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How difficult is it to manage your time in the hospital (or a fast paced environment), if your a registered nurse?

I'm interested in learning more about the health care field and what it takes to be a nurse. I feel I manage my time wisely, but want to get a better idea of what the hospital setting is like. #nurse #nursing #healthcare #medicine #hospital #rn #registered-nurse #doctor

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Shayla’s Answer

The level of difficulty depends on you. The practices that you have in place now to help with time management are often the skills in which you will continue. Nursing is a demanding field and it’s best to formulate good time management habits now prior to beginning your career. These habits can always be tweaked and modified to meet your needs however, a good foundation is key.

Something that I find helpful is prioritizing care and tasks. I make a list of all tasks that need to be completed and prioritize them by the level of importance and timelinesses. I don’t find it difficult to manage my time now but as a new grad, I struggled a bit due to not having a stable foundation regarding time management.
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Michele’s Answer

Time management skills are the secret to reducing the stress of working in healthcare.

Different settings are stressful in different ways so that is something to consider when you decide the specialty you want to work in. In the beginning, you feel like your always behind but after a few months, you get into the rhythm and speed up.

For example: a Med surg floor can have a very steady demand required since there are so many tasks that need to be done in a given shift. Such as: giving medications both oral and IV, dressing changes, nasogastric tube and urinary tube care, getting patients ready for the OR or procedures. So you are constantly finishing a task and getting ready for the next one. I secretly kept track of exactly how many minutes it took me to do basic tasks so I could better organize my shift.

The ER is a feast or famine setting: So one minute every thing is calm, in control and the next 3 patients arrive at once that all need critical care nursing. Your brain needs to shift into high gear, compressing the list of tasks needed in quick order so you can keep up with what the patient needs. Examples are: cardiac arrest, shortness of breath that needs a chest tube inserted right away, sudden increase of gastric bleeding, seizure patients.

So its your personality and strengths that help you decide which setting fits you and what time management skills you excel at.
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Bailey’s Answer

I found what helped me in the ICU was to create my own nurse brain for my work flow. I created personal checklists and reminders that I would use on every patient. At the beginning of my shift I would plan out my day on each nurse brain. This would include questions to ask the doctor, when medications are due, goals for the day, and interventions that need to be completed.
Time management is extremely important. I find it is better to get tasks done sooner than later because things change! Once I create my plan for the day, I sit down with the patient and explain the expectations for the shift and reasons why. I love teaching patients and their family! When you start working you will figure out your own flow!
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Hillary’s Answer

Great question! Time management skills are very important being a nurse in a hospital. If anyone out there does not have these skills, not to worry, they will come. When I teach students and new nurses they do not have the time management part down for a few months in. Of course they get better day by day, but it takes a few months to really get your flow going. In a hospital setting emergencies happen or the timing of things are not always the same every single shift so you have to learn how to be flexible.

We tend to work 12 hour shifts (day or night). Things we do: get a report on your patients, look at their labs/diagnostic tests/doctor notes/doctor's orders, do a full assessment. You'll be giving medications, managing IVs, monitoring vital signs, continuously monitoring patient status, helping to feed/bathe/clean/any activity of daily living....for ALL your patients. Of course we do much more, but this gives you a base idea of a lot of the basics that go on.
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