Staffing and Scheduling

One of the key challenges facing health care managers and administrators is matching demand for services with resources. Not only do the right numbers and types of staff need to be hired, but staff members must be scheduled in way that is efficient yet maintains patient safety and other quality outcomes.

To prepare for this Discussion, select a unit or department in a hospital or other kind of health care organization that provides inpatient care, ancillary diagnostic services, or emergency services. Examples of these include perioperative services, the emergency department, ICU, the neonatal unit, imaging services, and laboratory services. Then consider the following in preparation for the Discussion:

  • Review Chapter 7 (Ozcan text) for a discussion of key factors of staffing, including the use of acuity systems and census information.
  • Also review definitions and examples of workload standards on pages 162–164 and throughout Chapter 7. Consider the ways in which workload standards help managers to staff and schedule their departments to meet volume demands. Through further research, try to identify workload standards that are typically used for this kind of unit.

Post by Day 4 a response to the following:

  • Identify your selected unit or department in the first line of your posting.
  • Discuss at least three key factors, as identified in the Learning Resources, that managers must consider when identifying the number and kind of staff for this particular unit or department. Explain why these factors are significant.
  • Identify at least one workload standard that is used in (or would be appropriate for) your selected unit or department, and explain how the workload standard would be used in the staffing process.


Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond by Day 6 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:


  • Ask a probing question.
  • Expand on the colleague’s posting with additional insight and resources.
  • Offer polite disagreement or critique, supported with evidence.

In addition to, but not in place of the above, you may:

  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion or comment that guides or facilitates the Discussion.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made. No posting is required.

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