Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Nurse Follies: Scheduling

On my floor, we practice the fine and rare art of self-scheduling. What this means, is that a blank draft schedule gets posted on the bulletin board and each staff member has almost two weeks to fill in which shifts they want to work. All nurses are required to work at least two weekend shifts within a four week schedule period. Most nurses are good about adhering to this requirement. However, there are some nurses who feel that going out and partying every weekend takes priority and simply will not willingly sign up for any weekend shift. This is where I come in.

Myself, along with another nurse whom I dub Red, do the scheduling for nights. What this means, is that after the two weeks are up and everyone has signed up for their shifts, Red and I sit down with the schedule and try to balance it out. When we have enough staff, it's cake. When we are working with a skeleton crew because everyone has hit burnout and quit, working on the schedule becomes as desirable as a root canal, and it take much longer. You will have one day where twelve nurses sign up to work, then only two nurses for the following day.

There are certain variables that come into play when we create the master schedule. Vacation time, request days off, specialized training, and skill level. Approved paid time off gets priority because that is handed down from the bosshole. Request days off are simply a way of saying, "I would really like to have this day off, but I don't want to use up my PTO. So, could you really not put me down to work on this day, mmkay?"

The understood rule is that while we try to honor the requests off, there is a risk of being moved to that shift if there is no other alternative. The second understood rule is that while we will also try to keep a nurse on the shifts she/he signs up for, they will be moved if it is needed...but only as a last resort. However, to make it fair, we make a list and keep track of who has been moved. That way, no one nurse is moved more than another.

This is why self-scheduling is a rare art. People are inevitably going bitch, and no one wants to listen to it. Every. Single. Month.

But I am an asshole (Red is coming along nicely in her asshole training), and I really don't care if people bitch about their schedules or not....which might be why I got the job of doing scheduling in the first place.

Usually, things work out so much that no one has really complained. Most all the nurses on nights are pretty grown-up about how scheduling works. In the land of hospital nursing, you work weekends, you work holidays, and sometimes, you work during your kid's Little League game. This is the sacrifice of being a nurse. If you want a normal 9-5 job, go to a doctor's office...a boring, quiet, doctor's office.

But as you know, there is, and always will be, one bad apple to upset the cart. Bad apples piss me off. They work hard to undermine the peaceful balance the rest of the apples have worked hard to establish.

Since she was hired, it seems that every month she complains to the bosshole if we move her just once. If her schedule isn't exactly what signs up for, she goes apeshit. She once trapped me in the clean supply room so she could complain about it without the risk of me running away. Even after Red and I both insist other nurses are moved equally, Bad Apple still persists in her effort to show that we are persecuting her by not giving her the days she wants. After a while, this gets pretty old, especially after the bosshole emails us each month about it, wanting a comment. We're not going to give her a set schedule, because it wouldn't be fair to the other nurses who have to work all the other shifts Bad Apple doesn't want.

Most times, I feel like telling her, "You don't like it, call in sick because you always call in sick whenever you don't want to work and you have to crappiest attendance record to show for it. If your job is that much of an inconvenience to your personal life, I suggest you go find a different job. One that allows you ten smoke breaks and a nap each shift because that's what you do when you're here anyway..."

Good help = hard to find.

So, I'm starting to get annoyed with all the bullshit. I wish the bosshole would grow a pair and tell her to quit whining. He should because when I tell her, he's going to have to listen to her complain about that, in addition to the scheduling issues. So, it's in his best interest to tell her to shut her cakehole.

But in a professional, managerial sort of way, of course.


Kathryn said...

That's funny..you crack me up.

Paul said...

I come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee;
I'm goin' to Lou'siana my true love for to see.
It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry;
The sun so hot I froze to death,
Susanna don't you cry.
Oh! Susanna, don't you cry for me; I come from Alabama, with a banjo on my knee.
I had a dream the other night,
When everything was still;
I thought I saw Susanna dear,
A-coming down the hill.
The buckwheat cake was in her mouth,
The tear was in her eye,
Said I, I'm coming from the south,
Susanna don't you cry.
Oh! Susanna, don't you cry for me;
I come from Alabama,
with a banjo on my knee.
I soon will be in New Orleans,
And then I'll look all 'round,
And when I find Susanna,
I'll fall upon the ground.
But if I do not find her,
This darkey'll surely die,
And when I'm dead and buried,
Susanna don't you cry.
Oh! Susanna, don't you cry for me;
I come from Alabama,
with a banjo on my knee.

"The D" said...

All hail HEATHER!! She rules with an iron fist!!