The quest for the perfect brain sheet continues…

Following my first few shifts in capstone, I have been continuing to adapt my own time management brain so that it is more-user friendly and attuned to my time management needs on this particular unit.

Some key changes to this latest incarnation, Nurse Teeny’s Brain 3.0:

  1. This tool allows for the management of three patients on one sheet of double-sided paper. This works for me because the typical patient load on our floor is 3. I keep a blank copy handy in case of admissions/discharges. Obviously if you have more than 3 patients, you’ll either need two sheets or adapt this to meet your own needs.
  2. The far left side of each patient’s “block” includes data such as name, room #, medical record #, age, and sex. The box is big enough in most cases to just place the patient’s sticker there if you prefer.
  3. I got rid of the time management 1st page from a previous version. I found that it was cumbersome to have an extra sheet of paper in my pocket, and time-consuming to check for information in two different places.
  4. Instead, I incorporated the 12-hour sheduling piece into each patient’s block. For each hour, I can write in scheduled meds/procedures/nursing tasks AND record data that I am unable to chart right away (I&O, vitals, abnormal assessment findings, etc.). Then I check it off once it’s documented in the chart.
  5. The pieces of information that are most important to know are on the front side: Diagnosis, code status, current weight (critical in peds), allergies, diet, IV fluids/access, and PRN meds. There is also a little extra box for jotting down notes.
  6. I included check boxes to remind myself to do a safety check in each room, check tubing to see if it needs to be changed on my watch, and to encourage oral care and hygiene (both very important in oncology).
  7. Lab results go on the back side. I usually only note abnormal or borderline labs in case I need a quick reference. It’s easier than printing out the most recent results and having MORE paper to carry around and fumble with. I also try to indicate which direction the results are going in (up or down), and whether the result is too high or low compared to the reference range.
  8. I kept the SBAR section on the backside for each patient. It has helped me tremendously for updating doctors and delivering end-of-shift reports.

The brain can be downloaded in PDF format if you like it the way it is, or in Word (.doc) format if you’d prefer to tweak it for your own needs.

I’ve noticed a lot of traffic on the brain posts, so I’ll continue sharing as long as y’all are finding them helpful…

Happy Time Management! 🙂

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