Nurses are busy people. With the lives of patients in their hands, it can be overwhelming. Here are five useful tips that I use in my profession that could help you too.
Make a Cheat Sheet
It takes five minutes to make a cheat sheet. At the beginning of every shift, I write down when medications are due for each patient, what treatments need to be done, and what vital signs are needed. When I finish a task, I mark it off my list.
An Hour Before to an Hour After
Medications can be given up to an hour before to an hour after they are scheduled to be due. I start giving my patients medications as soon as it is an hour before they are due. This can be a time saver, especially if something unexpected arises.
Eat Your Lunch While They Are Eating
I also take my lunch when my patients are busy eating theirs. Most of the time, they do not need me at that time. When they get done eating, I am done eating too.
Carry More Than One Pen
With documenting, paperwork, and forms to fill out, my pen runs out of ink fast. That is why I always carry three or four pens in my pocket. If one runs out of ink, I have others that I can use. Also, people will borrow a pen from me and then forget to bring it back. Many times when home health and hospice vendors come to my facility, they bring and hand out free pens. I always get a couple since I go through them so fast.
Many times, my dementia patients will get confused, especially at night. The best thing to do is to redirect them. If they want their car, I tell them that it is too dark to drive. If they want their husband who has passed away, I tell them he is at work. Although this may seem like lying. The best thing to do with these patients it to keep them calm. Often telling them the truth will upset them more because they are living in the past.
My job is not the easiest, but then no nurse has an easy job. It can be one of the hardest professions. These are tips that I use to help make my job a little easier and I hope you find them helpful.