Even before your first semester of nursing school classes start, you will be OVERWHELMED with the amount of paperwork. That’s why I quickly realized I needed to come up with a foolproof system for organizing all of it for easy reference and keeping my sanity intact. Turns out, I’m not the only one who realized this…here’s a note I received recently from a reader in St. Louis:
Though I totally dig my Erin Condren planner for life after nursing school, I just don’t think there’s anyway it would ever work well for a nursing student. The schedule is just too jam-packed! When I was a student, I used a full-sized (8.5×11) planner and was happily using up every square inch of the available space. While it was a really functional planner, it wasn’t quite perfect for nursing students (and the design left something to be desired). So, what’s a busy nursing student to do? How about use a specific nursing school planner? Sounds pretty good, right?
Getting your shift off to a good start is crucial if you want to have a good day (or night). I’m a big believer in routines…and your Start-of-Shift routine (SOS) is one of the most important ones you’ll ever develop. Here’s my SOS…maybe it will help you develop your own! Here are the five things I always do right after receiving report.
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you know I am a sucker for all things related to organizing (also a sucker for pens, post-it notes and all things laminated!). Depending on the type of unit you work in (or have your nursing school clinical) it may make sense for you to have your “stuff” organized and accessible in some way…but not necessarily on your person. This obviously isn’t for you if you work in a unit where you are never in the same spot for very long or are running hither and yon your entire shift (like in the ED). But if you work critical care,PACU, and even on the floor you may find that having your goodies in a storage tote works well, provided you have a place to actually put it. In the ICU where I work, we have WOWs (workstation on wheels) at every room and tables outside every two rooms or so. I typically put my goodie bag there and have easy access to all kinds of things I might need throughout my shift but don’t necessarily want to carry in my pockets.
Though I love love love my Erin Condren Life Planner, I couldn’t help myself and had to design something specifically designed for nursing students. I hope to soon have these available as printable PDF for you to use in a disc-bound system such as ARC or any other half-size planner system. So, I thought I’d put up a sneak peak and see what ya’ll think. It’s still a work-in-progress, but I am really liking how colorful and functional it is so far.
There are two kinds of nurses…those who do the least amount possible and those who do as much as they can for their patients. You’ll recognize the two types pretty quickly.
The former spend most of their shift at the nurse’s station, complain when they have to get up and do actual patient care, leave their rooms a mess, leave their patients a mess and have piles of unorganized paperwork cluttering up their work area. When they give report, you’ll hear a lot of excuses about how busy they were and notice that several of your patient’s needs were not addressed (because that would entail more work.)