NewsDio.com Staff : Contrary to what most people think, a nurse’s job isn’t easy at all. In addition to performing routine procedures, assessing patients and assisting them during ambulation, nurses also have to look after their homes and attend to their families. With all the activities they have to do, there is no doubt most nurses become victims of burnout. In fact, even those who are adept at managing their time will sometimes have bad days. Time management is key to keeping a healthy work-life balance and advance in life and the nursing profession itself.
Time management is vital for nurses as it helps them prioritize and organize patient care, educational responsibilities, administrative tasks, and personal obligations. Although the nursing profession has various demands, nurses who develop better time management skills can achieve outstanding balance when time is not in abundance. Nurses who can make the most of the time will see valuable benefits. The International Journal of Caring Sciences states that nurses who manage their time effectively can experience reduced stress and greater productivity in all aspects of life. That said, let us look at some tips on how nurses can manage their time more effectively.
Enroll in an online nursing degree program
Education is a continuous process in healthcare, and nurses need to upskill their practice to generate better results constantly. Therefore, nurses returning to education must learn to manage their time more effectively when balancing their personal, professional, and academic lives. In comes the route of acquiring further learning from a digital platform instead of an offline one. An online MSN to DNP program will effortlessly allow nurses to upskill and work simultaneously. This way, they can strike a better balance between all their commitments while retaining the flexibility to finish their nursing program on their terms.
An online program, be it in nursing or any other field, lets nurses choose their studying schedule, class timings, and course difficulty. It allows nurses to perform nursing tasks without worrying about missing classes and falling behind in their studies.
Routinization is an effective way that enables nurses to maximize their time efficiency. The process involves systematic repetition of tasks that works so they can carry out their duties with consistency. Following a routine consistently enhances a nurse’s time management abilities by turning critical nursing tasks into habits and eliminating unnecessary planning.
Think of it like this; we wake up every day, brush our teeth, shower, and have breakfast. The same applies to the nursing profession. Routinization helps with daily nursing responsibilities, from performing daily physical exams to collecting patient health histories.
Highlight or asterisk activities that you need to complete during your day shift or at a particular time or allocate tasks to a specific time of the day. i.e., dressing wounds, administering antibiotics, or preparing for surgery. Ask yourself, ‘what activities do I need to prioritize over others’ or ‘what will I do first and why?’ Identify the most critical and urgent tasks and aim to complete them first before any unexpected circumstances occur.
Delegate work the right way
Healthcare is not a one-person job and requires a team effort. Nurses probably don’t have to be hands-on with every aspect of patient care. However, that is completely fine. Other healthcare professionals, including assistants, are there for a reason. Hiring a good nursing assistant will make your life on the hospital floor a whole lot easier. Still, you have to utilize this resource effectively.
Don’t delegate all your daily tasks and activities to your nursing assistant, as it will eventually overburden her or him and lead to burnout. Ensure you’re only delegating tasks because you have another pressing issue at hand that only you, as a nurse, can solve. Doing so will save you a lot of time in the long haul as you won’t be showing your nursing assistant that you’re going to leave all your dirty work to her or him.
Try to keep your cubicle or your work area neat, tidy, and organized. After using your equipment, put it away in its proper place. You won’t manage your time properly if you are wasting your time finding things here and there. Plus, doing so will make you feel more in control of your workspace and eliminate workplace clutter and hazards.
Furthermore, follow your work schedule as much as you can in an organized manner. It will allow you to anticipate any changes beforehand and save time on unnecessary trips to acquire equipment, for instance, getting scissors and gauze to prepare for a procedure.
Don’t say yes all the time
Some things can wait- whether attendants are waiting for you to take a patient for a procedure or a colleague is asking for a patient’s blood report. If you know that something isn’t urgent, learn to say no and don’t feel bad about it. Avoid doing tasks and activities that are not on your list of priorities unless it relates to direct patient care.
Don’t try to multitask all the time
As a working nurse, you will likely have tasks on your to-do list. However, you need to tackle all your tasks one by one. New research shows that multitasking is ineffective and can damage our brains.
Multitasking can sometimes decrease your brain’s capacity to comprehend what you’re hearing and seeing as you flood it with tons of information at once. The study also concluded that multitasking makes you less effective at prioritizing goals and managing time properly.
Developing time management skills takes time and a whole lot of practice. Reflect on what works best for you and what doesn’t after your shift is over. There will be things that are beyond your control. However, you might end up identifying areas where you can drastically improve and then make tweaks accordingly to be a more efficient nurse.