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Share your shift "brains" with a rookie, pls!


Greetings, y'all! HELP!!!!! Starting med-surg (nights) orientation in a couple weeks, and very, very, very nervous. Middle-aged retread for nursing--6 years exp. RN---ALL in community-based setting, w/chronic outpatients, and lots of case management. (Wanna see me nurse a chart?---a whiz at THAT.)

My NM knows I have effectively **no** acute med-surg experience (had a college "refresher class", but only a week on the floor). Unit is very willing to work with me & treat me like new grad with orientation and precepting, thank goodness.

My time management skills for floor nursing are, well, uuh,....HELP!!!!!

We have computerized Kardexes. Charting will be on computer; MARs are not yet computerized; we have Pyxis.

Would any of you darling people who "have your nursing acts together" (ohman, I am so jealous) be willing to show me visuals of what your "daily brain" (report sheet, to do list, whatever you call it)---looks like?

I've seen a lot of comments about what people INCLUDE in theirs--- but am afraid I'd build a 15-pager....and why reinvent the wheel?

Don't know if they can be posted here (for other people to see and say, "ooh, neat, I'm swiping THAT one!", or if there's links, or if e-mails are easier, or what. But anything that will help me get a 12-hour shift's work done in less than 18 is on the side of the angels! Thanks!


Specializes in Developmental Disabilities. Has 4 years experience.

I make up my own brain sheet (each room represented with a large box...divide a piece of paper into 6 equal size boxes) with pt name, diagnosis, fluids (whether they have iv/picc etc)...then make a list on the right side of my tasks already on the Kardex...examples how often to do vitals/assess, glucs etc (and what times they are to be done...I cross those times off when I'm done)...I also have room to write other things (need to call doc about critical lab...etc.) and can cross those off along the way. Has made things MUCH smoother, I don't forget nearly what I did before...also take out that brain sheet and look at it every second you can =)

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

here you go:

[attach]5032[/attach] report sheet

there is also a student clinical report sheet for one patient attached at the end of my post. it has information for one patient and the lower 2/3rds of it has review of systems information on it.

if you have any problems opening either file, send me a pm with your e-mail and i will e-mail the files to you as attachments.

good luck with your new job. organizing is a career-long pursuit. over the last 10 years or so i've found my computer (especially the word program) to be especially helpful.

Making a cheat-cheat will make your life Much easier!!!! Mine contains vital info such as patient room#,name,age, code status, allergies, pertinent history. I also have a column for to do items and any vital info that occurred on previous shift. It is short and sweet and I can fit up to 6 patients on one piece of paper using front/back. This life saver keeps me organized and helps me to manage my time and document effectively. Hope this helps.:idea:

psalm, RN

Specializes in Staff nurse.

The above posts are great! I would add that I write the PICC/Ports in red, code status I circle the pt. name in red for DNR; no circle means full code; allergies in red; procedures or critical labs highlighted in yellow. See what works for you.

I do multiple double-sided copies of these, for each patient. The worksheet is, roughly, the following: on the right side, what I see & read; on the left side, what I do and report. The flowsheet is just in case I end up with a patient for a while doing interventions and can't get out to write their note; just gives me a place to jot down the rough chronology of events for doing a "late entry" note later. It's formatted for my day-night rotations:




Specializes in geriatrics, rehab, now OT MedSurge. Has 8 years experience.

Hello all...I just want to tell everyone I have been searching the threads all weekend trying to find some suggestions on organizing my time...I am a new RN (LPN for 4 years though) and have started at an inner city hospital on a med surge trauma unit.....I am so excited but scared to death as well and I want to make sure the transition to a much faster pace doesnt go badly, so I wanted to get a head start on creating my own organizational ideas, so I found some things from numerous posts I liked and created one with a lot of the ideas from here...if anyone is interested please let me know and Ill forward it to you gladly :) Thanks to ALL of the nurses who contributed their ideas it is such a help to us newbies out there :)

Thanks Again...

Edited by NotReady4PrimeTime
removed personal email address per Terms of Service

I will graduate in two weeks and the time managment and organizationl aspect is my weak spot and am searching the threads for a worksheet that will help me but have not found one yet that seems to fit. I am curently doing my practicum on a med-surg trauma unit and hope to get a job there. I am highly interested in the worksheet you created and would greatly appriciate it if I could get a copy. I have never posted on here before so I am not sure how to email you or if you send attatchments through the registered email addresses of users.

Thank you so much in advance


Edited by NotReady4PrimeTime
removed personal email address per Terms of Service


Specializes in geriatrics, rehab, now OT MedSurge. Has 8 years experience.

I just need your email address...and then I will send it :) Im not experiencd either LOL

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