There are multiple activities with the pressing demand of time, and when I reflect on these events, it seems they could have been catered better with a more effective time management.
I had been assigned to this patient who had an anterior cruciate ligament construction in the left knee, and these postoperative patients have multiple requirements. This patient was diabetic and had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The tasks can be divided into making the bed, recording vital signs and charting them, positioning the patient, feeding her, examining generally and in the operative site, recording the findings in the chart, administering medications, performing common bedside tests, informing the supervisor, and looking out for any complications and reporting them. This seems to be a long list, and I found it is extremely insufficient time within the shift to accomplish all tasks in a proficient and efficient manner. As a result, everything was getting disorganized.
I decided to talk to my mentor and seek her advice. She told me that I was not being able to manage time very effectively. Inexperience is indeed a factor, but if the principles of time management are applied to my work, this would ease matters a lot. She talked to me about the importance of time management and also gave me some tips of time management as applicable to our work. ...
I decided to apply her principles in work. This happened very soon, where I could optimize my actions on the basis of priority. My patient was shouting in the ward since she had pain, and she wanted me to give an analgesic injection. At the same point in time, she was having a scheduled injection of antibiotics on an 8-hourly dose. The patient's shouting sounded urgent, the pain must have been intolerable, and I assumed a cool composure and decided to attend the injection of the antibiotic first. The antibiotic dose needed to be administered in the right time since it has relationship with concentration of the drug in blood that will kill the bacteria. If it was not injected in the right time, this might cause infection in the postoperative joint, and the whole surgery may be baffled in terms of outcome. I, therefore, prioritized the antibiotic injection against a painkiller shot. I finished the antibiotic and then went ahead to prepare for the pain killer injection.
While reflecting on this, I found that I did the right thing, but I was feeling ashamed that I could not suppress my irritation with the patient. This is because I failed to convince myself that as a nurse, I must be clear and confident enough about my different roles and must be able to differentiate those roles on the basis of priority in the ward that applies differently to the same patient in different situations, and that should be guided by importance that can have far-reaching implications in care, never by apparent urgency. I concluded that it is all about being able to attach importance to the activities in different roles in order of gravity is the essence of time management.
From the next day onwards, I made a schedule for my work in the ward. I decided that I