The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


C. Mihailuk1, R. Ford1, T. Vallejos1, T. Morris1

OBJECTIVE: The RC Department at UCSD Medical Center provides service at two hospital sites located nine miles apart. Meeting the challenges of staffing needs at UCSD with a combined 570 beds, four intensive care units with a combination of twelve hour and eight hour shifts requires that staff be willing to work at either site. Both UCSD sites have core staff primarily assigned, however when faced with sick call, vacations, and vacant positions, there was staff resistance to working at the other site. We assessed the reasons for this resistance and created a program to better facilitate cross site assignment and improve employee opinion and satisfaction.

Method: Staff was initially surveyed to identify key concerns and willingness to work cross site. In addition several meetings were conducted to gain a better understanding of key issues and develop solutions. Staff was resurveyed one year after these solutions were implemented to assess to what degree these programs were successful.

Initially there were 6% of existing staff interested in cross-site utilization. Our hiring practices changed. We hired staff with the understanding that UCSD was one hospital with two sites. All new staff was oriented to both sites with a comprehensive skills check off list. We also incorporated a clinical ladder for the Career Advanced Practitioners that upon signed agreement, flex between the two sites, they increased their earnings by 2.5%. Lastly, mechanism to track rotations and maintain equity was put in place. After the institution of these measures, staff crosses site assignments increased to 35%. All staff interested in working cross site went through an orientation process at the alternate site. At the completion of orientation they were placed into a rotation schedule and ready to flex between the two hospitals when the need arises.

Conclusion: UCSD has been able to meet the staffing needs at the two sites with the institution of the staff pool and the flex competency defined in the clinical ladder. We continue to utilize survey tools and staff participation in making refinements to the cross site utilization program. Staff willingness to work cross site has increased primarily due to staff input into the process of the staffing model and has lead to the success of the program.

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