Specialties Management


Specializes in Leadership/Critical Care/Surgery/Seniors.

Anys suggestions how you can teach staff organizational skills? I left work soooooo frustrated today. It seems that the more I help this staff member, the more he doesn't do for himself. Setting priorities? Doesn't happen. What can I do?

Hi Neighbor!

Organizational ability is hard to teach someone, some people just don't have it. Try sitting down at the beginning of the shift; both of you make a plan for the day, including priorities and then compare notes. Then you can discuss what the differences are. Is this nurse a new grad? I remember that I couldn't organize a P@## up in a brewery when I first graduated. Time is the only healer for that problem.

Have a senior member of the team act as a mentor for him.

Maybe he needs a little more precepted time to get it together, or maybe he needs to work LTC for a while to get his organizational skills polished. There's nothing like a year caring for a LOT of patients to get the ball rolling.

Where in Alberta are you, I'm in Edmonton.

Have e good week,


Specializes in Leadership/Critical Care/Surgery/Seniors.

Hi Janet,

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, this individual has been an RN for ~15 years, with a significant number of them in ICU. He is an extremely gifted person in his ability to understand and retain information. I often wish I had half that ability. The multi-task thing just isn't there. I need to come up with a plan of some sort. It might be worth a try to plan a course of action in the morning. Thanks.


It sounds like he can't get out of ICU mode. If he has been an ICU nurse for a long time then he probably only had to manage about 2 patients at a time. Now he's going to have to learn how to handle more at the same time. I think Janet's recommendations are good. Get him with a veteran nurse who has great organizational skills who can mentor him. He may need to have a schedule set up for him so he has a format to follow. If he can get an efficient routine established as a new "habit" then he should be able to keep up. His mentor may be able to identify things that he does that wastes time (i.e. is he overcharting? does he know the shortcuts or time saving commands on any computers that you use?, does he know how to quickly locate supplies?, does he have a hard time getting out of patients' rooms when they want to talk about inconsequential things? is he taking too many breaks?, is he worrying about what everyone else is doing versus his work? etc.). Does he need to switch to another shift where the pace is slower?

It may also be that he is best suited for an ICU environment where he can devote his time to fewer patients. Good luck.

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