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Best practices when using medical staff scheduling to cope with holiday schedule woes

Posted on 11/22/2017 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

Holidays are not a time that people usually like to work, but when you're working in the medical field, working holidays is necessary. When you're in charge of the physician scheduling process, deciding who will be scheduled for the holiday can often be a hard decision. Sure, when you work in a larger operation like a hospital and have hundreds of employees, you can typically rely on things like hours worked and seniority to assign priority to requests for holidays off.

However, with smaller operations, if you rely on seniority alone, it can result in having the same employees working the holidays each year. This leads to lower morale and can result in staff turnover. To handle this type of shift scheduling predicament, below are some best practices.

Rotate Holidays Among Employees

If you have long-time staff members, try to avoid constantly giving them the same holidays off each year. Junior employees can pick up on this and may not want to work as hard at cooperating with your needs.

Inform Employees of Holiday Policies

After you've made your decision on how you're going to proceed to assign holiday work in your emergency medicine scheduling software, be sure you're absolutely clear on how you came up with this decision. Inform your employees ahead of time how you decide. Don't just surprise your employees. For instance, make it known beforehand if you prefer honoring religious commitments. This way, your staff won't feel like you're favoring others if they already know your methods for deciding.

Create Holiday Schedules Early

Consider holiday medical staff scheduling in advance. Chances are you already know which days your employees would like to take off each year. However, the holiday season spans from Thanksgiving all the way to Easter and the "smaller" holidays shouldn't be discounted. If you have an employee who doesn't mind working on Christmas, give them Easter or Thanksgiving off. Also, set up the schedule early enough so your employees can look it over and express any concerns. When you schedule holidays early, your staff can plan accordingly and won't be surprised.

- Allow Employees Input into Schedule Creation
- Give your doctors and nurses some flexibility in their schedules.

For instance, you may allow them to:

- Choose which shifts they prefer to work each week.
- Choose which holidays they prefer to work this year.
- Choose from a number of shifts they prefer to work.
- Choose the pattern of set days they work each week.
- Choose their number of days off between their shifts.
- Choose if they prefer to work 12 hours or 24 hours shifts.

Regardless of how you decide on your holiday scheduling process, it’s essential you keep all your staff happy as much as possible. When your doctors and nurses are happy, they will provide better quality care for your patients. Of course, you may not be able to please everyone, but if you follow the practices above, it's a good start for creating a happier holiday season for everyone.

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