Organization Tips and Suggestions for the NICU

  1. Hello to All.....
    I am new grad excited and anxious to enter the realm of neonatal nursing. I am seeking advice, tips, and/or suggestions from NICU nurses on methods they use for getting and staying organized thru their shifts. I've heard of people making a list with each hour and writing do what needs to be done for each specific hour and a couple of other methods. I would just like to see what will work best for me. How do you breakdown and manage your time throughout the day with the required tasks? I understand that many times your plan may alter. I feel this is an extremely important aspect that a new grad needs to master before becoming a successful professional. Any input will be helpful. Thank You.
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    About maleNICUnurse

    Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 13


  3. by   Gompers
    When I get report on each baby, I have with me a pen, highlighter, and paper. I list each hour that I'll be working. Then I write next to each hour what I need to do at that time: vital signs, feedings, medications, labs, x-rays, etc. I highlight the medications. As I go about my shift, I look at each hour and see what I have to do. When I finish a task, I cross it off the list. This way, I can see at a glance what I have to do all night, so I can plan things. I clip this list to their bedside clipboard/chart.

    If I have more than 2 babies, like if I'm working with 3-4 grower/feeder babies, I'll make an additional list that I keep in my pocket. Here, I also list each hour I'll be working, and I'll write down when each baby is due for vitals and feedings. It helps to have this schedule to look at, because each baby has its own time slot so it's easier to stay organized.

    Yes, things go crazy sometimes but if you have it all written down like an appointment book, you can at least keep track of what you have already done, and what is left to do.
  4. by   maleNICUnurse
    Gompers, I appreciate that. Your method seems to be pretty good. Someone just told me about it, but you told me in detail. I feel if I can get in the habit of doing that early, it will prove beneficial. Is this used by many? But, once again, thank you, and I'll let you know how it goes.
  5. by   dawngloves
    My method is similar to Gompers. Another advantage to this is if you are called to a delivery, a nurse covering for you can look at your list and see what your babies need.
  6. by   Mithrah
    Gompers, how many years have you been a NICU nurse?
  7. by   prmenrs
    I used a work sheet like Gompers described, also had sections (5x8, front and back preprinted) for maternal/social history, 'demographics' like date of birth, birth weight, gestational age, common dx's I could circle, other past history events, surgery, etc. The front of the page was the current info, vent settings, the hour schedule, labs pending or due, today's date, todays conceptual age, IV's, feedings-what, how, how often-, d/c plans/teaching.

    Eventually, the unit printed my form and pads of them were available in the unit. It's not hard to develop your own. Some nurses used a spiral notebook. Then, if you went back to the same pt. several days later, you had a lot of the info already. Made it easier for evaluations, too. Just BE SURE to black out the name to maintain confidentiality.
  8. by   BittyBabyGrower
    We have worksheets we use...they have areas to write feed, etc, med times, procedures, etc...really handy on those days when you have 4 kids and an admit on the way!
  9. by   Gompers
    Quote from Mithrah
    Gompers, how many years have you been a NICU nurse?
    Six years, why do you ask?

    Prmenrs, that's pretty cool that they copied your form for the unit to use!

    We actually get computer print-outs for each baby each shift that has everything already on there - pertinent history, parent info, and all our orders (feeds, meds, IVs, treatments, labs, x-rays, vent settings, etc.). Then as we report off to the next nurse we'll pencil in additional info if necessary. I don't know what I'd do without these things!!!