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Help w/ time mgmt.

Posted

hello all, i'm a new nurse working in the icu. like many new grads, i struggle in the area of time management. for the first two months, i always felt like i was behind no matter how hard i worked (even with relatively easy pt's). i found myself forgetting to do mouth care and filling in vital signs from 3 hours ago and things like that.

i've come up with a system now that seems to be working for me and maybe it will help others in my position. and it's not very profound either.. i just keep an eye on the clock while i'm working and, at 15 min. til every even hour (e.g., 0145, 0345) i stop whatever i'm doing and go do the things that need to be done q2hrs like mouth care, turns, suctioning, assessments, recording vs and uop, etc. with 2 pt's this usually takes no longer than 30-40 min. now i have 1 1/2 hrs til the next time all this needs to be done again and i can get back to other pt. care and paperwork.

also, i have learned to be flexible and that sometimes careplans can wait. this system of stopping whatever i'm doing has to go straight out the window when i have a pt. in trouble or coding..

this is so common sense that experienced rn's will probably laugh, but i just hope that maybe another new grad might benefit from my lesson learned.

jp

sunny261

Specializes in PACU,Geriatrics,ICU. Has 25 years experience.

Great idea....keep up the wonderful care!!!!:D

Dolce, RN

Specializes in Day Surgery, Agency, Cath Lab, LTC/Psych.

I always love to hear how each person manages their time. As nurses we have to be highly creative about how to do 5,000 tasks in just 8 or 12 hours.

Time management is one of the biggest things to accomplish in your first year of nursing. Sounds like you are doing a great job!

i just keep an eye on the clock while i'm working and, at 15 min. til every even hour (e.g., 0145, 0345) i stop whatever i'm doing and go do the things that need to be done q2hrs like mouth care, turns, suctioning, assessments, recording vs and uop, etc.

:yeah:thanks for sharing! i always give my orientees time mgt tips like this - you have to be very creative to keep up with all the work and unexpected extra tasks that come up during the day.... i like your idea. i do something similar with time mgt in that i 'must' have things done by certain times.... if i am getting close to some of my personal time 'deadlines' i will stop what i'm doing and get it done because if i don't it just gets worse.... it works pretty well - of course an unexpected emerg, code etc will throw havoc on our "time mgt" but it helps reduce the stress and gives you structure in our very demanding jobs!

:nurse: keep up the great nursing care! :typing

anurseuk

Specializes in Paediatric Cardic critical care. Has 6 years experience.

Once you have more experience your ob's wont take you so long and you'll find you won't have to even think about it. I know that doesn't help particulaly at the moment but you'll get there and at the end of the day as long as your patient is well cared for and getting there tx don't beat yourself up too much on it.

Even more experienced nurses are at the end of there shifts and not able to go home on time as they're still doing paperwork. The thing I find easiest is do your initial assesments on your pt and do as much of your careplans at that time and then you can add to it throughout the shift as things happen. This way by the end of the shift I'm hardly ever hanging back to do paperwork... hope that makes sense!

Blee O'Myacin, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, Heme/Onc.

Thanks for sharing what works for you. Like Yellowfinchfan, I also try to teach the "must do now, should do in an hour, and should get done by end of shift" idea of time management to the nurses that I've oriented. It sounds like you have found a system that works well for you. I do hope you figured in your lunch break and restroom breaks!!

Blee

CABG patch kid, BSN, RN

Specializes in Telemetry, CCU.

I'm a new grad and struggling with this as well. My goal is to have all of my charting and 24 hour chart checks done by 0400. So at 0200 I tell myself I have 30 minutes for each patient to finish these. Some patients have a lot more orders to check than others (say, a new admit vs a pt who's been there a month) so it kind of evens out if one pt's chart stuff only takes 15 minutes and another's takes 45. It varies a bit each night as to when I start, how much time I have, and when I finish, but I've found if I keep an eye on the clock like this I don't waste too much time reading progress notes and things like that.

I like to be reminded about that "must do now, should do in an hour, should do by end of shift" method, as I can be pretty terrible when it comes to prioritization and always find myself asking other nurses what to do first!!

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