Making the Most of Your Time as a Nurse

nurseNursing is an exciting, but often difficult field in which to work. The act of becoming a nurse is hard enough. In fact, in 2012, only 79.51% of firstĀ -time and repeat candidates were able to pass the NCLEX-RN, and this test is only provided to those who can actually finish nursing school. Once you become a nurse, however, things become even more hairy. You thought school was hard? Wait until you have to juggle 25 different tasks at the same time and get everything done in one 12-hour shift.

As a nurse, you’ll have to be very organized in order to complete everything, and you’ll need to think WHILE you act.

Of course, there are always going to be barriers- those every-day problems that drain your time and make you feel like a disorganized mess. We’re going to address a few here and help you overcome them.

Nurse Barrier: I’m Always Passing Meds

If you work in a hospital or nursing home, passing medications may be a large part of your job description. It may sometimes feel like this part of the job never ends. As soon as you’re done with one med pass, you’re onto the next.

Of course, there are subtle changes to how you pass the medications the more times you do it. You may find that you’re much more efficient the third day than you were on the first. This is because you’ve unconsciously made a plan for the shift in your mind. In order to organize your time more effectively, you simply need to make this plan conscious and concrete.

Write it down. Plan out your entire shift and set aside a certain amount of time for med passes. Consider carefully the best route to take and make sure to allow for time with patients. They may just want to talk, but they may also reveal vital new health information to you. Avoid multitasking, however. This has no place in med passes, as it could impair the safety of your patients.

Nurse Barrier: Delegation

You’ve been a health care assistant, and you know what it feels like to get an additional load of work dumped on you because a nurse doesn’t want to do it. Don’t be that nurse, but don’t be afraid to delegate either. Your health care assistants have been through CNA training and can effectively take care of your patients in certain regards. If you don’t have to do something, ask a CNA to do it. Working as a team is the only way to get everything done that you need to.

Nurse Barrier: Documenting

If there’s one task that seems to be more time consuming than med passing it is documentation. This task has left many a nurse sitting at their desks long after their shift was supposed to be over. There is hope for this barrier, though. New studies have found that nurses who are able to document their first assessments within the first two hours of their shifts found managing their time later on much easier. When issues came up later in their shift, they were able to quickly add the information to the chart without having to wait.

Want to make the most of every moment you work? Learn how to overcome certain barriers you may face as a nurse.

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