Tips for being more organized and efficient?

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    I returned to agency nursing in Long Term Care this weekend. It took me 5 hours to pass morning meds to 25 patients. I had forgotten the lay out of the med cart and everything. Searching through drawer after drawer for drops and sprays and fumbling through stock meds nearly made me go insane. I used to do this with ease....long ago. Is there a patient worksheet that might be helpful? Amf knowing what time each patient got meds again was a problem. What are the tricks of the trade? I'm signed up for 4 doubles in a row next week! PLEASE HELP
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    Nurses I know like to print out there MAR for the shift from the electronic record. Then once they have a paper copy they can sneak off somewhere quiet and review the MAR and prioritize (eg. Palliative care patients on morphine protocol and diabetics might be good people to attend to first). After they familiarize themselves with the MAR, they can organize the cart and make all the stuff they need readably accessible. I always laugh at the nurse running down the hall to fetch a cup of applesauce for the crushed medications. Nurses I work with always tell me that diligent preparation before the pass is absolutely crucial (some of them come in a bit early to see if they can lend a hand and if not they hop on the computer until change of shift/report. Also, maybe at change of shift/report ask the off going nurse for the patients idiosincrecies, such as the coger in room ten that only takes his Tylenol with a nice glass of iced clam juice. floating around a facility is hard and also dangerous. If at all possible, nurses I know like to only work on a maximum of 2 to 3 units of similar acuity and one of those being a home floor. If I am in a hurry I apologize for my brevity and tell my patient I will stop back later if they want to shoot the breeze. I shoot for time equality but it does not always happen. Now I will let some other more experienced people chime in and put my post to shame.



    P.s. Resident rosters are a wonderful invention, praise Guttenburg and his printing press
    P.P.s. Also as a general rule of thumb 80 percent of life is just showing up! (and keeping your yapper closed unless absolutely necessary)


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