Nursing is a demanding job. From taking care of patients to carrying out internal administrative tasks, nurses have their plates full. By effectively managing time, nursing staff can achieve improved efficiency and make room for professional development. If you are nursing staff, here are some frequently asked questions on time management and their answers that you might find helpful:
Question: 1 How can nurses prioritise tasks?
There are a few different ways that you can prioritise tasks as nursing staff.
- The first way is to start with the most urgent tasks and work your way down to the less urgent tasks. This is often referred to as triage.
- Another way to prioritise tasks is to start with the easiest tasks and then move on to the more difficult tasks. This can be helpful if you have a lot of tasks that need to be completed and you want to make sure that all of the tasks are completed in a timely manner.
- Lastly, you can prioritise tasks based on the importance of the task. This is often determined by the patient’s condition or the severity of their illness.
Question: 2 How can nurses reduce distractions at work?
As nurses, you are expected to remain attentive when performing activities that require concentration to avoid distractions and errors. Distractions and interruptions in nursing homes can compromise the patient’s safety. For instance, to avoid distractions while doing medication rounds, wear a ‘do not disturb’ vest or urge your supervisor to free you from other responsibilities such as answering call bells.
Question: 3 How can nurses manage time effectively?
- Delegate work: A very important part of optimising time management is to ask for help and rely on the help of colleagues. Delegating administrative tasks or routine procedures to junior nurses or new nursing staff can help you focus on more important tasks at hand.
- Create a work routine: This can help you maximise time efficiency. Creating a consistent routine eliminates unnecessary planning and turning essential tasks into habits.
- Arrive early to plan for the day: Showing up a bit early for your shift can be a time investment that pays off all day. Make sure you have all your essential supplies ready before clocking in.
- Leave some room for the unexpected: Unlike people in other professions, you may have complete control over their day. In your daily routine, make sure you are prepared for medical emergencies and other unexpected tasks that may come up during the day’s work.
Question: 4 How can eMAR help nurses save time?
A lot of time in nursing homes is spent on medication administration and MAR chart documentation. If your nursing home uses electronic MAR charts, make sure you receive the MAR training. eMAR is an Electronic Medication Administration software that reduces the time spent on documentation. It automates medication and sends alerts so that no dose is missed. It effectively manages the collection and reporting of data and makes it easy to prepare monthly and quarterly reports for audits.