How do I get organized?


Iam a new RN. Been working for a month. Iam taking 4 patients on a tele floor (I still have my preceptor available) but how do I get more efficient? I feel so overwhelmed with morning med passes, charting. Even taking and giving report. Any advise or tip and tricks to how to get organized and efficient?


82 Posts

I'm a new RN too. I literally make a chart on one side of paper which has columns for each hour for each patient (ie. 0700, 0800, 0900, 1000, etc). Then on the back I have the paper divided up into 5 sections where I write down relevant info on patients that I have on hand (ie. allergies, co-morbidities, ambulation, diet, goals for shift, etc). Then when doing my research and planning my shift I write down what I need to do in each column for each patient. (ie. patient A needs VS/assessment/meds at 0800, med at 1000, dressing change at 1100, med at 1400, 1800 document/report). This is pretty tedious but I find it helps me to remember the little things and have things ready in case anyone has a question and I don't have access to the chart right away.

Of course, plans change throughout the shift but it's a nice reference to not forget to give that 1400 medication for Patient C when you are running around like crazy!


149 Posts

Make a to-do list/schedule as advised above.

Pull a rhythm strip for each of your patients for reference.

Print out any pertinent/recent labs or reports.

If you have electronic MARs, print them out for each patient.

Have a place on your clipboard or notepad where you can put acute problems or issues that need addressing with MD, social worker, dietician, pharmacy, etc.

And, most important when you are new and want to get yourself organized, get to work at least a half-hour early so you have time to collect all your data. Eventually you will develop a place in your brain for all this information; you will file all pertinent data there and you will do it automatically and easily. For now, you need something concrete and in writing to keep it all straight. But, believe me, it will get easier with each passing day. Hang in there!

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control. Has 42 years experience.

As stated by previous posters, an "external brain" is down right essential. Keep it in your pocket; cross things out, use different color pens if necessary. It's also very useful for charting, reporting off, or, if someone needs to cover for you for a break.