As nurses, we’re time management virtuosos, spinning room to room like Texas tornados; unlike other professions, we’ve mastered time like sails harness wind; we’re unstoppable, juggling saline flushes, alcohol wipes, tubing, and ports like clowns juggling bowling pins at Barnum and Bailey – and we do it quickly.
We manage time like we manage narcotics: with heed. Nevertheless, I want to humor you; and I want to give new nurses a few pointers vis-à-vis time domination.
If you’re new, you can’t expect to be a Jason Hautala or Lynda Lampert; it takes time to learn how to manipulate time, much like it took time for Albert Einstein to determine E = MC2.
If you’re introverted, meticulous, and linear, it will take time; but with work, I promise you, you’ll become a bad ass, a time management monster.
Firstly, we need to throw down and discuss time. Technically, the colloquialism “time management” is a misnomer; we can’t truly manage time, it’s a finite resource, something we can’t manipulate, change, or stop.
Nonetheless, we dictate our destiny, especially in relation to when and how we spend our time.
Once you get to work, focus. Whilst you’re in report, triage.
As I’m sure you know, you need to allocate more time for the impulsive paranoid schizophrenic with a total right knee replacement than you do with a patient just suffering with a neurogenic bladder and generalized body weakness.
When you’re triaging, use commonsense, don’t over think it.
When you’re new, you’re generally fearful; in fact, once you step on the floor, you may even feel nauseated; but don’t fear, you’ll get over it.
When you’re fearful, you mustn’t let it interfere with your choices, especially in relation to patient care. When you need to make a decision, make it. If you need help, just ask you’re comrades.
If you’re new, you must learn how to set boundaries with your patients and colleagues; when you’re working, you’re working.
Okay, I’m done; if you’re young, new, and naïve, you must remember: choice is an illusion between those with power and those without.
And in terms of time, you’re the master; you can ultimately choose how you spend your time, both inside and outside of work.