"Making out schedules for the whole unit??

Nurses General Nursing


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bagladyrn, RN

2,286 Posts

Specializes in OB.

I've done scheduling. Once you get started, you can usually work up a pattern that works well, then plug in names, unless you have a lot of prima donnas who get "special" schedules, then it's a pain because it isn't fair to others and you get the blame. Can you offer to try it for a few months and see how you do? One thing to avoid if you take it on - don't take all the crappy schedules or extra shifts yourself just to make it work - quick way to burn out and people come to expect it of you rather than pulling their fair share.

passing thru

655 Posts

Thanks for some great advice. Yes, we do have a request book. If we have call-offs, the supervisor is responsible to find someone to work, or the unit just has to "tough it out."

I will probably not do it, the manager and assistant manager are just looking for someone to do it as they are tired of the ******n'. The ass't manager has been doing it, she says she does'nt have time now.

I like having as little responsibility as necessary. I want to have peace of mind and physical strength to leave the hospital mentally, emotionally, and physically when I walk out the doors.

We must have a life besides work, I think. I don't want my home life invade d with phone calls of people "changing their minds" and / or wanting off, etc.

I always wanted to be ambitious, as it seemed like a desirable trait, but my ambition only went as far as bedside nursing. I have been offered some good positions, e.g. ICU manager,(good position?) It took me about 15 minutes to reject that. So, guess I am Unambitious and a couple of bubbles off ... LOL


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

Not enough aspirin in the Western Hemisphere, as the commercial says.

passing thru

655 Posts


I'm not even in school until next week, so I don't know scheduling in a nursing context, but I've been doing call center scheduling for almost five years. It's just another puzzle to solve.

The larger the group of people you have to schedule (in a single unit) the *easier* it gets - what looks like filling the holes in the schedule to you may look like someone's preferred schedule, so the more candidates, the more likely to have that person around when you need them to "fill holes".

Scheduling, however, is a somewhat different mindset from most people. It takes a certain kind of person.

To be sucessful at it, a lot of "infrastructure" needs to be in place BEFORE you start the position - rules, policies, etc., about taking time off, when requests must be in by, schedule switching, and so on, as well as a defined person you report directly to who will be the judge when (not if, WHEN) people don't like what you've done. If you're in a large organization, then most of this is likely already in place. If you're in a small nursing home, unit, or other organization, and these aren't in place, be *very* careful - you don't want to be the "blame" for all these new rules, regulations, and policies. You'll soon be the anti-popularity poster child in this situation!

It does take a thick skin. The people you schedule will never be 100% happy, and management is never 100% happy. If you have the knack and the mindset, you can balance these.

A small local emergency (police, fire, EMS) dispatch outfit I used to work with burned out a couple of managers because it was a small group (10 or so people) and ended up always having to put people into shifts they didn't want just to cover the darn schedule.

It can be VERY stressful. In fact, the stress of scheduling 500+ phone agents is part of the reason for seeking out my new nursing career. Scheduling is a shell game... if you have trouble figuring which of three shells a pea is under, don't do scheduling, since there are MANY more shells, and lots of peas.

Good luck to anyone who tries scheduling.

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