What Is the Importance of Time Management in Nursing?

E. Reeder

Nurses typically have an extremely busy and complex job with multiple, competing demands and many patients for whom to care. They must be able to manage their time if they are to be effective. No two days are ever the same in the field of nursing, and nurses must be prepared to handle emergencies and contingencies as they arise. Having a clear idea of the responsibilities and tasks ahead of them each day will help nurses immensely in successfully completing them. Time management in nursing is vital to getting all required tasks completed, managing patient caseloads and feeling less stressed.

Nurses must balance spending time with each patient with providing the appropriate level of care to all patients.
Nurses must balance spending time with each patient with providing the appropriate level of care to all patients.

There are numerous tasks that nurses must complete in a typical shift, including checking several times on each of their patients, managing medication, answering calls from patients, completing required paperwork and updating patient charts. The safety, health and security of patients depend on nurses being able to manage the numerous tasks assigned to them. Nurses might do well to find the time management tools that work best for them as individuals. Some may keep written checklists outlining their duties, some may keep an electronic log of responsibilities, while still others may be able to keep track of their numerous responsibilities in their minds. Time management in nursing also can be improved if nurses delegate certain tasks to others, such as certified nursing assistants, who can handle some of the tasks for which nurses are responsible.

Time management in nursing ensures that patients receive the best care during therapy sessions.
Time management in nursing ensures that patients receive the best care during therapy sessions.

One major reason time management in nursing is vital is the typically large patient caseloads that nurses must manage. They must ensure they check on each patient several times during each shift as they complete their rounds. Aside from being friendly and compassionate, nurses must answer questions that patients have; ensure they are being medicated, fed and given proper treatment and therapy as needed; and see to it that, when necessary, doctors are consulted. Nurses must regularly check on patients while also handling any contingencies or emergencies that arise, so the ability to prioritize is vital. Nurses often act as the communication link between certified nursing assistants, other nurses, doctors and health care professionals such as physical therapists.

Nurses must be able to handle emergencies and contingencies as they arise.
Nurses must be able to handle emergencies and contingencies as they arise.

Time management in nursing also is important so nurses feel less stressed. When nurses know what they need to do and have a plan for doing it — along with the necessary room in their schedule to deal with unexpected crises — they will feel more positive about their extremely important jobs. Nurses who feel less stress are better able to take care of themselves and their patients.

Time management ensures nurses have adequate time to address wounds properly.
Time management ensures nurses have adequate time to address wounds properly.
Nurses may struggle to get patients to tests or appointments on time when time is not managed effectively.
Nurses may struggle to get patients to tests or appointments on time when time is not managed effectively.
Nurses must check on patients multiple times during each shift.
Nurses must check on patients multiple times during each shift.
Qualified and well-trained support staff can help nurses better manage time by managing some of their clerical duties.
Qualified and well-trained support staff can help nurses better manage time by managing some of their clerical duties.

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Discussion Comments

anon979611

I think for nursing profession, time management is equally important and one should definitely look for the best time management tips that could help in easy time tracking.

There are various time management tools available that help in easy time tracking and one such I would suggest would be Replicon time management software app. This is a great resource that actually helped me a lot in all my time tracking requirements.

sunshined

One of my friends, who is a nurse, has often commented on how hard it is to get everything done. She used to take on the added responsibility of being charge nurse because of the extra money they paid her.

Now she says she no longer accepts this position because the added stress wasn't worth it. Even if someone has the best time management skills, there is only so much one person can do if you have too many patients to take care of at once.

This same friend also prefers to work the night shift because she feels like she has a little bit more time to get everything done than when she works the day shift.

myharley

Sometimes I feel like the words time management and nursing don't go together very well. As a nurse, my biggest struggle is being able to manage my time.

The list of duties that is required of me, combined with giving my patients the best care I can, is overwhelming some days.

I have worked as a nurse for many years, and I think the time management software systems that are supposed to give us more time, actually add more stress to the job.

When I first began nursing years ago, I didn't have as many demands on my time and I felt like I was a better nurse because of it. My main concern is giving my patients the care they need.

There are many times when I have to put in extra time at the end of my shift to catch up on all of the paperwork that needs to be completed.

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