Organizational skills are essential to nurses. In some areas they can be even more so such as for travel nurses, home health nurses, and advanced practice nurses with independent practices.
Paper work is a huge nemesis and nurses who are not organized tend to struggle with the paperwork more than others. Paper work and documentation is a fact of life and the sooner you stop fighting it, the easier life can be. The better your organizational skills, the easier the paper work can be as well.
The nursing process can help to organize nurses. Learning to prioritize tasks and patient needs is an excellent format for organizing the day’s work. This however, is a challenge for most nursing students and many new nurses.
Physical needs almost always trump psychosocial. Tasks with specific times such as wound care that is to be done several times a day, IV antibiotics, etc., take precedence over other tasks and general patient care.
Setting and following a schedule and utilizing a notebook or PDA can help to keep tack of information to be documented in the patient’s chart.
Anticipating the fact that when you are most stressed and busy, something will generally go wrong or interrupt your schedule can help to reduce the overall stress.
Don’t procrastinate with the things you don’t like to do. Get them out of the way as soon as you can and you’ll find that your stress level is reduced as well.
Seek out the organized nurses among your colleagues and observe them to see what they do to keep themselves on track. Be a sponge and soak up as many tricks as you can to help get yourself organized and your shift will be much more enjoyable.