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Strategies to cope with physician on call scheduling stress

Posted on 12/23/2014 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
As if the task of shift scheduling for medical facilities isn’t challenging enough, adding on call scheduling into the mix adds a new layer of complexity and, in most cases, stress. The problem is that call outs in the medical field occur frequently enough, that on call staff are often necessary in order to adequately cover the needs of your hospital, facility, or emergency department.

These strategies, such as utilizing on call scheduling software, will help you get your on call emergency medicine scheduling needs under control, so you can experience the joy of stress free scheduling – perhaps for the first time.

Incentivize timely attendance

Offer bonuses or extra benefits to employees that rarely or never call in at the last minute. It’s a small price to pay in order to avoid the upheaval, controversy, and overtime pay of those who are always the ones who seem to be called in to work when others don’t show up. While this will not end the need for on call staff, it will help reduce your reliance upon it in your physician scheduling and other shift scheduling plans.

Ask for volunteers around popular holidays

Christmas is often one of the most coveted days off among many hospital staff members. It isn’t, however, one that’s celebrated among all physicians and other staff. This means there are many who might be perfectly willing to work those days.

In fact, even among those who do celebrate the holiday, there are those who would appreciate the holiday pay or even that have family celebrations on days other than the actual holiday. For instance, many families celebrate on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day and some celebrate on Christmas Night, leaving them free to work morning shifts. If you’re dealing with people who want to be there for their shifts, you’ll be less likely to have a rash of people calling out during important holidays.

Publish on call schedules early

When you publish the on call schedule along with the regular schedule (and post them both as early as possible) it allows people to plan activities around their regular and on call schedules. No one likes to have to change plans or adjust them because of an unexpected on call shift.

Use on call scheduling software

One of the primary complaints people have when it comes to on call scheduling is that they feel like they’re the ones who always get weekend or holiday shifts while others never seem to be scheduled for those times. Using software for this task not only assures proper rotation, but it also keeps records of previous rotations so you can show staff members that this simply isn’t the case.

It’s impossible to please everyone. When you’re the one in charge of shift scheduling for your medical facility, though, these steps can help you feel a little less like the Grinch who stole Christmas. Use them wisely.

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