February 20, 2014 | A Day in the Life of a Dialysis Healthcare Administrator
This week I’ve spent a lot of time dealing with staffing and scheduling challenges. With a growing clinic, we’ve had to walk the very fine line of getting staffing in place before we are able to accept more patients, but there is no point in getting staff when we don’t have patients to care for. This week one of my technicians who had been helping in picking up days with my clinic had a family emergency that will prevent him from working with us anymore. I also had a whole mess of PTO requests come through that I had to cover. For a schedule that had been running smoothly for so long, it really seemed like when it rained it poured with staffing issues.
In my three and a half years in management, I have always found the scheduling of people (whether those people are patients or teammates) to be like a game of Tetris. But not the fun games of Tetris I used to play as an undergrad when I was procrastinating about studying and/or writing a paper, filling staffing holes especially feels like the later levels of Tetris when the blocks are pouring down hard and fast and you already have about half of your screen filled with rows of blocks that don’t quite fit together and you have to act quickly and decisively before the screen fills up with mismatched blocks and your game is over. The same angst that used to consume me in my hours of procrastination as I knew was about to lose a game, comes right back to me when I am trying to solve staffing issues. You have a limited amount of time to figure it out and sometimes you need to make a three or four way trade to make it work. It can also be really hard to remember what deals and trades you had to make to whom and when to make it work.
I must say this is one of my least favorite things about this job. It definitely causes me the most angst and is one of those things that will wake you up at three in the morning, but unfortunately a necessary evil of the job. I usually try to find some kind of positive spin to put on all of the challenges in the life of an FA, but for this one: I’ve got nothing. Maybe I’ll go play an actual game of Tetris and see if anything comes to me. It usually worked out in college……..