To flourish in today’s advanced and evolved world, productivity and time efficiency are assets, particularly in demanding professions like nursing. There is no doubt that nursing is a fast-paced industry that requires one to always be on the go.
The most valued nurses are the ones who can use their limited time most efficiently. Nurses know that each second counts and situations can change in a heartbeat. The high-intensity, hectic, and quick-paced shifts demand nurses to be on their feet.
New nurses are often taken aback by the amount of multitasking and busy shifts they are expected to perform but quickly get the hang of it. If you are new to the nursing profession and are facing problems in juggling the various tasks, the following productivity tips will surely help you out:
Learn to prioritize
Nurses are expected to handle numerous different tasks daily, and losing sight of which ones are the most important can wreak havoc on your routine. From taking patient samples, maintaining records, administering medication, checking up on patients, communicating with the higher authorities, and juggling education courses simultaneously, there is a lot on a nurse’s plate.
Prioritization is critical; when you first enter the profession, you will be guided thoroughly about the urgency of different tasks and learn about things essential to patient care. Keep these points at your fingertips, and begin your day by listing tasks, starting with the most important ones.
To have better insights into time management, advanced education is essential. But, nurses can find it challenging to manage hectic work schedules with studies, so it is a good idea to go for flexible options like RN to DNP online programs that allow you to continue education without affecting your work routine.
Make it a habit to take notes
While some people have a good enough memory to keep in mind every minor detail of their daily routine, it is better if you always have a notebook to jot down things. Forgetting tasks can mean a matter of life and death for some patients. Their safety is in your hands.
When you are on top of all your daily tasks in this way, at the end of your shift, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, your productivity will improve, and you might find some free time for yourself.
Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks
Remember that healthcare is no individual task; it always relies on effective teamwork. Don’t overestimate your ability, and assume you can be hands-on with all the roles in patient care on your own. Others on your team are there to share the burden.
Delegation is an essential tool to enhance productivity, but only if it is used the right way. Registered nurses should only delegate to others those tasks that don’t require their critical thinking and knowledge. Using delegation in highly sensitive tasks where your expertise is needed is not wise.
Also, don’t lose sight of the opportunity altogether; you can delegate routine procedures and administrative tasks to others so that you can perform the more crucial duties effectively.
The American Nurses Association suggests that to make safe delegation decisions, delegate only the right task, in the right circumstances, to the right person, under proper supervision, and with the right directions. Effective delegation will enhance overall productivity.
Steer clear of multitasking
As confident as you might be in your ability to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, don’t. Research has proven that multitasking can lower productivity and efficiency.
Many studies have proven that multitasking creates difficulty concentrating, maintaining focus, keeping things in memory, learning new material, and handling stress. This can lower overall productivity and increase the chances of errors; mistakes in healthcare are unacceptable.
When you try to deal with multiple tasks simultaneously by dividing your cognitive resources, information is likely to get muddled or forgotten. For instance, if you attempt to skim some patient’s report while preparing medication for another, you might mix the details and give an incorrect medication or dosage.
When you have a busy day ahead of you, it is very easy to lose sight of time and spend every waking minute busy doing one thing or the other. However, know that such a routine can be counterproductive.
Taking breaks is very important if you wish to avoid burnout. Your body needs rest and cannot rejuvenate without breaks.
Research conducted in 2018 showed that micro-breaks (short-breaks) could positively affect your work and improve performance. If you go a long time with no break, you will likely make mistakes that can have terrible consequences. You might also lose productivity, stress your brain, strain your body, and ultimately feel demoralized.
Don’t rush things
While it is essential that you get things done on time, if you are running short of it, don’t hurry things at the expense of quality. Be thorough, even if it takes a while longer. Otherwise, you might make costly mistakes, and your efforts to complete things will be counterproductive.
Be especially careful of this when you are directly dealing with your patient. Remember to be compassionate, considerate, and kind; your patients need you and are already stressed out without you having them rushed.
Incorporate technology in patient care
Many healthcare organizations today recognize the need to incorporate the latest technology into healthcare procedures and utilize these time-saving gadgets. Replace paperwork with digital records and use quick messages to communicate.
If your organization has not yet adopted such technology, make a recommendation and advocate for these changes. Tools like instant text messages, smartphone applications for health records, and patient education via digital means, all enhance productivity.
Productivity is the key to success for all professionals and this asset is indispensable for nurses. Your fast-paced job demands you to always be on your toes and make the most of your time.
Learn to prioritize, take notes, delegate where feasible, take breaks, don’t rush things, and put technology to good use if you wish to improve your productivity. You will surely see positive results very soon.