It's hard to schedule doctor and dental appointments for yourself, etc., and some people will just call off sick to take a day off to run errands. But, people like routine and they don't want to give up what is familiar. With rotating shifts, you are asking people to put up with constant change in their schedules. Look at some of the problems of attendance that this might solve (call offs, vacation days, people quitting because of inflexible work hours).

    I have to tell you that it took me 6 months when I first became a supervisor to learn all that I needed to know about staffing. It's not as easy as picking up the phone and saying "can you come in and work today?" There are budget constraints that you have to work with as well. You may have an acuity program that tells you how many nurses you are "allowed" to have on a unit at any one time. So, as you are working on this project keep in mind that fixed shift or rotating shift, you have nurses on one side, and administration who is paying out the salaries on the other. There has to be a happy medium. But the bottom line is often going to come down to dollars and cents. So, don't forget that element. Your project is suppose to be a presentation for administrators. They might be nice people and care about the nurses, but for them the bottom line is ultimately going to be about the dollars and cents because that is what they answer to the board of directors about--the bottom line profit or loss. Link your rotating shifts in with that (less call offs, people quitting because of being unhappy with work hours, human resources laws) and they might buy it. I think that places you might look for information on this is hospital management publications and the AHA (American Hospital Association) might be a good place to start. If one of you in your group is brave (!) you might take a trip to the office of the Chief Executive Officer (this is not the CEO) of a hospital, explain your project briefly, and ask them what they would want to see in a presentation from the nursing office to convince them to make a change like that.

    Welcome to allnurses!
  4. by   Pompom
    My personal opinion is that rotating shifts benefit management only. If you choose a fixed shift because if fits your lifestyle then management forces you to switch shifts to meet their needs it doesn not benefit the worker at all.
  5. by   JesL2bRN2007
    Thank you Daytonite!
    Do you have any links that could direct me to evaluate the pros and cons of switching from fixed shifts to rotating shifts? And some good sites for solutions to this problem? I'm having a tough time finding good sites...not much of a computer person , thanks!
  6. by   Daytonite
    Actually, I don't have any links on this. I kind of know where you trying to go with it because I've been in management and I know how these committee meetings work. I also just took a class last semester in Medical Staff Services and we went over the Hospital structure and had to do organization charts and two mock committee meetings where the Executive Director, not the CEO, was part of each committee. Our instructor was constantly telling us about the hospital management structure and how things get accomplished. That's why I'm pretty confident in saying that you need to look at the pros and cons of both systems, but tweak the presentation to your point of view. Then, you have to sell it. You have to show the "suits" why the change is going to benefit the hospital and go right for the throat and quote dollars and cents if you can find these figures. They understand that. Put it on one sheet of paper for them. I think that you are basically preparing one side of a debate.

    I'm thinking that an organization of hospital administrators or financial officers might be where to look. There are such animals, but I don't know their names. Hospital administrators have to be state licensed just like nurses do, so there has to be stuff out there. I'd start by searching for "hospital administrator" or "hospital administration" and see what comes up. Sometimes reading a site will give you some ideas of other words to search with. This subject is primarily "staffing" or "employee attendance" or something similar to that. If you start searching for the problems you think might be the reason for making your changes, some interesting links might come up.

    I'm sorry I can't be of more help.
  7. by   JesL2bRN2007
    Thank you very much, you helped me out alot!
    Last edit by JesL2bRN2007 on Apr 29, '07