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Spring Cleaning, Nurse Style 

Spring is in full swing, flowers are in bloom and people are outside, smelling the roses…and breaking their bones.

While that means more patients and more paperwork for you, it shouldn’t have to mean neglecting other things that come with the season, like a good old fashioned spring cleaning!

If you’ve already gotten a handle on spring cleaning this season, then a hearty kudos to you.

But if you’re like many nurses, you may not have found the time to tackle the task yet.

Cleaning may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world. After all, it’s just another thing to take care of on your ever growing to-do list.

However, we don’t spring clean because it’s a fun thing to do; it’s more about the benefits that come with it--- a reorganized space, de-cluttering your mind, and a sense of renewal.

With your busy schedules in mind, we’ve gathered a few ideas that should make it easier to get the benefits of spring cleaning without derailing you from your responsibilities.

In between your patients, or on those rare spare moments during your lunch break, knock off these tasks, one at a time:

  • Are you holding on to old nursing school textbooks? If you have books that are heavy on statistics, medications or medical definitions and they’re older than five years, sell them or dump them. Information in the nursing field changes rapidly, so chances are the text is out of date. Plus it’s 2015, you can download a number of apps on your phone to pull up medical definitions when you need a reminder.  
  • Login to your workstation computer and delete all of those unnecessary files cluttering your desktop space. If you realize you need them then create a folder, name it appropriately i.e. “new patients” and save the file accordingly.
  • Reorganize your agenda or schedule to make it more efficient. You can use apps like NurseGrid (NurseGrid SmartPhone App Modernizes Scheduling, Communication For Nurses)to coordinate your schedules with other nurses at your hospitals and take the headache out of tracking changes in your day.
  • Even though a lot of paperwork has been digitized, there are still plenty of printed items you will want to keep track of. Consider streamlining your paper with baskets or hanging files categorized as Things to Read, Things to Do and Things to File, so you don’t feel overwhelmed at the thought of doing everything at once. You can also create a similar system for ongoing tasks.
  • Got a junk drawer?  That’s typically where things go when we don’t know what else to do with them. To tidy your draw, purchase a couple dividers so you can create compartments, then you can group similar items together.
    To keep up with your changes you can schedule a “maintenance” period to re-examine things and throw useless items away.  Set a monthly reminder to take stock of things that have accumulated and purge, that way you can be spring fresh all year long!
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