Learning how to effectively manage your time as a nurse might be one of the most important skills you develop throughout your studies. Nursing college may be able to prepare you for the variety of aspects that are associated with the career, but it's important that you figure out how to properly mitigate your responsibilities in order to be the best healthcare employee possible. Here are some great strategies that may help you along the way.
Map out your day.
Nurse Together suggests that despite the unpredictability of nursing, you should still do your best to plan your day in advance. It's understood that working in healthcare means you may need to be ready for change at a moment's notice. However, doing your best to prepare for what lies ahead may allow you get more done with less stress.1 The needs and demands of patients might change rapidly, but planning time for standard tasks may make those situations more manageable. Make note of the common tasks you complete in a day and how long it takes you to finish them. From there, you might be able to prioritize what you do in order to manage the ever-changing landscape of your work day.
Staying organized might be one of the best ways to avoid wasting time sifting through unkempt patient records and charts, as reported by Houston Chronicle.2 If you’re asked to locate prescription information or lab results, you want to be able to locate it and immediately hand it over to the physician. That’s why keeping a tidy workspace may help reduce your stress level. The Houston Chronicle news also suggests that the end of your day might be well spent saving necessary files on your computer and organizing any hard copies into piles to revisit when you come back in the morning. This may be beneficial to the entire staff, as everyone would know where to look for specific information and not need to wait for help to locate it.
According to the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses, being able to identify and manage time-wasters might help you effectively mitigate your time spent on the clock.3 One of the biggest issues you may have as a nurse is dealing with procrastination. With so many different tasks to handle in a day, you might begin to favor some over others. To counter this, determine which part of the day you you’re the most productive and plan to tackle your harder assignments during that time. You should also consider setting personal deadlines. That can help you have the time you need to stay organized, and could impress your managers.
It’s okay to ask for help.
All too often, people are too worried about bothering coworkers to ask for assistance. Nurse Together purported that needing help is normal, and you shouldn't be concerned with asking another nurse to lend a helping hand.4 Some patients' treatments might require more than one nurse to manage, so take advantage of the support system you have in your coworkers. Just remember to return the favor when one of them is in need!