Nursing Tasks Prioritization – Care Example

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"Nursing Tasks Prioritization" is a worthy example of a paper on care. In clinical situations, the practice of nursing staff is a dynamic but difficult process. They are required to perform their duties to attain a high standard of patient care, working under emergent and pressurizing circumstances. Thus, proper prioritization of their tasks assumes great significance to achieve overall efficiency and performance optimization in a nurse’ s career. Hospitals appoint the RNs, LPNs and CANs to serve the patients and provide them timely assistance. Therefore, before beginning a day’ s routine works, they should “ always (keep) the care of the patient as (the) top priority, ” and prioritize their tasks to manage the whole work to fetch the best results for patients (Registered Nurse Job Description, n.d, para.

7). The order of prioritizing tasks in the instant case is best executed as under, for the reasons as stated against each: Check 0600 blood sugar lab results for 0730 insulin administration: This is the primary task for the RN as insulin administration at 0730 is the first priority task to be undertaken. Only after checking the blood sugar, the nurses can take further steps for treatment. Listen to the night shift report  This is the second priority because there may be patients who are unstable and they will require attention, pursuant to the night shift report.

Listening to night shift report will also enable the nurses to be conversant with all the patients in their care for the ensuing shift, and the night shift report is the best source of information for this.   Meet with team members to plan a schedule for the day and to clarify roles. To achieve organized and efficient functioning, one needs to discuss and plan the tasks ahead in with her team members so that all relevant tasks can be completed on time, without confusion or duplication.

This will also enable the team to attain optimum efficiency and objectivity in the execution of tasks. It will further help in identifying the “ challenges related to clarifying the reallocation of tasks” (Carter, et al. 2010, para. 11). Read charts of patients who are new to you: This task assumes great significance as the nurse on duty needs to be familiar with the patient's “ general physical condition, appearance, and behaviour” (Admission, Transfer, Discharge of a Patient, n.d, para. 2) and make plans treatment procedures accordingly.

Proper care can be provided only if the nurse understands the problems and requirements of each of the patients assigned to her. Take brief walking rounds to assess the night shift report and to introduce  yourself to patients: Cross-checking the night shift report, through direct interaction with patients, will enable the nurse to address any human errors in it. Besides, this interaction will encourage the building up of trust with patients, which is a crucial element in meaningful patient care. Check medication cards/sheets against the Kardex Medication Administration Records (MAR) is a component of a permanent record of a patient.

The RN or LPN is responsible for signs off on the record during the time when the drug is administered. Nurse on duty should bring the MAR medication order to the patient or open the Electronic MAR (EMAR) on a computer in the presence of the patient. Evaluate EMAR, MAR in the presence of the patient. Confirm Patient’ s identification Compare MAR in the presence of the patient, to the tag of the medication. Check that medication is right, dose, time, route and patient, no contraindications and expired, and tagged correctly Give patient education. Manage the medication. Document dose and route of medication on the EMAR/MAR “ Monitor the patient as needed. ”   LPN-Hang four 0900 IV medications It is the next priority to be given by an RN with the assistance of the LPN.

Besides, “ Documenting medication before it is administered is a high-risk practice” (Administration of Medications: A Self-Assessment Guide for Licensed Practical Nurses, n.d, pg. 6). Pass 0830 breakfast trays Providing breakfast, the first intake of food for the day is a significant need for the patient.

It is the duty of CANs to pass breakfast trays on time. They can wake, bath and dress the patient before serving the meal. Give 0845 pre-ops on a patient going to surgery at 0900 Pre-operation counselling is a crucial responsibility of the nurse prior to surgery. She also needs to direct the LPN to prepare the patient for OT. The pre-checklist can be filled by the LPN and the pre-op medications can be given by the RN “ to allay anxiety” (WHO Model Prescribing Information Drugs Used in Anesthesia, 1994, pg. 12) of the patient. Set up the schedule for breaks and lunch among your team members. Though the last priority, this is also a vital function in proper patient management and care.

The schedule for breaks and lunch among the team members may commence after finishing the 0900 IV medications. They can schedule the same in a 7 am to 3 pm shift the break starts after the doctors’ rounds in the morning. Usually, rounds will finish by 1000 or 1030 in the morning. 2)             The role of the delegation of the nurses in the order of prioritizing each task is utmost important.

“ All decisions related to delegation of nursing tasks must be based on the fundamental principle of protection of the health, safety and welfare of the public that is the underlying principle of nursing regulation” (Working with Others: A Position Paper, 2005, pg. 3).   The nursing activities of LPN are delegated by RN and providing care is also done under the supervision of RN. “ Supervision provided by the LPN is limited to assuring that tasks have been performed as assigned or delegated” (LPN Scope of Practice- Clarification, 2010, pg. 3).

When the client's condition is complex, LPN participates only in the task performance under the close supervision of the RN. 3)             There is no alternative to effective prioritizing of the duties of the nurses. The tasks which need to be completed first and which needs top priority should be assigned the due significance.


Administration of Medications: A Self-Assessment Guide for Licensed Practical Nurses. (n.d). College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia. Retrieved from

Admission, Transfer, Discharge of a Patient. (n.d). Retrieved from

Carter, N. et al. (2010). Nursing Leadership. Long Retrieved from

LPN Scope of Practice- Clarification. (2010). NC Board of Nursing. Retrieved from

Registered Nurse Job Description. (n.d.). Angel Healthcare Staffing. Retrieved from


WHO Model Prescribing Information Drugs Used in Anesthesia. (1994). World Health Organization. Retrieved from <>

Working with Others: A Position Paper (2005). National Council for state Boards of Nursing. Retrieved from <>

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