Being a caregiver or home health nurse can be one of the most rewarding yet demanding careers. You may feel as though there is not enough time in the day and you are constantly juggling multiple tasks both personal and professional. How do you balance it all? Effective time management is crucial for any worker but more importantly nurses and caregivers. One of the most challenging and potentially detrimental aspects of time management is communication.
In the advanced world that we live in today, communication is vital in all walks of life. From children to adults, communication plays an essential role in helping people gain insight into other’s opinions and perspectives clearly. Communication is even more important in healthcare, between the nurses or caregivers and their patients as it plays a vital role in delivering quality health and positively impacting patient care. With so many notification platforms, apps and social media, it can be easy to get behind in responding to important calls, texts and emails. If you find yourself struggling to follow-up, here are some time management tips that might help you to stay connected:
Schedule Time Blocks for Emails, Texts & Calls
We understand during work hours patient care comes first and after-hours you might have family responsibilities and obligations. Those unread emails and text messages could be mounting and you might find yourself saying you will follow up tomorrow, causing you to miss out on very important communications. Schedule time within your day to follow up to emails, calls and text messages. A good rule is to do morning, midday and evening. This will ensure you have covered the entire day.
Set a Timer – 15 minutes
Like most, you may start doing one thing on your phone then realize you have become completely distracted by the latest posts on Facebook. There is nothing wrong with checking social media and engaging however five minutes can quickly turn into 30 minutes. Set a timer for 15 minutes to respond to that post on Facebook or Instagram as well as any other texts or calls you might have received. This will allow you to engage while effectively managing your time.
Prioritize What’s Important
It’s important to block out the noise and focus on the calls, texts and emails that are most important. Did you receive an email from your employer regarding your schedule or patient? Be sure to prioritize this type of communication as it could be pertinent information that could impact patient care or convey a change in your work schedule. Star or favorite these emails in your inbox so you can follow up immediately.
Don’t forget the Portal
Home Health Companions like many companies have a patient care portal. It is crucial that you also make the time to review any updates regarding scheduling and patients within the portal. This should be checked along with emails to ensure you are up to date with the latest regarding your career. Bookmark the link in your browser or download the app for quick access.
Keep it Brief
Remember you have scheduled a block of time as well as set a timer, therefore you must keep your communications and follow-up brief. If you find that a particular response might require more time to draft, save it and come back to it when you have more time. Acknowledge and respond to those messages that you can quickly provide a response. This will help you swiftly move through your follow-up list.
Impacts of Effective Communication Skills for Nurses and Caregiving Staff
It can be frustrating and overwhelming at times when you have so many unread text messages and emails or miss important communications. Hopefully, the tips above can help you better manage your time to avoid missing important and time-sensitive messages from your organization or relating to personal matters. This will not only be helpful to provide better patient care but helpful to your career as well as aid in better work/life balance.
If you are looking for a team to grow your home health career and equip you with the skills necessary to be successful, explore careers at Home Health Companions.