Time Management: Help!

  1. I've been a nurse for 9 months now, working on a busy surgical floor. I can't seem to get my mojo flowing. Have tried several ways to plan my days and get work done. Problem is - we've got patients coming and going all day long. No sooner do I get started in one room, I get a page that Mrs. so&so needs pain meds. OK, I'll get to her in just a second. Now I understand that times are tough and hospitals are competing for patients like crazy. I do want to keep my job and I'm glad to have it. But...not only do our staff supervisors make rounds and tell patients that if they don't receive their pain meds within 10 minutes of asking that they should call the charge nurse, but now hospital administrators are making rounds on all floors and giving the patients the opportunity to "tell us what we can do to make your stay here more comfortable". I am busting my butt to try to keep up with 5-7 post-op patients. We get them straight from PACU - still drowsy, in pain, vomiting, confused, VS q 30 minutes...I'm so frustrated! What can I do to make my shift go smoother and leave at a decent time at the end of my shift. (I work days, BTW) Need encouragement and advice from all you experienced nurses out there.
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   truern
    Make sure you're delegating whatever tasks you can. Remember you're only one body with only two hands. There's just so much you can accomplish at a time.

    Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!! Some things really can wait until later, but n/v and pain need to be addressed.

    It does get better with time, I promise
  4. by   kishinne
    planned everything accordingly....its right you have to prioritize things so that you will not be confused...also presence of mind....coz if you will be easily stressed out of course tendency is,it will ruin activities to be done during you shift.
  5. by   mama_d
    Keep in mind that it takes a full year or more for many people to be comfortable working the floor, especially a busy med-surg floor.

    Do as much as you can at once. Patient is in pain and needs meds? Give them their meds, check IV lines, refresh their ice chips/water, check their urine output, assess their dressing, all at the same time. Try and anticipate what they might need while you're in there to cut down on the number of times you're called in...ask if they need to be repositioned, need n/v meds, etc.

    Good luck and hang in there.
  6. by   loricatus
    Can you anticipate who will be calling for pain meds? At the beginning of the shift take a look at the MAR and see the prn schedule. If it is getting close to the next dosage, just get it ready and don't wait until they call you. If they then call for more meds before their next scheduled dosage time, you do not have to follow that 10 minute rule. Just try to anticpate and be prepared, rather than being reactive. You will save yourself a lot of juggling by doing this and be in contol of your patients, rather than they controlling you.
  7. by   morte
    all good advice, but.....you cant see three patients at the same time.....nor get three patients pain meds within 10 minutes, and if they asked at the same time that is what you would have to do......7 post ops is toooo many