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In this discussion, emphasis is on how well you manage time. As a leader and even a nurse, you have limited time to get a great deal done. Awareness of how you spend your time and finding strategies to improve on it, will not only help you be efficient and effective but will also help in balancing your work and your life.

Complete Learning Exercise 9.9 in your textbook.


Plan Your Day It is October of your second year as Nursing Coordinator for the surgical department.

A copy of your appointment calendar for Monday, October 27, follows. Appointment Calendar for Monday, October 27  

8:00 AM      Arrive at work 

8:15 AM      Daily rounds with each head nurse in your area   8:30 AM      Continuation of daily rounds with head nurses

  9:00 AM    

Open   9:30 AM   

  Open 10:00 AM    

Department Head meeting 10:30 AM   

  United Givers committee 11:00 AM   

  United Givers committee continued 11:30 AM    

Open Noon           Lunch 12:30 PM   

  Lunch   1:00 PM      Weekly meeting with administrator—budget and annual report due   1:30 PM      Open   2:00 PM      Infection control meeting   2:30 PM   

  Infection control meeting continued   3:00 PM     

Fire drill and critique of drill   3:30 PM     

Fire drill and critique of drill continued   4:00 PM 

    Open   4:30 PM      Open   5:00 PM  

   Off duty You will review your unfinished business from the preceding

Friday and look at the new items of business that have arrived on your desk this morning. (The new items follow the appointment calendar.)

The unit ward clerk is usually free in the afternoon to provide you with 1 hour of clerical assistance and you have a charge nurse on each shift to whom you may delegate

. 1.  Assign a priority to each item, with 1 being the most important and

5 being the least important.

2.  Decide when you will deal with each item, being careful not to use more time than you have open on your calendar.

3.  If the problem is to be handled immediately, explain how you will do this (e.g., delegated, phone call).

4.  Explain the rationale for your decisions. Correspondence Item 1 From the desk of M. Jones, personnel manager October 24 Dear Joan: I am sending you the names of two new graduate nurses who are interested in working in your area. I have processed their applications; they seem well qualified. Could you manage to see them as early as possible in the week? I would hate to lose these prospective employees, and they are anxious to obtain definite confirmation of employment.

Item 2 From the desk of John Brown, purchasing agent October 23 Joan: We really must get together this week and devise a method to control supplies. Your area has used three times the amount of thermometer covers as any other area. Are you taking that many more temperatures? This is just one of the supplies your area uses excessively. I’m open to suggestions. Item 3 Roger Johnson, MD, chief of surgical department

October 24 Ms. Kerr: I know you have your budget ready to submit, but I just remembered this week that I forgot to include an arterial pressure monitor. Is there another item that we can leave out? I’ll drop by Monday morning, and we’ll figure something out.

Item 4 October 23 Ms. Kerr: The following personnel are due for merit raises, and I must have their completed and signed evaluations by Tuesday afternoon: Mary Rocas, Jim Newman, Marge Newfield. M. Jones, personnel manager

Item 5 Roger Johnson, MD, chief of surgical department October 23 Ms. Kerr: The physicians are complaining about the availability of nurses to accompany them on rounds. I believe you and I need to sit down with the doctors and head nurses to discuss this recurring problem. I have some free time Monday afternoon.

Item 6 5 AM Joan: Sally Knight (your regular night RN) requested a leave of absence due to her mother’s illness. I told her it would be OK to take the next three nights off. She is flying out of town on the 9 AM commuter flight to San Francisco, so phone her right away if you don’t want her to go. I felt I had no choice but to say yes. Nancy Peters, night supervisor P.S. You’ll need to find a replacement for her for the next three nights.

Item 7 To: Ms. Kerr From: Administrator Re: Patient complaint Date: October 23 Please investigate the following patient complaint. I would like a report on this matter this afternoon. Dear Sir: My mother, Gertrude Boswich, was a patient in your hospital, and I just want to tell you that no member of my family will ever go there again. She had an operation on Monday, and no one gave her a bath for 3 days. Besides that, she didn’t get anything to eat for 2 days, not even water. What kind of a hospital do you run anyway? Elmo Boswich

Item 8 To: Joan Kerr From: Nancy Newton, RN, head nurse Re: Problems with X-ray department Date: October 23 We have been having problems getting diagnostic x-ray procedures scheduled for patients. Many times, patients have had to stay an extra day to get x-ray tests done. I have talked to the radiology chief several times, but the situation hasn’t improved. Can you do something about this?

Item 9 To: All department heads From: Storeroom Re: Supplies Date: October 23 The storeroom is out of the following items: Toilet tissue, paper clips, disposable diapers, and pencils. We are expecting a shipment next week. Telephone Messages

Item 10 Sam Surefoot, Superior Surgical Supplies, Inc., returned your call at 7:50 AM on October 27. He will be at the hospital this afternoon to talk about problems with defective equipment received.

Item 11 Donald Drinkley, Channel 32-TV, called at 8:10 AM on October 27 to say he will be here at 11:30 AM to do a feature story on the open-heart unit.

Item 12 Lila Green, Director of Nurses at St. Joan’s Hospital, called at 8:05 AM on October 24 about a phone reference on Jane Jones, RN. Ms. Jones has applied for a job there. Isn’t that the one we fired last year?

Item 13 Betty Brownie, Bluebird Troop 35, called at 8 AM on October 27 about the Bluebird troop visit to patients on Halloween with trick-or-treat candy. She will call again.

After reading the “Plan Your Day”, in your post

  1. Assign a priority to each of the 13 items with 1 being the most important and 5 being the least important.
  2. Decide when you will deal with each item, being careful not to use more time than you have open on your calendar.
  3. If the problem is to be handled immediately, explain how you will do this (e.g., delegated, phone call).
  4. Explain the rationale for your decisions.

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