one thing you will definitely learn in ltc is how to organize and prioritize your time. i started out working in ltc and eventually moved to acute care. i have always been a list maker because i can't trust myself to remember everything. i started by making a list of the things i had to get done each day and then arranging the list in order of the time things had to be done and their priority. in today's world you can use your computer to help you out.
- how to make a todo list
the two main things that need to get done in ltc are the medications and treatments. pretty much your entire shift revolves around getting those two very big tasks done. you'll read about the medication passes here on this forum. at first they seem like a monumental task, but the saving grace of them is that the meds don't change that much and there is a routine to them. within a couple of weeks, you begin to realize that certain patients always want their meds at certain times, that it's easier to give some medications when patients are clustered together in one place (like the dining room) and little things like that.
outside of those two big tasks, the other things you have to do you learn as you go. these are things like making patient assignments with your aides, what to do when patients have a fall, a skin tear or come up with a fever, how to transcribe doctor's orders, and a whole bunch of other things. i have always found that learning who the cnas were, what they are each capable of and doing their daily assignments took me a long time to become proficient at. even when i was a hospital supervisor, doing the staffing took 6 months to learn and i was reassured that this was normal.
so, make a todo list (there's a link on how to do that above). if you save it in a word file on your computer you can make changes to it and save them as you find it necessary. just print out a new one every day. i used to cross things off as i completed them each day. here is a link to the skeleton for a report sheet for 30 patients. print the report sheet on one side of a piece of paper and your todo list on the other side for each day. more recently, i used to print in the patient names on the word file of the report sheet when i made my own report sheets along with their doctor's name and their code status and just print out a new sheet each day. it saved a whole lot of time in the long run. your computer can be a great tool if you put it to use. if you've ever seen my hospital report sheet, you'll see i also included the date at the very top as well (because i could never remember the date when i first started my shift).