There are two things nurses will never find excessive: vacation time and productive, efficient shifts.
In a previous article, we offered five tips for busy nurses during their shifts. We’ve found a few more ways you can make your days more efficient and, in turn, more enjoyable. Here are six more ways nurses can save time during a shift.
Make a To-Do List
A to-do list may seem like an obvious solution, but this time-tested method really can help you stay organized.
Creating a daily list helps you prioritize as you plan your day. When you write or type everything you plan to do, you can spot those little time thieves and make changes to your schedule to ensure you don’t waste a single minute. Plus, who doesn’t love the feeling of checking off a to-do?
Take Advantage of Apps
There really is an app for just about everything.
If you have a question about the side effects of a medication, you can open the Nurse’s Drug Handbook app on your phone or laptop in just a few seconds. Have you ever forgotten about a task when you’ve been busy? The free Nurses Aid app on Google Play sends you reminders to help you stay on track. Other apps offer the latest medical news, provide translations or even help you study for exams.
Eliminate Unnecessary Steps
Walking is a great way to stay in shape, but too much walking at work can waste time.
Eliminate extra steps by noting any issues when you stop by patient rooms at the beginning of your shift. For example, if you notice that several IV bags will need to be changed in the next hour or two, you can devote 15 minutes to replacing all of the bags in one trip, rather than darting from room to room when the alarms ring.
Buy a Notebook
A low-tech notebook (the actual paper kind) can be useful during your shift — especially when it comes to charting.
Although experts recommend charting as you go, some days are so busy that this task must wait until the end of your shift. Even if you can’t chart immediately, you may be able to spare a few seconds to jot down notes that will help you remember key events.
Do the Things You Dislike
First It’s only human nature to put off doing the things we dislike. Unfortunately, at the end of your shift, you may have less energy and time to tackle those tasks.
When you take care of those little things at the beginning of your shift you’ll be able to simply call it a day at end of your shift.
Ask for Help
When you have help, jobs that could take 30 minutes may only require five or 10 minutes.
Although you may be a little hesitant to intrude on your fellow nurses’ busy days, nursing is and should be team-oriented. As long as you’re willing to return the favor, you’ll likely find that other staff members will be glad to lend a hand.
There are plenty of ways nurses can save time, and the benefits are numerous. Managing your time efficiently can help you provide excellent patient care and reduce your stress level. Following these tips may make your days a little less chaotic.
Are you interested in improving patient satisfaction scores? Read our free guide, A Nurse’s Guide to Positively Impacting HCAHPS scores for inspiration.