In the fast-paced world of healthcare, particularly nursing, effective time management is the key to a perfect work-life balance. Time management improves nurses’ focus, problem-solving skills, productivity, and decision-making abilities.
Nursing is a high-stress job. In critical situations, time management relieves the stress of a long workday for nurses as they feel more in control and boost confidence.
Nursing is time-consuming work and can quickly take over other personal and professional responsibilities. A 12- or 14-hour shift doesn’t leave room for other activities. But time management provides nurses the much-needed breather to enjoy work and family life.
Time management benefits all the stakeholders in the health system: it improves the quality of work and life for nurses, and patients get the care they want with attentive and confident nurses.
Healthcare systems run smoothly with responsible and competent nurses.
Time management is a crucial skill that requires practice and patience. No one achieves perfect time management in a day, so nurses must reinforce the strategies that work for them and stay clear of chaotic patterns to remain calm and focused.
Since the health care system requires more time management skills in the workforce than in any other profession, it would help nurses to incorporate time management skills in their daily routines.
Below are some tips that can help nurses achieve the goal.
1: Invest in Professional Development
Medical innovation and breakthroughs define the current healthcare system. Medical staff, particularly nurses, must be up-to-date with the new field advancements. Confident nurses are well-equipped to deal with critical situations with proper understanding and knowledge.
Since nursing is a high-risk profession and lack of knowledge or proper training can have detrimental effects, nurses should keep upgrading their knowledge. For instance, investing in programs like accelerated Online BSN greatly benefits professional growth.
Designed for registered nurses with time constraints, accelerated online programs offer flexibility and ease. You can choose from multiple starting dates according to your work schedules.
Affordable and convenient, these programs ensure that as a practicing nurse, you are at the top of your profession.
Up-to-date knowledge about medical practices boosts confidence in nurses. Training and learning instill efficiency and decision-making power, essential for time management.
Professional training enables nurses to reap the benefits of the job and sets them up for growth and success in their careers through effective time management.
Achieving professional goals improves the overall quality of professional and personal life. For nurses, with a professional millstone completed, the positive energy and self-assurance reflect in the quality of work.
2: Organization and Planning
Although nursing is characterized by unforeseen changes and emergencies, weekly planning and organization are critical factors in reducing workplace chaos.
Below are some tips for nurses to plan and organize their day to optimize time management.
• Keep a weekly planner of administrative and other responsibilities. Start every day with a quick look at the scheduled task and the specific requirements for those tasks. For instance, you should coordinate with radiology for a patient’s x-ray and set a time for the appointment.
• Follow a daily routine. Although there might be bumps in the execution of all the tasks, a routine will keep you in charge and focused.
• Arrange the task according to the priority. Medical care of patients, like daily examination and assessment, and medicine times can’t wait, but administrative tasks like updating medical records can.
• Assign a time frame to finish routine housekeeping and organization. For instance, you can put 30 minutes to set up your supply tray for the day. It will save you time and energy during the day.
• Squeeze in a break for yourself to catch your breath. Minor breaks are vital for restoring physical and mental stamina.
• And lastly, be flexible. Medical procedures are time-consuming, and you might only finish some of the assigned tasks of the day. Understanding human and time limitations will keep you motivated and positive.
3: Use Technology
Technological innovations have led to many planning and organizational tools and apps for the medical staff. Some provide up-dated medical news and information about medicines and procedures.
These tools assist nurses in optimizing time and providing quality care to patients. Many of these tools are free of cost and available on handheld devices like tablets and phones.
For instance, NurseGrid is an app designed for phones with full-time access to schedules and shift timings. Nurses can easily swap their schedules with other staff in case of unavailability. The app can easily add additional shifts to a nurse’s schedule.
Medscape is another excellent free app that provides up-to-date medical information about procedures and drugs and free commentary from experts in the field. It also features free step-by-step videos of medical procedures.
Using science-based games and activities, Nurses can use technology to create a positive attitude.
4: Promote Teamwork
Nursing is a teamwork job. Nurses coordinate together to provide the best possible medical care to the patients. They must develop efficient communication strategies within the group for better time management.
Effective delegation of work can reduce work pressure and intensity throughout the team. With pre-assigned tasks and duties, more work is done without putting pressure on the individuals. Time management is optimized through teamwork, and the work quality improves.
Additionally, teamwork develops a robust support system among nurses. They can help each other with tasks to minimize time loss for medical procedures. Having a support system among nurses can boost the mood and confidence of the team members.
5: Proactive Planning
For better time management, it’s ideal to do some proactive patient care. Not all medical procedures need last-minute execution. You can anticipate specific requirements during patient care and arrange the requisite equipment beforehand to save time.
For instance, during a slow workflow, you can restock medical supplies in patient rooms. Arrange necessary medical equipment to use later or the next day.
These small details will save you lots of time on the floor and reduce the pressure for the next work day.
Nursing is a gratifying yet overwhelming profession. However, nurses can develop time management skills to feel in control and positive during long shifts.
We hope these tips will help nurses manage time better. If you feel we need to include any points, please comment below.