Nursing Time Management
Time Management is the process of doing required tasks efficiently and effectively.
- Nursing is changeable and variable therefore difficult to plan and manage
- There is not a great deal of literature aimed at time management in nursing; usually aimed at office and factory work.
- Bad time management can lead to frustration, failing, significant events.
- Is time management an oxymoron?
- When it is busy the sheer volume of work makes it hard to set priorities.
- Reactive time is responding to demand - which is sometimes necessary.
- Proactive time is deciding what work is beneficial (preventing)
- DO NOT get caught up in the Activity trap / Merry Go Round syndrome – lots of movement but little direction. Do not mount 6 horses and gallop in 6 different direction. A person who tries to catch 2 rabbits will not catch any!
- DO NOT Implement half –baked plans as short cuts can become long cuts
- DO: plan the day, estimate times, list your demands for Dr`s, get questions answered and plan on Dr`s round.
- DO: Build in reflection time. What is the best use of my time?
- DO: Quality vs. Quantity
- KISS –keep it short and simple.
- DO: Role model a Nurse who manages well
- The Principle is that 80% value comes from 20% of the work.
- The ABC Principle is:
- A – if it is not done today/ this duty there will be negative consequences.
- B- if it is not done soon there may be negative consequences
- C- can be put off without negative consequences
- Stressors will effect one`s ability to work
- Stress when managed becomes eustress which a lot of people enjoy
- Nature of work; dying, role conflict, conditions, load, equipment.
- Important to be positive especially role models feel good/ work good, conversely anxiety spreads
- People who are stressed often act like the White Rabbit (A I W) – agitated, clock watching, aimlessly wandering portraying an air of being busy so that no-one will approach them or delegate them more work.
- Described as ‘making the most of your time by involving others’
- IT is NOT a way of getting rid of ‘crappy jobs’
- Routine jobs to other HCP`s, Pharmacist to explain meds to pt, Physio to mobilize pt, Dietician to explain / organize diet.
- Problem solving can be delegated to people of greater or relevant experience
- When delegating always take into account experience, confidence, training and education.
- A mismatch between a person's possible and actual skills has potential for inefficient and ineffective care / work.
- Often as a manager; it is not what happens when you are there but what happens when you are not there that counts
- Organise your environment to assist your work. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance
- Pre procedure think about a career move:
- Check policy/procedure/charts
- Assess the patient/environment/equipment
- Review the procedure with the patient
- Execute the procedure
- Record and report
- Get to know your ward / unit
- Cupboards, drug trolley, orderly service,
- Use IT-telephone, fax, computer—learn it!
- Do not replicate work- obs in Nurse kardex
- Do not struggle alone on a 2/3 man job. May take longer but is safer. Family help e.g. feeding win/ win situation
- From Latin meaning ‘tomorrow’
- Probably the major cause of poor time management. Present with unpleasant, large, high risk of failure, or need of feeling pressure tasks.
- Do Not confuse it with planning time.
- “ don't just do something – sit there!”
- Ask oneself “why am I putting this job off”
- Carpe Diem-seize the day, Graspum Stingum-grasp the nettle.
- Nike –just do it attitude often helps.
- For many it is knowing where to start, proactive NOT reactive time is helpful here
- Chunk big workloads into groups
- Take breaks on time someone else wants theirs
- “One on the eye is worth two in the ear”
- Write things down as soon as possible you will forget about 50% of what you hear or read in < 1minute.
- Communicate messages as soon as possible
- Good documentation is not only an aid to communication but a legal requirement.
- Most problems arise from bad communication
- Phone, visitors, MDT, fellow Nurses are the major interrupters.
- Try to prevent those not vital.
- Learn to say NO!
- condense conversations, brief to the point
- Don’t let others steal your time-dropper inners, idle chat –learn cut offs: I need to settle this quickly, I will get right onto it, well it's been good talking to you.
- Meetings are a big time thief, don’t go to meetings you don’t have to, if do- get them started, to end close folder, stand up
- Meetings can be interrupted, hand over time is always spoiled. The social side of handover is important but should be after the biz is done and then kept short.
- Handover-factual, concise, written, taped, bedside, verbal, office, whatever works best for the area.
- Recognize that what you are doing is important and you can`t always drop everything to accommodate others
- Prioritize-not every task has to be done on your shift
- Know that your priorities may be different from the patient, MDT and other Nurses, so sometimes prioritize your priorities.
- Handover-LISTEN-ask Q`s before staff leave, take 5 minutes to make plan, time -/+ task chart, highlight must do`s.
- Bedside check, arrange work space. Things differ from what you are told. Sooner discrepancies found less damage done. YOU are accountable.
- Sequence care weigh, toilet, chair, meds, procedures, hygiene etc.
- Some Do`s are flexible some are MUST
- Use team members e.g. ward clerk, escort Nurse, orderlies.
- Learn by practice-Martha Graham
- Stop a moment, cease your work, and look around you- Thomas Carlyle
- When it is dark enough, you can see the stars – Charles Beard
- If you wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin-Ivan Tugena
- Procrastination is the thief of time-Edward Young
- Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday-Don Marquis
- Procrastination is opportunities natural assassin-Victor Kiam
- My evil genius Procrastination has whispered to me to tarry `til a more convenient season- Mary Todd Lincoln
- What is time management?
- Why is time management difficult for Nurses?
- When would reactive time apply?
- Name some stressors?
- What is delegation?
- Procrastinate- what does it mean?
- How much do you forget in 1 minute?