• Time Management

    Have you ever been in a restaurant where the person waiting on your table seemed to take forever filling your order and bringing your food? The server was rushing to and fro but didn’t seem to get anywhere? It’s not hard to see that wasted motion is dominating the performance of their job. The same is a potential problem with nursing.

    The difference for the server, however, is that the food is late or cold or the order is mixed up. For the nurse, the outcome is potentially far more serious. That’s why, for nurses, good time management skills aren’t simply convenient—they are essential.

    It’s not a matter of working faster or working harder. A nurse has to work smarter. Nursing is a ballet of motion and actions where random changes in the choreography are expected and seamlessly blended into the performance.

    Yes, it’s challenging. But, it’s also a highly rewarding career, both professionally and personally. A nurse can take pride in handling a difficult job with the greatest possible efficiency. Personally, the reward is even greater when a nurse looks into the eyes of a patient who is suffering and sees that actions taken help alleviate a person’s pain and discomfort.

    It’s one thing to say you’ll improve your time management skills. It’s another thing to effectively do so. To manage time well, as a nurse, there are some key habits to develop. Do these well and good time management will almost certainly follow:

    • Plan your day. That includes writing down your goals for the day and prioritizing your goals. Nursing can be hectic and you may not accomplish everything in your plan today. Prioritization will ensure that you accomplish the most important goals. Keep in mind that your plan for the day must have the flexibility to meet changing situations and unexpected demands on your time.
    • Organize launch and landing periods. This pertains to the beginning and end of each workday. At the end of the day, begin preparing for the next day to avoid a mad dash. Stay a few minutes after your shift to put your things in order, as well as to ensure the nurses coming on have the latest information about your patients. Arrive a few minutes early so you can get up to speed on the patients you’ll be looking after today.
    • Be a good team player but don’t get carried away. Yes, it’s good, even vital that you help out other nurses and doctors. However, you also need to know when to say “No.” It’s expected that you’ll help out where needed but not at the expense of the patients you’re caring for and yourself. Here is a place where good delegation skills will serve you well. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
    • Avoid unnecessary and time wasting activities. Keep casual chats with colleagues to a minimum. Prioritizing your goals will go a long way to helping you avoid unimportant interruptions.

    If you develop these habits, you’ll improve your time management skills while becoming a more efficient and effective nurse. Others will appreciate your ability to meet the substantial and fluid demands of nursing with calm professionalism, less stress, and a greater sense of self worth.

    By following this link, you can read about a day in the life of an infusion nurse. Find out how she manages her time and how she feels about herself and her job as a result. Be sure to read the comments made by people who read about this nurse’s day to see how much a good nurse is valued.

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