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Oct
10

Juggling

One of the trickiest parts of transitioning back to acute care has been time management. As I’ve tried to figure out a routine that works for me, I’ve played with some of my earlier “brains” to determine a layout that easy to follow and allows me to both track my activity and manage patient information for report.

Our floor provides printed information sheets on each of our patients. However the layout leaves something to be desired and you have to wade through a lot of information to get the relevant details you need. On the other hand, supplementing these sheets with my own papers just results in a lot of confusion and shuffling back and forth to find what I need.

So I’m trying out a two part solution:

  1. A Time Management Grid (Word and PDF formats available here) – Formatted for 6 patients, this sheet allows me to map out medications, treatments, lab draws, procedures, etc. throughout the shift. I feel much more confident having a place where I can check off my tasks, as well as jot notes and reminders to myself as I’m flying around the floor.
  2. Report Labels (available for download here). I took a system assessment sheet I was using previously and am having them printed on rectangular labels (ordered via Vistaprint…preview below). This will allow me to affix my assessment/report notes to the back of the patient information sheets that are already available to me. It cuts down on papers flying around and helps me keep my information for each patient together.

I’ll play with this system for a couple months and see if it works. Report coming soon. 🙂

A couple of other tools that have been helpful:

  • A clipboard. I hadn’t used one since nursing school but considering that there is still some paper-based charting on my floor, it’s just too many sheets to keep in my pocket. Also gives me a hard writing surface wherever I may be.
  • A small equipment caddy (got mine at Michael’s). To have frequently used items at my fingertips. I store extra allergy/DNR/Fall Risk wristbands, saline flushes, an extra IV start kit, labels for tubing, pill cutter and crusher, end caps for syringes and IV tubes, highlighter/Sharpie, tape and the ever useful Post It pad. It means at least one hand is occupied while I’m walking around, but it saves me steps!

Every job has tricks of the trade. After a bit of trial and error, I’m starting to feel a little better equipped.

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