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Have Enough Nurses on Staff? 4 Alert Templates to Ensure You're Adequately Staffed

Paul Neyman

Have Enough Nurses on Staff? 4 Alert Templates to Ensure You're Adequately Staffed

In our industry, we see plenty of cases where communications go terribly wrong.

Communications operators can cause more harm than good when they send the wrong message. Perhaps they are too vague, or don’t have a specific call-to-action. In these cases, message recipients are left clueless in a situation where they need to have a grasp of what’s happening.

For hospital administrators, critical communication solutions are employed more and more frequently. With an abundance of nurses and personnel coming on and off-duty at all hours of the day and night, scheduling is a job unto itself.

Here are four different examples of clear, concise messaging around shifts and schedules for hospital staff. Feel free to use them for your team.

Template #1

Text:

We have 5 open shifts in the ER department tomorrow, Thursday March 29th, from 2pm-11pm. First come first serve. To secure shift reply "Yes".

What’s good about this text:

This text very clearly describes everything the nursing staff needs to know, in concise language:

  • How many shifts are open
  • The day
  • The time
  • The department where shifts are available
  • The action that is needed for follow-up

If possible, you could even choose to bold or underline the critical parts of the message, such as the day, time, and department.

Template #2

Text:

Urgently need 2 RNs in for open shifts that start in 1 hour, 3pm-4am. If available reply "Yes".

What’s good about this text:

This text conveys the urgency with which a staff member is needed, and has a clear call-to-action. With manual scheduling, it’s generally not possible to efficiently contact large numbers of staff for last-minute shifts. In the past, individual phone calls were made and fingers were crossed that someone would be reachable and available on short notice. Staffers might leave the hospital, but be “on-call” just in case. Now, with mass communication software, efficient last-minute scheduling is much easier.

Template #3

Text:

1 RN needed for extended shift. Must be already onsite. To secure shift reply "Yes".

What’s good about this text:

This text targets only nurses who are already on-site. Thanks to geo-fencing functionality, networked communications systems like AtHoc for healthcare can quickly relay messages to targeted groups of people.

For hospitals, this functionality is extremely important. You don’t want to waste time contacting staff who are too far away to be where they’re needed. You also don’t want to waste time waiting for responses that may or may not come.

Template #4

Text:

Overtime! We need 8 nurses for 3 day shifts and 5 night shifts on April 4. To claim day shift reply "1" to claim night shift reply "2"

What’s good about this text:

This text allows for the ability to have multiple custom responses. AtHoc can enable connected organizations to seamlessly communicate the specifics in real-time. The result is faster and more coordinated responses. When you need to quickly fill in your shift calendar, sometimes a simple “yes” or “no” reply won’t cut it. Customized responses allow for effective collaboration across your entire team and beyond.

It’s not easy, but you can avoid poorly written mass alerts through prior planning and efficient templating. A simple scheduling snafu can quickly turn into an emergency when it comes to hospitals and medical staff. By using clear, precise language, you can make sure that the right message is communicated, and all shifts are filled properly.

Paul Neyman
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