Stay Organized and Focused

If you get delayed or have trouble meeting all the demands, don't forget to ask for help. Nurses are overachievers and this work is all new to you. Don't put anyone, especially the patients, at risk. Delegate what you can and focus to complete the rest. It is usually easiest to delegate simple, uncomplicated matters that will require the least amount of discussion. This will maximize the amount of time you afford yourself to complete a more complicated task.

Organize the task in your mind before you begin. Explain all procedures to the patient and don't skimp on the privacy issue. Don't expect to be speedy. Take your time and observe. Make note of how this might be made easier next time and how the patient responds. If all goes well, pat yourself on the back and record this one for your mental journal of accomplishments for the day.

As with your other assignments, when you have an opportunity to do so, get the things that you fear most or dislike out of the way first. This will go a long way in keeping you focused and free from some of the most overwhelming situations.

Move on to the next task. Whenever you have a relatively calm and quiet moment, take a deep breath and reflect on the positives. Peek in on all your patients. Catch up with any of your aides or techs to find out how their day is going and if they have anything to report about your patients. Be sure to ask them questions. They are not trained to assess and may not put the same measure of importance on a symptom or complaint.

If you delegated anything, be sure to find the person and find out how it went and say thank you. Offer to reciprocate if you can or at least acknowledge that you will return the favor at some future point. Review your assignment and see what is left for the rest of the day. Cross off those things you have finished. Make any notes that you need to help you later. Prioritize again.

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