Time management tips needed

Nursing Students General Students


Specializes in Nursing.

Hey all,

I am in my final three months as a student and feeling very in need of time managing tips. I'm feeling like I am drowning doing clinicals right now and I only have one patient. Granted I am in a very busy floor, but common sense things like structuring my cares around my med times seem to be taking too long or not occurring to me. My instructor told me today I need to improve. So can someone give me the kindergarten level class on nursing time management please? And please don't ask me to re-evaluate my career choice right now as these details are only about 1/100th of the story. Thanks

Specializes in ICU Stepdown.

Write things down. This is the only way I can keep things straight in my head and keep myself from getting overwhelmed.

Specializes in Nursing.

Thanks. Do you have any tips about how to plan my day or how to prioritize patient cares?

Specializes in Cardiac Stepdown, PCU.

Make lists. Be flexible. Ask for help. Follow your ABCS. Easier said than done. I know. Really is just practice. The more you learn and practice the better you get.

Specializes in ICU Stepdown.
Thanks. Do you have any tips about how to plan my day or how to prioritize patient cares?

What type of unit is it?

When I had med-surg clinicals, before I went in my patient's room I read their H&P and took note of all the meds they were due to get while I was there as well as their diet orders and any procedures they were getting that day. Then I'd go get vitals (and blood sugar if needed) and introduce myself as well as do the shift assessment. From there, I would chart and then work with my instructor and the primary nurse as to when I'd be passing my patient their meds.

It can be hard to get into the swing of things at first but if you make your own routine and stick with it, it'll be a lot easier. Making a checklist on paper first then eventually being able to visualize the checklist in your head. I hope this helps a little, good luck!

I'm just going into my second year, but one thing that I've learned is that the first couple of days at a new clinical site is always rough. Generally though I do a time management technique called time blocking. Pretty much I'll write out a rough schedule for myself and break it down into 10-15 minute increments.

An example of one of my tentative schedules would be 0700-0715: receive assignment; look at their H&P; write down age and weight, see what precautions they're on and if they are a DNR, look at when their meds are due and if I know which one's I'll be administering then start writing them out. 0715-0730: Depending on if nurse's are rounding or not either get report or go in to Pt's room and introduce myself and take vital signs. Have a breif chat with them to establish familiarity and assess LOC. 0730-0745: Same as 7:15-7:30. 0745-0830: Look up meds, labs, and check safe dosages (you have 45 min., just jot down safe dose range, class, action, serious and common s/e, and if you need to important implications. If you already know the information about the drug just write down prescribed dose and safe ranges=saved time). 0830-0915: If it's not your time to do med. admin then do morning care and do your head to toe assessment while bathing (cluster your care). 0915-1000: Med admin and then after that anything else you need to do.

The key is to never just be standing around and be willing to be flexible with your time. Also, during bigger tasks such as morning care and looking up medications give yourself more than adequate time. A bedbath and assessment typically shouldn't take 45 minutes, but if it does it's not a terrible thing if you allocated yourself enough time.

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