New Nurse Time Management

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Hi all. I am a new nurse in a residency program. I am 5 weeks into it on a hectic floor. I am still with a preceptor for 10 more weeks so I know I have time to learn but I am starting to get worried that my time management skills won't develop fast enough before I have to be on my own. I am quite overwhelmed and get so behind. Any tips for time management and juggling 5 patients on a med surg floor?

Specializes in Pediatric/Adult Oncology. Has 8 years experience.

These feelings are normal. I too am a new grad on a medsurg floor and there are some nights where I feel on top of my game and other times where I am drowning. Where is it exactly that you feel you are struggling? Finding a groove? or is it when it comes to passing meds or prioritizing needs that you feel behind?

BookBug14

24 Posts

I feel like I get behind because of charting. I can do my med pass and assessments fine. Although I do feel I could speed that up. But then the charting puts me behind. And even at that I could probably handle it but then throw in admits and discharges and all the calls you get and the morning meetings and theven random things that come up like a pt who needs your attention immediately... after all that, I just can't get back on the ball.

Specializes in Neuroscience. Has 10 years experience.

The time management comes with experience. Are you going to nights after your orientation is over? The slow pace of nights might help to hone your time skills better. It's normal to be slower when you're new and learning. Cluster your care. Do your assessments, vitals, ask about toileting needs, and pain while you are in the room. Chart as you go. If you have portable computers, chart the assessments while you're in the room or shortly after you've seen every one -- don't save them for the afternoon. Especially on day shift, there is too much going on with admissions, discharges, new orders, patients off the floor for tests, etc. that you could easily fall behind. Good luck.

Specializes in Pediatric/Adult Oncology. Has 8 years experience.

From the sound of things, it sounds like you are on days. If you have the opportunity, although not always appealing, you should switch to nights. I am on nights and the slower pace has been much better for learning my flow. With nights you don't usually have to worry about discharges, just admits. Also, sometimes a patient needing your attention "immediately" can be remedied by talking to them about what it is they need for your shift. (Pain control, comfort, etc). Also, I found being honest and explaining that you have 4 other patients to care for also brings them to an understanding as to why you can't always respond as quickly as they would hope. Also, something new I have been trying to do is take in meds that are due at the time of my assessment, that way I have a little leeway before the next set of meds are due. I usually do this by getting to work a little early and looking at my assignment to see what meds everyone has due and writing a checklist of their meds so that I can cross them off as I go.

Guest957596

343 Posts

Specializes in BSN, RN-BC, NREMT, EMT-P, TCRN. Has 3 years experience.
I feel like I get behind because of charting. I can do my med pass and assessments fine. Although I do feel I could speed that up. But then the charting puts me behind. And even at that I could probably handle it but then throw in admits and discharges and all the calls you get and the morning meetings and theven random things that come up like a pt who needs your attention immediately... after all that, I just can't get back on the ball.

Chart in the room with the pt. Do not leave until you're done unless an emergency comes up. My preceptor does this, I did it in clinicals as well. I work 7a-7p, so I go into the room for shift assessment, do it, and chart. I don;t have meds to pass right away usually and we have an hour window anyway for meds.