ok, so i'm a new nurse in the er. i am in my 5th week after finishing a 12 wk emergency nurse internship program which consisted of classroom time and clinicals. yesterday, my preceptor and i met with our nurse educator. the good news was that she told me she is hearing good things about me (phew)! she asked me where i felt i was in my training. i told her i felt my weakness was time management. my preceptor agreed, telling her that i am very smart, that i have good judgment, and that i am very focused, however, sometimes i focus too much on my more critical patients and spend too little time with my other patients (although i kind of feel if you're not acute, you can wait--i'll glance at you and make sure you're pwd, and then i'm more worried about the guy who can die within the next 5 minutes). i guess part of the reason is that i prefer the more challenging cases as opposed to the otherwise healthy 20 yr olds who have the sniffles yet feel that merits a trip to the er, but i know they come with the deal too. anyhow, my nurse educator asked me to come up with a document listing some strategies to improve my time management skills. i have no clue--if i knew, i would do them! do any of you more experienced nurses have some strategies i could use? i did a search through the threads, but i'm looking for more specific strategies. what makes it worse is that we're one of those hospitals with a 30 minute promise (which i dislike, because i think it encourages non-emergent patients to come to the er), so i always feel rushed, rushed, rushed. the good news is that my preceptor said no one expected me to be as fast as a more experienced nurse. she says it will come with time and experience. also, i don't know if this will affect the advice you have, but i work the night shift.
i think one thing i could suggest is that my preceptor stop trying to assist me with my assignments. she should supervise, review my charts, but otherwise back off unless i am absolutely drowning. although she doesn't say it, i know she gets impatient because i am not as fast as the others so she jumps in, but if the patients are not critical and we don't have a waiting room full of people or ambulances backed up (we're a relatively small er, so we do have our down time), she should just let me do things at my own pace because it's the only way i'll learn to become faster--practice. what do you think?
(and please, no offense, but no lectures about me needing med-surg experience first. i know a lot of nurses feel that way, but it just motivates me to work harder to prove them wrong. the reality is that i'm here and i'm not going anywhere. i know it's not the same thing, but i was a tech in the same er prior to becoming a nurse, so i am familiar with the pace. all i need is some help to get up to speed and i would really appreciate any advice that you have. thank you so much!!)
Dec 7, '08
It's nearly a year later. I read your articulate posting about your thoughts on time management needing improvement several weeks into your ER preceptorship.
I am researching time management strategies and would like to know, please, if you could tell me what tips you would have for a 'newbie' asking the same question now that you did in January - i.e. how do I do things faster, more thoroughly, more independently, more confidently - on my own?
What mantra's do seasoned nurses use or what now-deeply-entrenched rules of thumb do they adhere to? I thought I would write you privately, but perhaps others would appreciate hearing from you too, in retrospect. Thanks very much!
Last edit by homesteadlite on Dec 7, '08
: Reason: clarification on time