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How To Handle A Last-Minute Staffing Crisis

By August 16, 2017 No Comments

It’s no secret that the U.S. is facing a healthcare staffing crisis. Population growth and aging means there are more citizens requiring healthcare while more qualified healthcare professionals are retiring. Just take nursing as one example. In 2015, a report from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce and the McCourt School of Public Policy reported that by 2020 there will be a shortfall of 193,000 nursing professionals.

While healthcare staffing shortages are concerning, they’re not your only worry. You also have short-term, day-to-day staffing crises to deal with. You need a way to fill in the staffing gaps when someone calls in sick, when you’re overwhelmed by patient numbers, or when your burned-out team desperately needs a break.


Plan Ahead

You know there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself with a staffing shortage at some point in the not too distant future. So now’s the time to start planning ahead. A last-minute staffing shortage won’t be so much of a crisis if you have a plan in place for how to deal with the problem.

Have clear policies in place for how to handle scheduling changes. And be upfront with everyone on your team about your policies. There are some things, like sick days, you can’t always be prepared for. But you can encourage employees to notify you in plenty of time for their planned absences so you can find someone to fill-in for them.

Know Your People

You’ll be able to plan more effectively if you have a good relationship with and understand your employees. Find out who is willing to cover extra shifts if there’s a scheduling change. Talk with employees who regularly ask for last-minute schedule changes to see if they’re abusing the system. Get to know the people on your team and encourage them to work with you in coming up with a staffing schedule that works.

Also, be up-front about your scheduling policies from the moment you start talking with new candidates you’re looking to hire. Let them know if they’ll be on-call or asked to work nights and weekends. If everyone’s on the same page starting out you’re less likely to have problems down the road. In addition, take steps to make sure your existing team is ready to work with temporary staff so everything goes smoothly if you do bring in a locum.

Work With An Agency

In spite of all your work putting policies in place for schedule changes and getting to know the people on your team, there are still times you’ll face a last-minute staffing problem. And finding a quality oncology professional on short notice is stressful. We know. That’s one reason we created RadCoverage.

When you work with RadCoverage, we can fill your open position quickly. In some cases, we can have a locum for you in as short as 48 hours. And because we specialize in oncologists, dosimetrists, and physicists you can feel confident knowing each candidate is screened by our placement consultants to ensure top quality staff. Get in touch with us if you want help resolving your last-minute staffing shortage as quickly as possible.