Archive October 2018 XIX, No. 10

Ideas That Work: Monthly Assignments

Put Staff in Charge of Their Own Schedule

Riddle Hospital
JUGGLING ACT Staff members take turns serving on the schedule-making committee at Riddle Hospital in suburban Philadelphia.

Tired of hearing staff complain about their assignments the minute you post the monthly schedule? Here's a simple solution: Put them in charge of deciding who works when. We formed a 4-person scheduling committee whose job is to collect shift requests from their colleagues and draft monthly OR assignments. We post their suggested schedule 2 weeks before it goes live so staff have time to work with the committee to suggest shift changes or work through concerns about their assignments. How can staff complain about a schedule they helped create? Or grumble that the favored nurses get preferential treatment while certain others always seem to cover holidays? It also helps that lots of nurses can serve on the scheduling committee, as staff serve on a rotating basis. Perhaps the greatest benefit of all? You no longer have to deal with the headache of making the monthly schedule — and then listening to the complaints.

Patricia Vassell, DNP, RN, CNOR
Riddle Hospital
Media, Pa.

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