I agree with the previous response regarding general assessment, it's fairly comprehensive. I'm particular, so I also checked any lines or tubing - if a patient had O2 ordered I checked that it was set appropriately (and that it was on and/or provided teaching re: oxygen use for reluctant patients), I checked that my IV lines were running as ordered (maintenance fluids at correct rate, any other special drips at the correct rate and programmed accordingly), if IVs were locked I flushed them (we assessed/documented IVs and other lines with our system assessment). I checked NGs, PEGs for placement and residual. I also looked at my tubes/drains - if my patient had a hemovac or a foley I checked to see what the drainage looked like and if it needed emptied I did so. I also checked tele if applicable (is the monitor reading at the desk, do batteries need replaced, are the leads all on).
I handled my nights neuro/med surg tele, by getting report and doing introductions first. You gain so much information during introductions. You get to look at your patients and determine if they are in any kind of distress and decide who to see next. You can get a good idea of your patient's status just by looking at them (are they alert to people entering the room, what is their color like, what is their respiratory status (can they move air and talk at the same time? Or are they unable to catch their breath?). Many times our report time was crazy, when I had to wait to get report on patients from other nurses I would assess the ones I'd already gotten report on (it's what I had to do for time management).
I usually talked to my patients while I was assessing them. It takes practice, but I can ask them about orientation, numbness, tingling, etc - while listening to breath sounds, heart sounds and bowel sounds. If I hear something not normal or not baseline for that patient, I would spend more time verifying (ex hearing wheezes in a patient might warrant me to listen in multiple places or a little longer than normal, esp if wheezing was not normal for the patient). Working primarily neuro, we always had to check grasps, and pedal push/pull back, extremity pulses, color and appearance of extremities. I always looked at facial symmetry (you can get a good idea watching while they talk to you) and ALWAYS checked pupil reactions.
My advice would be to look at how your facility documents. Both jobs I had as a med surg RN charted by exception. Learn what "WNL" or "WDL" means for a specific body system, and that gives you a good idea what you need to assess for each system. It really does come faster with time!
I would agree, it is very difficult to learn to manage your time as a new grad but you will get there! I promise! Sooner than you would imagine too! Ask your preceptor how they do their assessments and/or watch them and ask questions. See how they group things. It helped me so much watching my preceptors. When you get a little more comfortable, ask you preceptor to help you - ask them to watch how you handle assessments and other time management skills.