There are many reasons that a nurse wants to clock out on time. One of them is to get out of the building and get home to loved ones, sleep, and life outside of nursing.
The other reason is that management tends to frown on overtime, and clocking out on time means that you do not have to spend more time on the clock than they want you to. It seems counterintuitive to give you more work than you can handle and then get it all done in a proscribed amount of time.
Unfortunately, that is the way nursing works sometimes, and knowing how to get out on time becomes a matter of making management happy. Here are some strategies you can employ to keep on top of your shift to get out when the clock strikes seven.
If anything can help a nurse out, it is organization. It can cure almost all ills, and getting out on time is one of them.
Staying organized means that you know what your patients are doing and that you are able to keep track of what happens during your shift. That means that you can easily chart and close up at the end of the day and get out on time.
If you want to stay organized, it means keeping your brain sheets to quickly access patient information, and accessing computer information as quickly as possible. Information to hand is the best way to stay organized, and that can get you out on time.
Chart as You Go
It is imperative to chart as you go. When you end your shift, it is usually the charting that is holding you up.
When you are caught up in the moment of med pass and emergencies, you can easily forget to chart. However, if you make it a habit to chart assessment findings, changes in condition, and doctor interactions while they happen, you won’t have the pressure of getting them all done at the end of the shift.
Getting your charting done in real time may seem insurmountable at first, so perhaps try doing only a little at a time. Try only charting assessment data first.
When you chart as you go, you will find that you can get out on time because you won’t have the specter of the chart to handle at the end of the day. Start small and work it into your routine.
Delegation and Efficiency
You need to delegate to get yourself out on time. Part of the reason it is so hard to chart as you go is because you are too busy doing so much work.
Try to delegate to ancillary staff when possible. Some facilities don’t even have ancillary staff anymore, but try to get some help for tasks that can be performed by someone other than you while you work on charting or med pass.
You also need to work on efficiency. Do everything the same every time so that you don’t miss anything.
If you delegate and focus on being efficient with your work, you should find that you can manage your time well and get out on time. It will take work and an adjustment, but you can get out on time by tweaking some of your habits.