Help! Need Time Management Tips

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    Please can anyone share their tips on time managment for floor nursing? Like tips on how to give meds, keep track of I+O, chart, do assessments - faster and with less stress?

    also, anyone have tips on how to keep patients happy when you can't get back to them right away - and how to bow out gracefully and without hurting feelings when they want to tell you their life story and you're in the middle of med pass ect.?

    Thanks in advance

    - frustrated and tired of being the last person to leave at nite!
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  4. 0
    Great Question! I am only a student nurse, so I can't help you, but I can't wait to read any tips and/or tricks for time management! Prioritizing and organizing is so vital to nurses..... but just how in the world do you guys with experience do it all??? Your advice will be very appreciated!
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    As far as patients who want more of your time than you can give them...my suggestion is to tell them something like 'I have 5 minutes right now to talk about anything you want. Then I will need to go and take care of my other patients.' Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

    Other time management tips....when I go into a room to do an assessment and my first med pass I chart my assessment then. I tried to write it down on a separate piece of paper and chart later in the evening, that takes up too much time. Chart something when you do it and then it is done and you won't forget anything.

    We have I&O sheets in the patients rooms to keep track of I&O's during the shift. Then we add them up at 11 and 7.
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    Been an Rn for 2 yrs. now. I love my "one-page brain". After report I make boxes next to the tasks I have to do and highlight them. When I do them I put an X through the box. I put a checkmark next to the pts name after they have been assessed. Then I draw a line through the checkmark after I've charted the assessment. Then I circle the checkmark when I've charted the required qshift progress note. I look at my labs, new orders, & MAR's prior to making my first rounds of the a.m.

    As far as keeping the patients happy...I really like the dry erase boards that we write our names on in the room. If I think my morning is going to be a mess, I at least pop into each room and introduce myself and write my name on the board. Studies show that if you go into a room and sit for even 30 seconds, pts. will feel like you have actually made time for them...versus just standing at the bedside. Try it sometime, and you'll see what I'm talking about. I am big on adequate pain relief for pts. Someone with uncontrolled pain can make or break your day, so I tend to be a little more proactive.

    And please, don't forget to use your ancillary staff appropriately. I find that I get way behind if I'm doing stuff that normally the techs and secretary's are suppose to do.

    It will come with time...
    Last edit by USA987 on Aug 20, '05
  7. 0
    Quote from Seren21
    Please can anyone share their tips on time managment for floor nursing? Like tips on how to give meds, keep track of I+O, chart, do assessments - faster and with less stress?

    also, anyone have tips on how to keep patients happy when you can't get back to them right away - and how to bow out gracefully and without hurting feelings when they want to tell you their life story and you're in the middle of med pass ect.?

    Thanks in advance

    - frustrated and tired of being the last person to leave at nite!
    Each unit is so different that it would be difficult to give you concrete ideas that would help you.

    I would suggest you pick the brains of some of the senior staff you work with.

    As far as "getting back right away" to patients, you have to learn to prioritize. There are some things that you have to get to right away and some that you do not.

    Personally, I keep my cheat sheet with everything I have to do for each patient. I jot my notes on that as well and then I chart from my sheet. Works for me, but may not work for you.

    Best of luck!
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    When I worked the floor, I made it a priority to chart IMMEDIATELY on the bedside (ours were in the pull down thing in the hall next to the rooms) chart as soon as I had seen the pt. Walking rounds are a good thing too, because it allows you to get your name written on the board and lets the offgoing nurse say goodbye. I feel that this can make a big difference to the pts. For example, offgoing nurse says to pt "I'm going home now, this is XXXX and she'll be your nurse tonight" or today whatever shift it is. That gives you an extra second or two to find out if the pt has immediate needs that must be taken care of, or you can make a note to come back because they've requested something. I always apologized if I was late getting back to them, and I also told them what time they could have their next prn and that if they needed it, call me then because I may forget. I found that being honest within reason, and being friendly always helped. The time you spend on your initial assessment will decrease as you get more experienced with it. I also always charted my I & O's on my last round. HTH!
    djh5197 and MMARN like this.
  9. 1
    Quote from Seren21
    Please can anyone share their tips on time managment for floor nursing? Like tips on how to give meds, keep track of I+O, chart, do assessments - faster and with less stress?

    also, anyone have tips on how to keep patients happy when you can't get back to them right away - and how to bow out gracefully and without hurting feelings when they want to tell you their life story and you're in the middle of med pass ect.?

    Thanks in advance

    - frustrated and tired of being the last person to leave at nite!

    Seren21-Oh my God! You sound just like me! I have the exact same problem-I cannot tell a patient I have to go when one starts to tell me a super long story! I feel so bad telling them I have to go! And I feel like i'm slow too-I feel like my brain works quickly-but my hands take forever to catch up to my brain!
    -Christine
    sweetgeorgia likes this.
  10. 0
    It is really difficult to have that chatty pt and have to leave because you have other pts to care for. I just got off orientation and admit that was one of my problems too. I'm just tooo nice for my own good. I don't want to cut someone off and be rude, but I've learned ways to get around the "looking rude" thing.

    Always have a smile on your face when you tell them that you have to attend to something else, and asure them that you are never far away if they need anything. Can't stop them talking? Keep backing up toward the door, and when you get to the point of no return, let them know that you will be back. If you do that, make sure that you go back at some point in time. When you go back let them know that you only have a couple of minutes between things that you have to take care of. This lets them know that you care about them enough to come back, but you have other things to do as well as listen to them. Over time, you will be able to listen to them and program a pump at the same time. While they are talking, keep taking care of business. Check their IV site, IV pump, foley, PCA, dressing, anything to make you look busier. Then when you are done, you can say, "ok, well, I see you have your call light.....you know that I am never too far away. Call if you need anything." There are some pts that you know are chatty from the night before that the next evening, you have to go in and say hello, tell them how long you will be on shift, and let them know that you are caring for six others that evening. Most people understand the nursing shortage, and if you tell them that you are their nurse, but you have other people that you are caring for, they are less likely to take up your time. Then you have control of when you talk to them. I've also gone in when there are visitors. Said hi to all, and said, "Well, I'll let you visit.....". They then get the feeling that you care about them just because you stopped.

    I know that all of this sounds like tricking the pt. but sometimes we have to use different techniques just to get it all done.

    I've also posted my method of organizing my "brain" on another thread on this forum. so, if you want to see it, look for the other recient thread on organization and you will find it there.

    Anna
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    Oh my goodness! I graduated in June of 2005, got my license in july and I need to know the same thing. I feel terrible about being so slow. :imbar
  12. 2
    During report listen closely. See your most critical patients first. If time allows do a full assessment- if not focus on the admitting diagnosis.Ex- CHF, listen to lungs observe signs of edema, check Iv fluids are correct-site patent, pain if any, how alert they are. Lead sheets are huge. This is your bible and will save you in the middle of a crisis when you need to know something quick. After all meds are passed and patients are a little settled try to go to charts and observe their history and any results of test. This makes you a better nurse because in report you can give the info that confirms a real important thing- you know the people that you have been caring for all day. When your patients want to talk be honest. Listen for a few minutes then tell them that you would love to stay and talk but there are other things you need to do. Explain that if you get the time you will come back and talk for a few moments"once things settle down". Most of the time they honestly will understand and will not be offended. Time management is something that will come as you progress into a seasoned nurse. Everyone has a different way of getting the job done, in the end it is all the same regardless of the path choosen to get there. Try different techniques until you find the one that works. Dont give up because you are well on your way! Good luck, hope this helped a little bit.
    MMARN and isis73 like this.


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