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7 Ways Travel Nurses Can Increase Their Productivity

April 7, 2015

A nurse’s natural inclination is to care for patients, but that becomes more difficult with a backlog of tasks, in addition the unique challenges travel nurses face. Consider these 7 ways travel nurses can increase their productivity to meet their goals.

1. Get Acclimated Early

Go in early for your first shift and learn the layout of your new facility. If necessary, sketch out the floor plan and save it to your phone or draw it on a piece of paper. This way you have a reference to locate key areas and can save time when you need to find something.

2. Read the Nursing Guidelines

Every facility has their own way of doing things. Travel nurses can save time while on the job if they have a grasp of the policies prior to starting that first shift. Go to the hospital as soon you get into town and meet with the nursing administrator or manager.

3. Write It Down

Keep a pocket notebook with you and write things down as you go. It might be a task you need to complete or maybe a procedure that you need to practice. When you have a minute, pull out the notebook and review your notes.

4. Get There Early

Showing up 15 minutes early for each shift gives you time to put names to faces. You can spend that 15 minutes learning about the department from other nurses, too.

5. Communicate Effectively

Learn to communicate with the other staff members, and that includes asking questions when you don’t know something. Travel nurses are always working in a new environment. One way to counteract that is to learn to ask specific questions instead of mulling around trying to find something or figure out a problem.

6. Time Your Projects

Putting something on a deadline tends to maximize productivity. For example, give yourself 10 minutes to complete your charting per patient or 20 minutes to restock all the carts.

7. Create Rituals

Automating your behavior is one of the most effective ways to increase productivity. Plan your day out, so you have time for both personal tasks and professional ones. For instance, get up an hour early each day to exercise or stop at the store after every shift for groceries. Structuring your day puts you in charge of your time so you can lump similar tasks together.

Travel nurses deal with many changes at once. Learning to manage those changes in a constructive, efficient manner will naturally raise your productivity.

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