Shift Work Schedule

Miriam is an EN working regularly in a large residential aged care service. The facility is a well-organized organization providing high-quality and safe residential care for the residents. Its goals and objectives are to:

  • Provide care services that recognizes the rights, dignity, values, and beliefs of residents and their families;
  • Ensure involvement and commitment of all employees in a ‘team approach’ to quality care;
  • Maintain a microbiological safe environment by preventing the risk and spread of infection; and;
  • Continually review care and service delivery as part of Continuous Quality Improvement Plan, and that all identified problems and feedback are addressed to the satisfaction of staff, residents and their relatives.

Miriam works in the morning shifts (0700-1500 hours) with her workgroup. She is mainly responsible for providing nursing care for 38 residents; some of them need percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)feeding tubes. The

nursing activities she undertakes in a shift include handover, medication administration, wound care, physical review, infection control, verbal communication, documentation, print and fax, transit and staff break and other (the detailed classification of activities could be found in the Table 1 of journal article titled ‘Nursing staff work patterns in a residential aged care home: a time-motion study'(Reference 2 below).

Miriam’s shift work schedule is very tight and her common work process in morning shifts normally starts and ends with handovers. Three major tasks that she performs during the shift are medication administration, wound care and documentation. Documentation is completed at the point-of-care and after care provision. If she has time, she would undertake a physical review; otherwise, this task would be allocated to a personal carer who provides personal care. She takes a break after the morning medication round and before and after the noon medication round (the detailed work process in morning shifts and time spent on each activity could be found in Figure 1 and Table 2 of the journal article titled ‘Nursing staff work patterns in a residential aged care home: a time-motion study'(Reference 2 below).

To organize and prioritize all tasks required in a shift, Miriam decided to create a work plan and shift work schedule with the assistance of her supervisor (an RN).


  2. Qian, S., Yu, P., & Hailey,D. (2016). Nursing staff work patterns in a residential aged care home:


  1. Plan a personal shift work schedule for Miriam using the template of ‘Shift Work Schedule’ provided below (more rows in the table can be added for the tasks to do if needed).


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