If you’re a nurse, you know there’s never enough time in the day. Today’s healthcare environment necessitates wearing many hats and working smarter, not harder. While you cannot change the amount of hours in your day, you can alter how you spend your time in order to make the most of every moment.
The learning curve for nurses is steep, and we could all benefit from some organizational advice. When it comes to all of our patients, there is so much to remember, and we are expected to remember all of their information and frequently have to recall it in rising situations.
Organization as a nurse takes practice and time, but if you work hard enough, you can become the organized nurse you’ve always desired to be!
Arrive at Work Early
Staying organized at work begins before you even arrive. Rushing in to start your shift just in time or arriving a few minutes late can disrupt your entire day or night. Instead, arrive a few minutes early to get your bearings and settle in without feeling rushed. One method is to do as much prep work as possible the night before, such as laying out your clothes and packing your lunch.
Jotting down everything on your agenda each day or week is a great great way to identify everything you need to get done. Furthermore, crossing one item off after another is a truly rewarding feeling. If you’re more of a digital person, make your to-do lists on your smart device. Just ensure you only use one tool at a time to avoid switching between lists.
Do What’s Important First
If you’ve been a nurse for any significant period of time, you know you won’t be able to complete all of your tasks. Unfortunately, spending time with patients suffers as you try to complete the scheduled medications, treatments, and basic care. Prioritize your list and make certain that you don’t neglect any essentials. Some nurses use a preprinted scheduling chart that includes each patient and their necessary treatments.
Remind yourself of your long-term objectives and modify them as needed. Start setting priorities to help you achieve your goals. Keep family photos or inspirational images nearby.
Delegate When Possible
Don’t think you can handle everything on your own. Use any extra assistance that is available. When a task is beyond your level of expertise, delegate it to others. Provide appropriate project training and feedback.
Organize Your Supplies
A fundamental axiom for nurses is “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Begin with your pockets; instead of throwing your phone, alcohol wipes, pens, hand sanitizer, reading glasses, scissors, and tape in haphazardly, use a pocket organizer so you can easily access items when you need them. After reporting, take a moment to assess your patient’s urgent needs so you can collect the supplies you require before proceeding down the hall.
Check to be sure everything is stockpiled in the morning if you keep supplies in each room. At the end of the day, refill for the next shift. One of the most important organizational tools for nurses is a daily pre-shift checklist that is reviewed at the start of each shift.
Review Your Report
No one wants to be the nurse who delivers a report in fragments, with pieces of paper spilling all over the table and a lot of backtracking to bring up things she failed to inform you about a previous patient. A preprinted form, with spaces for current medications, treatments, and any changes in orders, can also help you organize your report. According to FreshRn, using the same template for each report will help you stay more organized and prevent misunderstandings, and is one of the most critical organizational tips for nurses.