FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

The six criteria of a workload and the Safe Staffing Form: tools to know about to act at the local level in organization of work

The six criteria of a workload and the Safe Staffing Form: tools to know about to act at the local level in organization of work

May 3, 2019 – Finding solutions to the healthcare professionals’ excessive workload is a priority issue for the FIQ. Stipulated in the provincial provisions of the FIQ collective agreement, the committee on care is the perfect place to discuss the organization of work problems and workload complaints at the local level. However, you still need to know how
and with what tools you can collect the information for using the committee on care effectively.

The union reps received an explanatory guide to facilitate the collection and analysis of the data for the six criteria defining a workload. You can use this guide to document the workload and establish, on every shift, the number and distribution of nursing staff on the unit (including the number and type of patients). You can highlight the unacceptable situations experienced by the healthcare professionals.

Here are the 6 criteria of a workload:
• Frequent and ongoing inability to accomplish all tasks during a shift
• Frequent encroachment on time normally reserved for a break
• Consistent and increased use of overtime
• Need to compromise standards, professional norms and care quality
• Comparison of similar tasks performed by other healthcare professionals, in the same department, during other shifts
• Excessive fatigue caused by practice conditions.

Gathered in round tables, the union reps also participated in a practical workshop on the Safe Staffing Form (SSF) where they could practise using this guide.

The idea was to put their learning into practice with this exercise, and link the six workload criteria to the Safe Staffing Form, for ultimately collecting information to document the proof on a future workload and develop solid talking points in all organization of work files.

The FIQ reminded participants of the importance of the members completing the Safe Staffing Form online so unions and the FIQ can conduct actions to improve professional practice conditions and care safety for the patients.