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- by EMTtoRNinVA Aug 14, '12Hi All
I'm in a pretty big (approx 35 people) ICU Internship program and it's not going so well logistically. We are about halfway through our 12 week Internship (then 4 weeks Preceptorship) and we are only getting 1 patient assignment because of our numbers. I'm really good at 1 patient, but it doesn't look like I'll go up to a 2 patient assignment anytime soon.
Any tips on how to make the most of my time? I offer to help with everything I can, but I still don't think I'm learning time management at all.
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- Aug 16, '12 by DutchRN09Do you work with a preceptor? Here is what I did, I had one patient for 2 weeks, and then picked up the 2nd one at noon for 1 week and now have 2. Mornings are busier in the ICU where I work, so that is why for the first week of having 2 I started with the 2nd one at noon. I chart as I go, as much as I can, so I am not behind. What are your issues with time management? Charting, meds, something else?
- Aug 16, '12 by kylee_adnsI am thinking that the OP is stating there is simply not enough patients to go around for a group of 35 to take multiple patients. I would say to just try to ask lots of questions about prioritizing to who ever you are working with. Ask as many different nurses as you can so that you will get a lots of different points of view. I would also get a good grip on the different technology you will be utilizing. (like know how to dial in your monitors to show both patients etc). As you are doing your tasks, just try to continuously think of the most efficient way, and how you would prioritize this if you had another patient. Make sure you have a good organizational system to help you stay on track too. I agree that it is kind of hard to learn time management when you are not having the whole patient load yet. I'm sure you have so much other information to learn in ICU, so I would just focus on really understanding all of that. Eventually you will be able to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together. Good Luck to you!!
- Aug 17, '12 by HouTxHere's a thought - ask if you can accompany patients to other areas (cath lab, radiology, PACU, etc.) to get a better idea of what goes on in those departments. It will provide you with great insight & will probably please the veteran nurses if they don't have to do the 'road trips'.
Another thought - ask your preceptor to give you one of her/his patients... while continuing to supervise your work. You could also ask to take new admissions or discharges in addition to your one patient. This will give you the opportunity to become more familiar with those order sets & improve your time management skills.
- Aug 18, '12 by EMTtoRNinVAThanks everyone! When I am the only Intern assigned to an RN then I do float between the 2 patient assignment, but the Interns outnumber the staff RNs by about 10 on any given day, so sometimes that isn't feasible. I appreciate the input and I was really looking for helpful hints. I'm very familiar with the Hospital in which I work and the system as a whole so I definitely take pts for testing off the unit because I'm probably the only Intern that doesn't get lost I haven't yet been assigned a Preceptor and we've all floated among the staff, which has been very educational just to see the many different approaches that are used within each of the Critical Care Units.
As HouTx pointed out, it definitely is going to take time to learn the Nursing driven order sets, because they don't pop up too clearly in our computerized charting, and when you do find them it's tough to understand at first, but I've utilized the Pharmacist assigned to the unit and my primary RN to help me when I've added/modified orders.
Thanks again to everyone in the AllNurses community