Rule of Three

Happy Thursday! Yes, I’m under pseudo house arrest with the two budding scientists until Friday. That will make a total of 3 days but we’re having fun. I hope everyone is staying warm and safe.

I originally wanted this blog to be about three subjects to match the ‘rule of three’ title. It didn’t quite work out. The post would’ve been way too long. So, today, I’m talking about the rule of three which should apply to nurses. Between now and Sunday will be two more posts.

So, the Rule of Three.

Some time ago I walked onto the main floor of a clinic and almost ran into a nurse who was in an obvious panic. How did I know? I’d seen it before and I’ve felt it in the past. That panic or anxiety that comes when you internally believe there is not enough time to do everything that needs to be done. Or an unexpected train wreck is in progress and all the other things that need to get done are swimming in the back of your mind.

There’s always a list, isn’t there? A very long, long list that can be intimidating.

Okay. Here’s what you do using the rule of three to help kill that intimidating list. Note the quote I created below.

For every patient on your assignment, make a list of the top 3 things needed. Maybe make it a discussion when you receive report from the nurse leaving. This will provide your focus for the shift.

If you want to make the first on the list for each patient medications, that’s probably a good idea. Maybe another has a wound that needs to be checked. If you really think about it, there are some patients who won’t need 3 things and that makes room for an unexpected implosions.

If you have 9 patients, try to break them into 3 groups of 3. Top tier — those that need the most. Middle tier — On the fence, not sure what will be needed. Bottom tier — Most likely low maintenance for the shift. Then proceed to make a list of 3 for the first two tiers.

You’re going to find that if you focus at a smaller level much more will get done. You will fly through the list of three for the most critical patients and have time to do complete other tasks.

Make the list and throw away the perception. We’re nurses. We have the best of intentions. But I also think we let perception put too much responsibility on us to get everything done in one shift or day. Not possible.

Tomorrow: A little New Amsterdam Diffusion of Innovation. 🙂

Embrace Hope.
Abbi 🙂

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.

Abraham Lincoln. From the book: Good Stuff for the Brain

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