How to become less "task oriented"?


Now that I have been working as an RN for about a year now, I am really looking to make my practice less task oriented. I know that this can be hard working on a floor where I have six patients...but I feel that I'm at a point where I am comfortable with policies and co-workers, physicians, etc.

Sometimes I feel like I am not doing enough for my patients because I am simply doing what is required, but somehow this is all I have time for. I don't feel like I catch things that should be brought to attention or have enough confidence to trust my instincts. (On a smaller scale) How can I develop a better practice???

tewdles, RN

3,156 Posts

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

This is a good question, I am not certain how to answer.

I think the key is to begin to focus on the patient, who they are, what the diagnosis is, what the symptoms are, etc and less on the "orders".

Now that sounds sort of bad, cuz of course, you need to be very precise about orders, but your focus should be the patient not the intervention. And medical orders are part of the interventions for the plan of care.

This critical thought then allows you to consider the "what next" issues for your patients. It helps you to anticipate and look for the good and bad things that you might have considered. This is our nursing process.

It sounds like you are doing a good job and the fact that you realize there is more for you in bedside nursing (on an intellectual and professional level) speaks highly of you as an emerging professional!

Good luck!

tokmom, BSN, RN

4,568 Posts

Specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff. Has 30 years experience.

A tough question. Pretty much what tewdles said. You are smart to figure out there is more to nursing than just tasks. Had I figured it out years ago, I never would have suffered burn out.

What I found that worked for me was taking back my own practice. The big people can give me policies to follow but my practice is mine.

I now go into a room, introduce myself and pull up a chair and ask the pt how they are doing. I get a verbal report from them before I do the assessment. It really takes only a minute to talk to someone and you can glean so much information from them. Patients love it and are surprised to see a nurse not rushing in and out of rooms or whipping back the sheets to do the assessment and then run out again.

I also ask them what I can do for them at this moment and what THEIR goals are for the day.

Simple things, but it helps make my practice unique. :D

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 9 years experience.

thank you for the advice! letting my own personal skills come through has helped!