Five Tips for Staying on Your Toes in a Fast-Paced Healthcare Setting

Every healthcare professional knows that it can be difficult, and most times stressful handling paperwork, patients and dealing with co-workers on a daily basis. Most employees feel defeated, tired, and overworked at the end of the day. Here are some tips to make the most of your job by being a team player.

Tip number one: Prioritize patient care over other needs when possible. Nurses especially can relate to this one, as charting, putting in orders, and helping co-workers can often be a time consuming task, and can get in the way of attending to patients. Prioritizing patient care also means being aware of family members or friends of the patient in their room. Keep your conversations professional between you and your co-workers. A grieving family member doesn’t want to hear their father’s healthcare provider discussing his or her date last night instead of attending to what’s important. Impressions are deceptive when emotional stakes are high, so be courteous and understanding.

Tip number two: Know where your responsibilities lie in relation to other healthcare professionals dealing with your patient. When patients in critical condition require multiple exams, medications, and care, it is important to know which order of events is most important. There can be as many as five or six other departments waiting in your room for x-rays, labs, EKG, etc. These departments generally know where their place in line is for each patient. Don’t jump the line to get ahead of work if there are more important exams to be done first.

Tip number three: Don’t let personal disputes affect your day at work. Dwelling on a conflict with a co-worker should not get in the way of your job. The easiest way to deal with this is to resolve the problem amongst yourselves, or to speak to your supervisor. As a last resort, brush it off, and sleep it off. At the end of the day, what matters the most is that you did your job, and you did it well.

Tip number four: Be on time for your shift. There is nothing more aggravating to a co-worker, such as a single mother, than having to wait and extra twenty minutes because you’re running late, so that she can get off work and pick up her kids from daycare. Most healthcare facilities allow a certain time frame for employees to arrive at work. Everyone likes to get of a little early, keep that in mind and don’t wait until the last minute.

Tip number five: Offer to help. Though it seems like there is never much downtime, offer to help your co-workers if you find yourself sitting around. Time goes by faster working on the floor than staring at a clock. If it happens to be a slow afternoon, work on restocking supplies, checking expiration dates, and keeping the floor organized. There is nothing quite as frustrating as not being able to locate items on a hectic day when you’re constantly playing catch-up.

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