Plan of Attack

Nurses General Nursing


I will be graduating next week. I've learned many new things from my preceptors. I know that you "experienced" nurses have some tricks up your sleeves for being efficient about completing tasks.

So, here's the question: How do you start your shift after report? What do you do that makes your life much easier? Do you have any organizational tips for the newbies? Please share! Any ideas are appreciated.


Tait, MSN, RN

2,140 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice.

I get to work early, up to 30 minutes, organize all my papers and then get report. After that I look over orders and quickly, mentally, prioritize my patients and then start.

Best of luck, and remember we all have our own process, and yours will eventually surface :)



179 Posts

Getting there a little early definitely helps. I find that it helps me relax a little bit and not feel as harried. I try to get there about 15 minutes before report starts.

The first thing I do is get on the computer. I turn my report sheet to the blank side and divide it into 5 horizontal columns (we usually have 5 pt's). On the left side of each column I write the pt's name and room number. On the right side of the column I write this:









I go ahead and check AM labs on each patient, crossing out "Labs" after I do this, and making a note to myself of any pertinent abnormals especially if they need to be called--if night shift didn't take care of it already. The numbers are the times of the day I chart (we chart Q 2 hr) and I cross those off through the day after I do it.

In the middle of the column, I write down all the pt's meds due for my shift as well as accuchecks like this:

1300 Zosyn

1700 Accuchek

1800 Vanc

And so forth.

Any other misc task like dsg change or IV restart that doesn't really have a certain time, just that I need to do it sometime today, I write somewhere in the column and circle it.

this is just my system! I have kind of just picked up tricks from other nurses as I went along. You will find your own system that works, too. Good luck!!


658 Posts

Specializes in CMSRN.

I have a cover sheet so to speak that I staple to my Kardexs. Instead of making a grid or whatever else on all my pts sheet, I have a one sheet form that I developed. I work overnight and fine tuned it to fit what I need to do. I chart alot as I go and write down what needs to be charted on the form. As I chart off the sheet I place a red line through it. By the time I am finished I can look back and see what I have done. I do not have to flip thru papers unless looking for specific pt info. I do this plus what some of what other posters say.

It took me over a year to find my way. You will get there.


190 Posts

Thanks for sharing! I've noticed these little tricks make a big difference in how "ahead" or "behind" you get. I appreciate ya'll sharing secrets. :yeah:

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X