The organized nurse: How to schedule your day on a med-surg floor

Making plans in a hospital
Keith Brofsky | Photodisc | Thinkstock
I certainly won’t remember this particular nursing school instructor as a warm and fuzzy person…but I have to hand it to her: she was very organized. So although she wasn’t our favorite, we all listened to her when she gave our class advice on how to schedule and orient your day on a med surg floor.
I’m sharing her wisdom with you and am curious, how would you structure your day differently?

Organizing your Day:

An efficient nurse will fill her pockets like they are the drawers in her kitchen–everything has a place!

After it’s used–put it back in that place so you aren’t digging madly in your pockets when you need something!

As a Student:

0645-0715: Get report

Check labs, meds and orders (in that order)

0715-0830: Assessment

Chart assess. and vitals

0830: Accuchecks?


Meds with Breakfast?




0900-1000: Meds passed

1130: Accuchecks?

1200: Lunch

1300-to end of clinical day: Finish charting, teaching,

treatments and help nurses

As a Nurse:

Come in early!

0630: Check kardex/chart/med card

0645: Get report, check orders while waiting, check meds and labs

0730: Vital signs done w/ aid beginning with most critical and those leaving the floor.

Assessments done (get as manydone as you can before BK).

0845: Pass meds as breakfast comes around (remember insulin given 15 min before BK and after accucheck!)

1000: Chart and check for new orders, tell pt you will do treatments and bath AFTER lunch

1130: Accuchecks

1200: Meds

1300: Eat lunch or catch up on charting or both

1400-1500: Treatments (good time to play catch-up)

1600: Chart check, charting, accuchecks

1700: Insulin, dinner

1800: Wrap up, chart

1900: Report off after everything is done and cleaned up for night shift

So, feedback time: Do you already do this or think it is helpful? How do YOU keep up with everything you have to do–do you have a plan?

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