Juggling multiple patients

Nurses General Nursing


Hi all you experienced RN's out there...

I am a 2nd year Nursing student (Graduating Spring 2010), and am wondering how you organize your time to care for all your patients effectively? Until now, I have only handled one patient at a time (except for OB rotation)... now we get 2 and more... yikes! So, I want to get a head start on learning to effectively manage my time in clinicals.

Thanks for your help!:yeah:


985 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, educator.

prioritize. Also, "bundle" your care--gather all of your supplies needed, have all assessment tools together, and any other anticipated gear. Everyone does things different, depending on what works for them. You'll find your way as well!


660 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Make a list in the morning when you get your assignment and look over the orders. Then like the previous poster said bundle your time. Maybe do assessment, vitals, wound care, and meds while in the room. Then move on to the next patient and so forth. Always pop in ALL you patient's rooms after you get report to check out the situation and decide who needs to be seen first. It seems hard now but after you graduate and get into the real world of nursing you can do what you need to without having your teacher stand over you all the time. I think lots of time is lost tracking down the nursing instructor so you can give meds. Good luck!

Specializes in M/S, Tele, Sub (stepdown), Hospice.

I'm going into 3rd semester and I've been doing an externship this summer. I'm handling 3 patients right now and what has helped me tremendously is a time organizational chart. In the beginning of my shift I write down everything I need to do in my time columns - ex: 2100 colace, 0200 ancef, 0400 labs, etc. I do it for each patient - keeps me organized and I can prioritize patient care.

Specializes in ER, Medicine.

I keep a to do list and prioritize as I go.

Usually I try to group tasks. For instance, I'll take care of all of room 5s needs before I move on to 6. As I finish I check things off before rounding again.

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