Getting organized is easier said than done, especially if you're a nurse with many patients and several things to complete simultaneously. If you're looking to bring some kind of order to your workday, setting up a personal filing system may be helpful. Doing this is also great for dealing with any potential sources of distraction. A clipboard is the nurse's best friend, so make good use of them to keep track of patient information and doctor's orders.
If a patient has missed a dose or has abnormally low or high vitals or lab results, you should check on these issues before you receive the report. Everything else can wait as you dig in further because this is urgent. The departing nurse may already be halfway home if you wait until after the report to sit down and review these components of the chart.
Save yourself time and frustration by checking those three items before requesting a report. A quick check will tell you if the patient's lab results are within normal range, their vital signs are steady, and there are no overdue medications.
Report sheets, which some nurses refer to as a "brain," are written notes on which you detail your daily goals for each patient. Take notes from the nurse whose shift you are taking over on your report sheet.
You should take notes on the drugs, doctors, lab results, relevant history, and exam information you find in your record review. You can use this report sheet to help you stay organized as a new nurse if you keep it with you at all times.
No matter how well you arrange your day, something will inevitably go wrong. New graduates often have trouble with prioritizing responsibilities. Rearrange your schedule as needed when unexpected events interrupt your day.
Expectedly, you have previously scheduled your day and now need to make some adjustments. Take a look at your schedule to figure out the most convenient time to carry out the tasks on your list. Is this an urgent matter, or can it wait till later?
All new nurses, in addition to maintaining order in the workplace, should also make an effort to do so at home. By establishing a few routines, you can shorten the time it takes to prepare for work.
Set up a plan for when you wake up and when you go to sleep. While it may seem unnecessary after a while, some people find it helpful to physically write down their daily habits when first starting out.
Additionally, you should always spend some time each night getting ready for the next day. Finish as much as you can the night before.
Use whatever methods are most effective for you to maintain order at home so that you can carry that discipline into your professional life.
Timely preparation is the key to staying on top of your busy schedule. Make sure you record the due times for each patient's medications, assessments, labs, and other appointments. Meals, glucose checks, Foley care, PIV hourly checks, and other ADLs could fall under this category as well. Create a schedule broken out by the hour, and then specify what activities should be completed within each of those time slots. So that nothing gets overlooked, this will keep you focused and on track. Hint: These can be found on some report sheets as an added convenience.
These are wonderful suggestions for both novice and experienced nurses alike. Apply a few of the suggestions or all of them to see what works best for you. Keeping yourself organized is a very individual task, so you should find a system that works for you.