What Advice Would You Give a New Registered Nurse On Managing Time During Busy Shifts?

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    Nurse Magazine

    What Advice Would You Give a New Registered Nurse On Managing Time During Busy Shifts?

    In the fast-paced environment of healthcare, a CEO & Lead Consultant offers a golden nugget of wisdom to new Nurse Practitioners on managing time: prioritize and delegate tasks. Alongside this expert advice, we've gathered additional answers, including practical tips from seasoned practitioners who may not hold titles but carry invaluable experience. From mastering patient prioritization to the essential practice of taking scheduled breaks, discover a spectrum of strategies to navigate a busy shift effectively.

    • Prioritize and Delegate Tasks
    • Master Patient Prioritization
    • Adopt Batch Processing
    • Utilize Digital Charting Tools
    • Communicate with Healthcare Team
    • Take Scheduled Breaks

    Prioritize and Delegate Tasks

    Focus on the highest priorities. Oftentimes, clinicians feel the urge to do it all and beat themselves up when they can't. Focus on the most important tasks first. Next, schedule alarms in your phone for follow-up reminders, and delegate or hand off the tasks that are the lowest of priorities. Make sure to follow up and validate that it was completed. Remember, you can't do it all; however, you can put measures in place to do your best.

    Nerissa Malloy
    Nerissa MalloyCEO & Lead Consultant, JNM Healthcare Solutions

    Master Patient Prioritization

    For a new registered nurse, mastering the skill of prioritizing patients based on the urgency of their needs can significantly improve time management during fast-paced shifts. Understanding triage is more than just following a protocol; it involves quick thinking and smart decision-making to determine who needs care first. This ability helps ensure that critical attention is given to those who need it most, preventing potential complications.

    Time spent well in assessing and prioritizing can make all the difference for patients and your workflow. Reflect on your triage practices after your shifts and always look for ways to improve your assessment skills.

    Adopt Batch Processing

    When it comes to managing the demands of a nursing job, adopting batch processing for repetitive duties can be a game-changer. By grouping similar tasks, such as administering medications or updating patient records, you can create a more streamlined process. This strategy can help reduce the time spent on transitioning between different tasks, cutting down on overall time expenditure.

    This approach also allows for a more focused and efficient use of the time you have, making it possible to attend to your responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed. Endeavor to identify tasks that can be batched together, and experiment with this system to find what works best for you.

    Utilize Digital Charting Tools

    In an age where technology pervades every aspect of our lives, it's vital for a new registered nurse to harness these tools for efficient time management. Utilizing the available software for charting can help speed up the process, ensuring that more time can be dedicated to patient care. Digital charting systems typically come with features that are designed to help reduce errors and allow for quicker access to patient information.

    Trusting in these systems can also minimize paperwork, letting you spend less time at the desk and more time at the bedside. Make it a goal to become proficient in the charting software used at your facility and fully integrate it into your daily practice.

    Communicate with Healthcare Team

    Effective communication within the healthcare team is crucial for a new nurse in managing time effectively. By regularly updating and consulting with colleagues, you can avoid duplication of work and ensure that everyone is informed about the patient's status. Clear communication with your team can also provide support during decision-making processes and prevent misunderstandings.

    It cultivates a collaborative environment where tasks are shared and streamlined according to everyone's strengths. Start by proactively engaging with your colleagues to build a strong foundation for teamwork and mutual support.

    Take Scheduled Breaks

    Working without pause can lead to burnout, especially during a busy shift, which is why taking scheduled breaks is essential for a new nurse. Breaks allow you to step away from the high-stress environment, catch your breath, and return to your duties with renewed focus and energy. These moments of rest are not just beneficial for your well-being; they also contribute to safer patient care by reducing the risk of errors.

    Make a conscious effort to adhere to your designated break times, even if it's tempting to skip them during a busy period. Remember that caring for yourself is a crucial step toward caring for others, so prioritize your breaks just as you would any other important task.