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The realities of an emergency doctor schedule

Posted on 5/28/2014 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Hospital emergency rooms and departments are operational 24/7. It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday, weekend, or the middle of the night. Someone is always on hand in the emergency room to help attend to the sick and injured in small and large cities throughout the country and around the world.

It takes a village to make a hospital emergency room operate effectively and efficiently. This village consists of administrators, orderlies, nurses, physicians, interns, physician assistants, and countless other support staff and personnel.

Even among those who work in the emergency department, it isn’t always their primary duty station. Some work only part time in emergency medicine with private practices, educational, or research work going on elsewhere. Some are attending school in search of advanced degrees and working part time in emergency departments to make ends meet while getting their education. Factor in vacation requests, shift preferences, and other demands and emergency medicine scheduling can become an extreme headache really quickly.

But it’s not all doom and gloom – especially for emergency departments that have made the switch to scheduling software to handle their shift scheduling needs.

ER Working Conditions

The long-running television series, ER, portrayed a rather realistic image of what it’s like to work in emergency rooms. Some nights things go smoothly, like clockwork. Other nights it’s complete and total bedlam. Those who are meant for this type of work thrive on the highs and lows of working in an emergency medicine situation.

Yet what you don’t see on the television series is that the army of people who make the emergency department operate also need little breaks from an otherwise high-demand job in order to take care of their own physical needs such as food, bathroom breaks, and sanity breaks after an emotional experience. Those have to be factored into schedules as well.

Don’t forget the paperwork. While many emergency department doctors have cultivated methods of taking care of charts and paperwork while grabbing a bite of food out of hospital vending machines, paperwork is something doctors and nurses should have time allotted for in their schedules.

Meeting Demand of Patients, Doctors, and Staff Members

The emergency room is the ultimate human experience. You see life begin and life end — and everything in between — in this department. The person in charge of shift scheduling must make sure there are adequate people lined up to handle the demands of an emergency room on any given occasion.

Emergency medicine scheduling is complex because there are so many moving parts to make the emergency department run smoothly. Scheduling software factors in all the time off and vacation day requests, overtime requirements, and intern scheduling limitations then delivers a schedule that meets all these needs in a matter of minutes while it may have taken several days to plan the schedule by hand.

The true reality, when it comes to emergency departments and the emergency doctor schedule, is that people who work in emergency departments are instrumental in and dedicated to saving lives. In return, they’re willing to sacrifice normal sleep schedules, holidays, and more. All they ask in return is some semblance of normalcy in scheduling and a few vacation days throughout the year to relax and clear their minds.

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