Management

Scheduling Models for an Inpatient Nursing Unit

Scheduling models for an inpatient nursing unit May 28, Scheduling models for an inpatient nursing unit An inpatient nursing unit applies cyclical scheduling with a 8/40 pattern expects difficulty in meeting its staffing needs. The unit is busy and has 27 registered nurses, 10 patient support staff, 5 non-patient support staff, and a manager. It needs to recruit two registered nurses and uses agency that charges 250 percent of current staff’s average salary. Use of agencies has, however, been discouraged. In addition, the unit is planning to implement a new information system that will require 68 uninterrupted hours for employee training. One staff is expected to be on a three-month leave, patient satisfaction has been decreasing, and staff morale is low. Below is a recommendation on the unit’s scheduling model. Scheduling model and shift patternsA flexible scheduling model is recommended for the unit because of its suitability for the unit’s environmental factors and because of its advantages relative to cyclical scheduling that the unit applies currently. One of the characteristics of flexible scheduling is its ability to adjust to changing environmental factors that are expected of the unit. Possible change from agency hiring identifies potential delay in filling vacancies and therefore temporary staff shortage. In addition, change implementation such as the introduction of a new electronic nursing documentation system and associated need for training induces temporary burden on personnel. The same effect is expected from the expected leave of an employee and a flexible scheduling approach would ensure ability to meet extra needs at minimum cost and efficiently. Being used to a flexible system, employees will likely accept changes for accommodating extra needs that if a cyclical system, which fixed, was in place. Associated resistance with cyclical system that would require temporary hiring of personnel or hiring of additional personnel o cover temporary shortages solves the cost problem. I addition to the cost and effectiveness advantages, flexible scheduling ensures personnel innovation, motivation, satisfaction, and unity and ensures that personnel work within their capacities. These also ensure sufficient coverage, quality, and stability. The scheduling approach requires coordination among personnel, who share patient, for quality output. Cyclical scheduling is not suitable for the unit’s dynamic environment, even though it has such benefits as even coverage, high stability, and lower cost (Ozcan, 2009, n,.p.). Interchanging shift patterns is also recommended because of the flexibility advantages. Possible challenges to implementing changesImplementing the change from cyclical to flexible scheduling is likely to face challenges from administration and workers. Lack of autonomy in decision making that may require approval of directors is one of the challenges. In addition, higher organs of the organization may not support the change and therefore influence decisions against it, despite the manager’s authority over such changes. lack of confidence in effectiveness of the proposed change is another challenge and this could apply to both administration and employees. Lastly, personnel may not be willing to accept changes (Yarbro, Wujcik, amp. Gobel, 2010). Effects of change such as disruption of people’s schedule and rigidity could explain resistance among different stakeholders (Langabeer, 2008).Performance measures that should be used to monitor effects of changesPersonnel satisfaction and patient population are some of the performance measures for evaluating the change (Roux and Halstead, 2009). Personnel satisfaction defines levels to which employees’ are contented with their work environment and if their satisfaction from the change is sustainable then the change is successful. Patient population is the number of registered patients and an increased number, following the change, would indicate success. the measures therefore appropriate because they would identify effects of the change. Additional operations-related strategy that might help the unitMotivating the unit’s personnel is a suitable additional operations-related strategy that might help the unit to adjust to the change and to manage its shortages. Understanding employees’ behavior and factors that can influence their behavior, based on the Social Cognitive Theory, explains this. Appropriate factors that can change the employees’ rationale should have positive effects on their behavior and improve output (Roux and Halstead, 2009).Flexible scheduling that also interchanges shift patterns is recommended. Resistance from administration and personnel is expected, while personnel satisfaction and client population are proposed performance measures. Motivation can also help the unit achieve desired output. ReferencesLangabeer, J. (2008). Health care operations management: A quantitative approach to business and logistics. Sudbury, MA: Jones amp. Bartlett Learning. Ozcan, Y. (2009). Quantitative methods in health care management: Techniques and applications 2nd Ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley amp. Sons. Roux, G. amp. Halstead, J. (2009). Issues and trends in nursing: Essential knowledge for today and tomorrow. Sudbury, MA: Jones amp. Bartlett Learning. Yarbro,C., Wujcik, D., amp. Gobel, B. (2010). Cancer nursing: Principles and practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones amp. Bartlett Learning.

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