Perhaps one of the most important elements of being a successful Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is powerful time management skills. While there are moments throughout your day that are unexpected, if you’re capable of sustaining effective time management, then you can juggle the unexpected with the expected. The following time management tips are refined from years of clinical work and designed to provide you with the foundation needed to maximize your productivity without feeling completely spent at the end of your shit.
As always, time management is a personalized trait. What works for one CNA may not work for you. Therefore, it’s imperative that you build upon these time management tips and make them your own. After time, you’ll soon become the most efficient, productive and celebrated member of the nursing team.
You should never go about your shift without a solidified plan. Prior to starting your shift, take a few minutes and write down how you plan to attack the known tasks. Along with planning your day, prioritize your tasks based upon not only importance, but also based upon other activities. For example, if you’re going to be tending to a patient in a particular portion of the clinic, try to accomplish other tasks that are found in this same area. While this may seem trivial, you’ll be surprised how fine-tuning your day based on physical location of tasks can maximize your overall productivity.
Tip #2 | Always Know When To Delegate Tasks
The biggest mistake you can make is to assume you can handle every task without asking for help, or handing off specific tasks to other Certified Nursing Assistants that are on-duty. This is a powerful way to ensure essential tasks are completed in a timely manner. Don’t be afraid to ask fellow nursing staff members for help, or trading tasks if it means the overall tasks can be completed in a faster, more thorough manner. This doesn’t just save you time, but proper delegation among all staff members can dramatically improve the overall functionality of a department.
Tip #3 | Keep Distractions Away
Never put yourself in a situation where you’ll be distracted. This may mean turning your personal phone on silent or avoiding walking past the break room if you know you’ll be tempted to pop in and join the fun. While interruptions to your day are anticipated, if you focus on the first two tips, this won’t be a problem. Remember, you’re an important member of the patient care team. If you become distracted, the health and safety of a patient could be jeopardized.
Tip #4 | Keep Your Health Number One Priority
While this may not seem like a time management tip, it’s actually the most important piece of advice in this list. If your’e dehydrated, hungry, hungover or sluggish due to lack of sleep, then no time management technique will fully work. The most important element to remember when you’re working as a Certified Nursing Assistant is to remain as healthy as possible. This means taking care of your health not only at work, but at home. A well-rested, hydrated and energized CNA is a more productive, happy and efficient member of the nursing staff.