Nurses emerged as frontline soldiers in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. They fought COVID-19 to maintain the country’s well-being and enable patients to survive the onslaught of this deadly disease. But are RNs focusing sufficiently on self-care? They shouldn’t neglect the importance of improving their mental/physical health since the instances of burnout among nurses have increased since the arrival of the pandemic. We suggest RNs manage their time effectively to avoid burnout while working during their shifts. Nursing’s not all about honing your medical abilities, but it also requires working on your soft skills. Now, how can nurses hone their time management capabilities to handle this pandemic?
Nurses’ mental health was already in shambles even before the coronavirus pandemic. One-third of nurses quitting in 2018 were leaving because of burnout. Last year, reports/studies suggested that 95% of nurses felt burnt out because of their jobs. When the pandemic persisted, nurses complained about being understaffed and overworked.
Nurses can avoid stress when they are practicing time management skills properly. Learning these skills has helped many healthcare practitioners regain control of their mental/physical well-being. We strongly suggest RNs study all these recommendations we’ll now mention down below to make their nursing careers more comfortable:
1. Enhance learning
We believe nurses should leverage continued education opportunities to enhance their leadership capabilities. These courses/degrees enable them to become well-versed in soft skills, the most crucial of them being time management. So, RNs can pursue an online RN to BSN program from a reputable institute for honing their learning. This program focuses on teaching RNs the clinical reasoning skills required to excel in their careers and get more work done in less time. It also helps them significantly improve patient outcomes.
2. Delegate wisely
Nursing’s about establishing powerful connections with your colleagues. You can’t function without any help from your coworkers. Sometimes, you must agree to delegate some tasks to people. When you’re overwhelmed by excessive responsibilities, it’s time to delegate some tasks to others to handle. While this practice shows your assistants how much you trust them, it allows you to avoid exhaustion. Don’t overwork yourself; learn to trust folks with important responsibilities.
3. Arrive early
When you always arrive early for work, it helps you manage your time properly. Remember that you can’t control your workspace or rely upon others to provide all the supplies you need for the day. It seems smarter to arrive early and ensure you have everything you need. Many nurses have confessed how coming early helped them locate their cups, swabs, and flushes for the day. So, they don’t have to waste their precious minutes looking for stuff. So, leave for work on time.
4. Take breaks
How much rest do RNs need? Experts have advised nurses to take breaks more often (even when they don’t need them). Nurses working twelve-hour shifts deserve three fifteen-minute breaks and one half-hour mealtime. They need these breaks to overcome the stress of nursing-related duties and the additional pandemic-caused responsibilities. When they get a chance to grab a bite, RNs can function properly while managing their time effectively. So, take a break when you’re ready.
5. Remove distractions
Distractions prevent you from utilizing your time effectively. You can manage your time properly by removing distractions and focusing on your responsibilities. What are some interruptions usually faced by nurses? They include annoying coworkers, unnecessary conversations, and queries by coworkers. These distractions may lead to nurses committing mistakes. So, manage your time by eliminating these distractions. Focus on what’s important for you to perform your duties properly.
6. Create balance
Don’t forget that you have responsibilities towards your family members as well. You must establish a work-life balance for managing your time properly. Creating balance can help nurses regain control of their haphazard schedules while finding pastimes to keep themselves distracted. Get out of the house and meet your non-work friends. Remember that RNs should manage their familiar and personal relations as well. Only then can you avoid problems like stress, burnout, and depression.
7. Avoid multitasking:-
People believe multitasking helps them manage their responsibilities effectively. However, we suggest RNs avoid multitasking since it’s harmful to their work ethic. Research indicates that a person’s intelligence’s reduced when they attempt to juggle two tasks simultaneously. So, instead of trying to finish multiple tasks at the same time, dedicate your attention to them separately.
8. Get some support
Nurses have always faced troubles when it comes to time management. Why don’t you talk to your coworkers and superiors about how they handled excessive responsibilities in a limited timeframe? Nurses shouldn’t neglect to gather some support from their peers. We can’t overstate the place of mentorship in nursing. When you enjoy a healthy relationship with your peers, you have tasks done properly. So, leverage your connections with nursing mentors to manage your time now.
9. Exercise regularly
We believe you should exercise regularly to regulate your mental/physical health. So, an established workout routine doesn’t merely promise physical fitness but also enables you to enhance your mental well-being. Exercise stimulates the release of dopamine, which is associated with pleasure. So, you feel more motivated to perform your duties while living a healthy lifestyle. Working out more often helps nurses manage their time as they become more focused on the target they have to achieve.
10. Establish a routine
We suggest you establish a routine to bring some consistency to your schedule. This strategy allows RNs to manage their responsibilities effectively. Experts have labeled routinization essential for our nursing workforce. It enables nurses to perform their duties with accuracy and precision. That’s how you can turn your tasks into habits, thereby finishing early. Just make an inventory of routine tasks so you may remember how to perform your duties. So, use routinization for your benefit as a nurse.
Stress and anxiety constitute an unavoidable companion of RNs today, it seems. Statistics have shown that 86.7% of nurses have experienced stress levels moderately during their careers. What can our nurses do to regain their mental health? We suggest a nurse manages their time properly. So, we can recommend some strategies to help RNs improve their time management qualities. Avoid multitasking as it can only make you more exhausted. Take breaks more often to refresh your tired mind. Arrive early to leave when it’s time and – once you reach home – leave all work-related worries behind. You should establish a work-life balance properly and seek professional assistance when things become difficult for you.