Nurses that plan and organize their daily assignments have a written list of priorities which they must adhere to the absolutes like administering medications and obtaining pertinent information at the earliest start of their shift. Before I understood what or why nurses kept notes the certain way they do it was odd and confusing. In hindsight I realize the most efficient nurses use a sheet of paper that is either already outlined or they use a blank sheet that they draw lines for each patient on one side and each hour across the top. In one of my first clinical experiences the nurse said, “Grab a paper over there. This is ‘my brain’ for the day.” Several nurses make hourly sheets with room numbers to include when exact medications are due. Then they double checked orders for any updates in surgery times with consequential diet changes. Checking the patient’s chart for nursing notes or new orders in labs or treatments was highly efficient in planning our precious time and eliminating errors by clarification.
Great nurses use a personal method of listing highlights and assignments given at report at shift change. Then very diligent nurses kindly ask the shift change nurse to attend to each patient in passing to introduce the next nurse and monitor the patient and their surroundings. This prevents miscommunication and helps both nurses and patients eliminate biases, neglecting responsibilities, and promote comfort. When this is typically expected there will be a better sense of teamwork. Each shift will be more respectful of the following and accountability will increase. I remember instances where I went with the night nurse and the day nurse, whom I assisted, and we discovered full catheter bags that were thought to be emptied. We also encountered patients that had restless nights and had bonded with their night nurse. Although they were anxious about their hospital stay and diagnostic results in a few hours, they deeply benefitted by the trusted nurse’s reassuring handoff to the day team. This gave us unmeasurable progress with this patient in seconds that rewarded our entire day. One of my nursing heroes was amazing in showing impartial respect and caring to patients, their families, and the team of services. She was very encouraging and offered sincere appreciation often to many individuals. Although everyone will connect better with some personalities and clash with others, she seemed to demonstrate preferential treatment for each young person in her care. She was positive and cheerful and willing to help in any kind of situation. She was aware of staffing shortages and agitated clients and made herself more available to help in the best ways. This is very close to the ideal in the book describing Creating a Respectful and Caring Environment.
•Offering sincere positive recognition for both individuals and teams.
• Praising and giving thanks for a job well done.
• Spending time with staff members to reinforce positive work behaviors.
• Meeting the staff members’ personal needs whenever possible, such as accommodating scheduling needs for family events.
• Providing guidance and support for professional and personal growth.
• Maintaining a positive, confident attitude and a pleasant work environment.
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2019). Contemporary nursing: issues, trends, & management (8th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.
Nursing is predominantly prioritizing and organizing work. Once nurses receive reports for the day, they organize and prioritize in order to avoid confusion during the shift. Experienced nurses which i have seen at my clinical site typically walk around with assignment sheets created by them which help organize their thoughts on how to go about the day. The more experienced nurses understand that nursing is team work and they cannot do it alone without the help of other team members like nursing assistants, physical therapists, doctors, pharmacists amongst others. They either have to request from or provide information to these team members for total health care to be achieved. Therefore, they interact with these persons on a timely manner, clearly and request feedback for evaluation.
Management skills that will help nurses identify their work more efficiently include; time management skills, communication skills, being a team player, organization, prioritization, empathy amongst many others.