‘Tis the Season: Planning for Holiday Staffing

Staff In Busy Lobby Area Of Modern HospitalIt’s amazing how quickly the “days left until…” countdown ticks away, but it is never too early to strategize holiday staffing needs.

Surely, end-of-year vacation requests start hitting your desk well before Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve/Day. Of course, staff members want time away from work to celebrate these special occasions with family and friends. But hospitals, outpatient clinics, and multi-specialty private practice groups need to remain fully staffed, ready to provide quality care for patients.

What’s more, there is often an uptick in emergency department visits throughout the holidays as well as the onset of the flu season (and of course, COVID-19 is still present). All that places greater demand on healthcare services, which is why locum tenens has become a perennial favorite on administrators’ holiday wish lists. Read on to see how partnering with All Star Healthcare Solutions can be the best gift you give your facility and employees this year.

  • Greater scheduling flexibility
    As much as you may like to grant every vacation request, that is simply not practical, especially during the final months of the year due to the sheer volume of requests. Challenges come up when staff want multiple days off, and scheduling really becomes complicated when everyone competes for the same dates. All Star gives healthcare facilities more latitude in granting vacation requests. Our locum tenens physicians, NPs, PAs, and CRNAs are willing to step in and provide the necessary coverage, so fellow providers can spend time with family.


  • Continuity of care
    An advantage to engaging locum tenens professionals is that the same clinicians show up for each scheduled shift, day after day. Not only does that offer a sense of security that you won’t be left shorthanded, but the consistency enables providers to become familiar to your clinical setting, EMR software, and protocols. While those elements are definitely advantageous, perhaps the most beneficial perk to using locum tenens providers comes with the continuity of care they extend to patients. Having the same personnel treating people throughout a busy time ensures your level of care is maintained.


  • Curtailing overtime
    When faced with numerous time-off requests, there’s an inclination to ask other staff to pick up the slack. In other words, overtime. Albeit a convenient alternative, asking healthcare professionals to log in extra hours comes with a price. Financially, overtime pay can ding budgets, especially toward the end of the year. What could prove even more costly is how extra hours contribute to burnout. Per the Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2021, more than one-third of physicians cited spending too many hours at work as a major factor to their burnout.When conducting a cost-benefit analysis of locum tenens, be sure to include the risk of piling on extra hours to staff members. Additional clinicians, even on a short-term basis, can relieve some of the stress.

Don’t let postponing holiday staffing solutions leave you feeling like you have to deny employees’ vacation requests. There is still time to wrap up your holiday locum tenens coverage. Call 800-928-0229 to speak with one of All Star’s dedicated consultants or contact us online.