The holidays are a hectic time for us all, but they can be especially stressful for healthcare staff and management when it comes to medical staff scheduling. With multiple major holidays occurring from November through January, conflicts and competition for days off can make scheduling a nightmare for HR managers. Not only are the holidays a popular time for physicians and other medical staff to take vacation time, but the demand for medical services seems to always increase during this season as well.
Planning medical staff scheduling in advance will minimize issues and allow you to secure proper coverage for your doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners who will be taking time off. Skilled locum tenens providers are a valuable resource during the holidays, alleviating stress for both schedulers and staff.
Though it may seem far away, the holiday season will be here before you know it. Now’s the time to put a plan in place.
Plan medical staff scheduling in advance
We all want to balance our work and personal lives, and that can be especially challenging during peak holiday season. Scheduling and publishing the holiday work schedule months early allows staff to plan family time and/or vacations as necessary. Releasing the holiday schedule before staff members make plans will help avoid conflicts.
In developing your scheduling program early, it’s important to establish a clear system that allocates which staff will have priority for time off during the holiday season. You can achieve this in several ways – using seniority, a lottery system or simply rotating time off.
Be transparent and set expectations
One of the best ways to make a holiday schedule work is by clearly communicating expectations and details. Always document your policies in writing and be sure the entire staff is aware of the policies, so they are able to comply fully. Employees will be more satisfied if the rules are clearly understood by all.
Once the schedule is shared, allow the team to work together to solve issues and revise the schedule if needed. If coworkers agree to switch with each other, let them know they need to notify the scheduler and have the change documented.
Secure additional staff early
Patients are more likely to be sick in the winter, increasing the demand for primary care providers. The uptick in patient visits paired with workers taking time off means you may have to add temporary staff during this time of year. Planning for additional staff ahead of time will prevent disruptions to patient service and lower the overall stress on the entire workforce.
Securing additional staff as early as possible has multiple benefits that will allow your facility to run smoothly and keep your costs down. Remember that holidays are for everyone, including locum tenens providers. Book temporary staff early so they can plan ahead as well.
All facilities are dealing with similar issues, so competition for coverage is intense. Booking locum tenens providers early means you will have a larger pool of candidates to choose from, assuring you the best-qualified physicians and physician extenders. Additionally, hiring locum providers enables you to avoid fees associated with emergency assignments.
Find locum tenens providers
One of the many benefits of working with a credible locum tenens staffing agency is that we do the legwork for you. We will provide you with pre-qualified, highly talented candidates to complement your staff. Ali Medical Recruiting has years of experience catering to the needs of healthcare facilities.