Investing in the career of your choice is among the wise decisions you can make in your lifetime. Today, there are an array of career fields that you can choose from, including education, public policy, health, and medicine. Nursing is among the most rewarding careers which are rapidly growing.
Besides its monetary value, helping patients overcome medical conditions can be a source of gratification. However, much sacrifice is involved in pursuing nursing as a career; education is the most apparent. Juggling the responsibilities of school and personal life while striving to find a balance can be overwhelming.
The usual 24 hours may not be enough for a nursing student. Fortunately, with the following time management tips, you can be in control of your day’s activities without straining.
One of the ways that you can stay organized as a nursing student is by implementing routinization. Performing tasks or running errands specifically and consistently helps the time and reduces the chances of idling or engaging in unnecessary activities.
You can do this by reviewing your syllabi at the onset of each semester to mark important dates like assignment deadlines, exam periods and have them written in your appointment book or mark the dates on a calendar. Electronic alerts can also be helpful for people who hardly check their notebooks.
As the semester begins, have a weekly plan that organizes your school and personal responsibilities and make to-do lists for each day to keep track of your activities while saving on time.
Take time to refresh
The aim of time management in nursing is to increase productivity, rest, and recharge. Nurses working in high-paced facilities have little time to spare. However, instead of preparing for class during lunch break, you can take a break, recollect your thoughts as you eat a snack or sip on water.
A break doesn’t have to take so long; it can even take 5 minutes. Nurses who fail to get rest risk falling into depression and developing mental disorders such as anxiety. They also have higher instances of errors in their line of duty. Burnouts are a common occurrence among nurses besides compassion fatigue which results in reduced quality of patient care.
Much team effort goes into the nursing job. The American Nurses Association has formulated a principle guide for work delegation to help nurses manage their time effectively.
Delegation involves assigning patient care duties to your assistants while remaining responsible for any outcome. Nurses work along with other healthcare providers, including nurse assistants. Before delegations work, a nurse should pay attention to different factors that include:
- The care difficulty of the patient.
- The type and intensity of supervision required.
For delegation to work effectively, there should be a healthy work relationship between the two staff and open communication. It is essential to delegate only when you have another pressing need to avoid misunderstanding between you and your assistant. Assigning your responsibilities to a different person gives you time to tackle other urgent needs.
Build a support network
Devising ways to plan your time is something previous nurses and nurse students have dealt with before. Connecting with your classmates, workmates, and instructors will help you learn different time management strategies that you can employ in your day-to-day activities.
In the group, you can also find an accountability partner who may remind you to manage your time well and vice-versa. A mentor can also be beneficial when it comes to effective time management.
Your instructor or mentor can be someone who has completed nursing school and is working, or it could be your teacher. Nurse students that are part of a nursing expert community have less transition time for learning and improving teaching effectiveness.
Distractions can occur in different forms for nursing students, including social media spaces and talkative co-workers. As a nurse, limiting your time on devices like your smartphone or computer will help you save much time and avoid errors while at work.
You may need to switch off your mobile phone while at work to avoid distractions that could affect the quality of service you administer to patients. Focusing on one task and setting a timer can also be beneficial to nurses or nursing students.
With proper time management, you can find a balance between work, school, and personal life. If you are interested in becoming a registered nurse, you can explore nurse practitioner courses to increase your understanding.