By Melinda Juneau,

In the medical field, you are trained for emergencies. They happen almost daily and if a day is calm, you begin looking around to see what is wrong; it’s just in the nature of healthcare for the unexpected to happen. No one can plan their medical problems and it is one of the reasons most medical facilities will never close at the end of the day. A medical facility is usually open 24/7.   Do you have enough staff to provide proper care? Will your staff be overworked and overtired due to poor scheduling and be prone to mistakes? The summer is a time of year when many facilities see a decrease in the quality of patient care due to a lack of scheduling but you can ensure yours doesn’t face this same problem.

Summer vacation is quickly approaching and that means many members of your staff will have added requests for time off due to family vacations, family reunions, and personal days when the weather is perfect for a day outside.  Because your staff deserves the time off, you want to be able to give them the days as requested, but the facility will still need to be open.  Are you able to provide excellent care when one manager is on vacation, the other is ill, and the third one has to be home for the AC repair person to show up?  Maybe you have some staff members who will rise to the occasion and provide the necessary leadership but is that a gamble you want to take with peoples’ lives?  Of course not!  You want to provide excellent care and maintain order within your medical facility.  There are two simple ways to keep your facility running as smoothly as possible:

Step One:     Implement a standard request time. While it may seem a bit strict, your staff will begin to appreciate the idea of never being understaffed. It can be very helpful to see that two of your managers will be off during the same week or overlapping days. You can plan ahead by scheduling some qualified temporary workers for that week.  Your staff will not be run ragged with a lack of help and you will still be able to provide excellent care.  If the staff knows they have to request time off with a month notice, they may even work among themselves to make sure the facility is properly staff in spite of their vacation plans.

Step Two:     Maintain a strong relationship with a high caliber, medical staffing company. They must be reliable and able to provide you with high quality temporary workers within several hours’ notice.  You may have some weeks where you utilize their services daily and some weeks not at all, but by having the relationship established, you are at an advantage.  The staff who will regularly work for you on a temporary basis will appreciate the steady work and also being placed in a facility where they are comfortable.  Your staff will even come to know the temporary staff and appreciate them coming in on busy days.  In spite of them only being temporary staff, they may be the first people you turn to when you need to hire more staff.

Summertime doesn’t have to derail your daily operations.  With plans in place for vacation times and a back-up plan with temporary placement of medical staff, your facility will not suffer from a lack of qualified staff.  If you need to create a professional relationship with a certified medical staffing facility, consider Snelling Medical.  We are able to work with medical facilities around the country and will provide you the necessary staff to maintain excellent care.