How to Piss Off Your Scheduler!

20 items that contribute to Scheduler BurnOut

Collected from the real-life stories from the frontlines of Scheduling, here is a list of what busy people do without thinking.

If you want to see your scheduler longing for the hammock, try out some of the following items:

    1. Leave requests until the last minute, and then tell your nurse to notify the scheduler of the change!
    2. Use paper as a primary communication tool to make the paper-chase real.
    3. Engage in “He-said, She-said”. Don’t document requests at all, keep them verbal, and preferably deliver them while passing in the hallway. Rely on memory.
    4. Don’t read email updates regarding the schedules. You can always call your scheduler for the information, right?
    5. Print out and keep an older version to bring to your scheduler with your handwritten notes when something is not clear.
    6. Let each Provider determine his own rules and preferences for call and post-call activities.
    7. Have several exceptions to any rules or preferences depending on the weather or time of year. Especially effective if these are assumed or undocumented.
    8. Let Providers have vacations whenever they want with minimal notice. If too many are requesting the same date, have the scheduler decide who can go.
    9. Rely on memory for Holiday History to determine “fairness” while scheduling Holidays for the current year. Better yet are written notes in someone’s personal file.
    10. Have multiple schedulers working on several versions of the calendar at various locations.
    11. Have multiple persons allowed to update the calendar who are not schedulers themselves?
    12. Publish calendars frequently, with short-time-frames, at the last minute so everyone is kept guessing. Printing these adds to the likelihood of grabbing an old copy.
    13. Don’t tell your scheduler your schedule directly! Make him/her call your clinic office and find out when you have patients scheduled.
    14. Keep your calendar OFFLINE for ultimate privacy. When you can’t find your copy, you can always call your scheduler.
    15. The Provider’s family doesn’t need to know the schedule in advance. The Provider can always leave a voice mail for the scheduler after the at-home family meeting regarding changes.
    16. Have your scheduler find replacements for you whenever you want a change, especially if it involves a tight swap.
    17. Track tallies with lots of “IOU” type events, or even better, let everyone track their own tallies.
    18. Stay with paper, excel, or word to create, update and publish your calendar. No doctor scheduling software assistance should be needed.
    19. Do not allow any type of remote or mobile access for SmartPhones or iPads. The Providers can always call in to confirm their schedules and bring home a printed copy.
    20. Have only one scheduler who knows the entire scheduling process without needing checklists, documented processes, or backup. She can catch up with the messages, paper changes, and various requests when she gets back from “whatever!”

Oh, the Scheduler didn’t tell you?

“Whatever” just became “Whenever”… and she’s calling from Hawaii!

Which items are your “hot buttons” as a scheduler? Don’t see it here? Let me know in the comments below!


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