How the To-Do List Is Built

A question we're often asked is about building the to-do list. If each task had to be hand-entered, it would demand a large effort and no one would do it.  Fortunately, NurseMind is smarter than that! Based on the notion that most nursing tasks are routine and belong to task sets of various kinds, it uses an efficient method to build your to-do list.  Make a few selections from a few menus and you're done.

Nursing tasks are categorized as per-shift, per-patient, per-protocol, and Remind Me. Here is how these come into play as you build your to-do list by making selections from menus.

Your first selection is from a menu of shifts.  A shift belongs to a hospital, to a nursing unit within that hospital e.g. med-surg, to a time of day e.g. day shift or pm shift, and has a length e.g. 8 hours or 12 hours.

Choosing the shift determines two types of tasks:  per-shift tasks and per-patient tasks.

Per-shift tasks are those that you do on your shift that are on behalf of no particular patient.

  • Example 1: restocking a cart
  • Example 2: hourly rounds
  • Example 3: mandated work breaks

Per-patient tasks are those you do routinely for each patient who is in your care on your shift.

  • Example 1: if in your unit you pass meds at 11:00 a.m. and you have five patients, you'd have five meds tasks due at 11:00 a.m.
  • Example 2: setting up meal trays e.g. on day shift you'd have breakfast and lunch trays;  on night shift you would have none.

Your second selection is, for each of your patients, the nursing protocol(s) (if any) they need.

  • Example 1: diabetic care would require blood glucose measurement, insulin administration, and related tasks
  • Example 2: post-op care might require several ambulation tasks
  • Example 3: an unconscious patient might require being turned in their bed every two hours to protect from pressure ulcers
  • Example 4: discharge planning might include coordination with a case manager and patient education

The shift and protocol selections are typically done when you start your shift and when a patient is admitted.

The Remind Me selections can be done any time during your shift.  You select a task, a deadline, and optionally the patient whom it is for.  It can occur when a new order is received, when follow up is needed, or when a patient or family asks for something.

  • Example 1: a physician order for a vaccine is received so the vaccination task is added
  • Example 2: you have a question for the pharmacy, leave a voicemail, and want to be reminded to follow up in a half hour
  • Example 3: the patient is at physical therapy and her daughter asks you tell him something when he returns

Combining these three selections yields a to-do list that thoroughly describes the task content of your shift. A complete list of your tasks is essential for effective time management and planning. Many nursing tasks -- such as taking report when you first start your shift -- are not driven by provider orders and are not charted yet they take time and must be planned.

Of course, even the best to-do list is no substitute for clinical judgment and critical thinking. Those remain for you -- with all your skills and experience -- to do, with less stress, knowing that the app will make sure nothing routine is forgotten.