Warning: Following the following tips may explode your productivity
The truth is we can’t really manage time.
Time just is.
What we can do, though, is learn to manage ourselves. And that’s why the whole “time management” thing is such a farce. Become disciplined.
The number one skill most successful nurses understand or take the time to perfect is self-management. Proper self-management skills are essential for nurses of all shapes and sizes. When you hit the floor, you’re then responsible for all that goes on and how to manage it.
If you are constantly behind schedule, you won’t have the proper focus to manage all you have to do nor have the time to communicate correctly. This will ultimately make it harder for you to have a smooth and successful shift.
Thankfully, just like any skill, you can do the work to improve it.
The following are essential self-management techniques to learn as a new travel nurse.
Work in batches and with deadlines
Batch work is where you make sure the tasks you start with and work on during your shift are similar.
For example. If you need to focus on medication administration, only concentrate on the meds! Knock out all the rounds due at a specific time in one fell swoop. Do that and that only before you move on to the next task.
Because you know as well as I that there will be the next task.
This way, you are using your time more efficiently by not going back and forth and, for example, looking up labs while trying to calculate your drip rates on an IV med.
While these tasks may seem similar because they relate to the shift, you will likely waste a lot of time going back and forth. Not to mention the potential for error. You can easily miss important details required to practice safely and efficiently.
Keeping these tasks separate to maximize your efficiency and quality will work best.
Learn to fight off procrastination
Procrastination can instantly kill a shift and create a turn for the worst.
If you don’t do the work, you can’t expect a smooth shift. Period, end of story.
So rather than putting things off for later or hoping your tech or aid will come to the rescue, take the initiative and get it done now. A shift can quickly go sideways, so don’t put off the task for later.
Schedule everything you can
A schedule is a nurse’s best friend as it can save you so much time and frustration.
It is always a great way to keep you organized between your professional and personal life. That line can become blurry pretty darn quick. Anything you do should be scheduled so you know exactly when and what needs to be done to achieve your goals and get ‘er done.
This doesn’t just refer to your time on the unit. It also means your time when you are off of work. Having a set schedule will prevent you from doing work “stuff” when you should be doing fun stuff. And vice versa.
The final word
While being a travel RN certainly has its challenges, it’s important to remember that the most successful nurses have overcome these same hurdles.
With proper self-management techniques and the use of helpful tools, you can improve your productivity and focus on what’s important: having a smooth running shift.
Are you a travel nurse looking for your next travel assignment? Are you a staff nurse interested in trying out travel nursing?
Visit Bestica Healthcare and start planning your next assignment today.