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Getting organised for the day

In any career, being organized helps people get the job done and avoid unnecessary stress. Organizational skills for nurses are especially important, since each nurse is responsible for a diverse group of clients and many unexpected things can arise during the course of a clinical day. The key to being able to successfully manage the responsibilities of patient care is in using time effectively to work smarter not harder. There are various strategies that can be used to �get organised� for a clinical day, however some basic principles are:

  • Assessing and prioritising what needs to be done (and by when)
  • Making a list (whether it’s in your head or on paper)
  • Knowing what resources are available, and using them
  • Delegating where/when appropriate
  • Reviewing your plan when things aren’t working or the situation has changed
  • Recognising when you need help and asking for it.

Time management is a learned skill that can be mastered by anyone, but it takes commitment and practice. Support from experienced staff is invaluable to the development of good time management skills.

Getting Organised (Video 25)

Thinking points

For Students

Use this video as a trigger for group discussion and/or personal reflection on the process of organising yourself to complete all required learning activities during a ‘clinical prac’ day in the health workplace.

As you watch the video, some key points to think about are:

  • being clear about what needs to be done,
  • identifying the priorities,
  • making a plan and reviewing it as often as necessary,
  • asking for help when needed.

For clinical staff

Use this video for discussion with your colleagues and/or personal reflection on the process of helping students develop the organisational skills required to efficiently manage the completion of assigned clinical activities within expected timeframes.

Key points to reflect on include:

  • the role of experience in developing effective time management skills,
  • the importance of appropriate orientation to unit functioning and personnel,
  • time management hints and tips that work for you (and why),
  • the effect of factors such as context, prior experience etc. on student anxiety and performance.

Cleary, M. & Horsfall, J. (2011). Developing students’ time management skills in clinical settings: Practical considerations for busy nursing staff, The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 42(6), 248-249.