Time is a recurring and very present theme
Particularly in our days, in professional and non-professional care work. For professional care, the staffing equipment has traditionally been dimensioned on the basis of time (minutes / nurse time to dedicate to the patient).
This aspect has gradually become a barrier that has automated the work and made more difficult an essential component at the base of the care itself and its quality, i.e. the relationship / time for dialogue with the patient.
As recently recognized by law 219/2107 “Rules on informed consent and advance treatment provisions”, the communication time between doctor (and, we add, nurses) and patient constitutes treatment time. Of course, there must be a balance between the time available and the communication time, but the latter must be there.
However, the nurse’s day is marked by the important and unavoidable times of the organization of work: those for deliveries, for the visit, for therapy, for documentation, for tidying up and, last but not least, for the bureaucracy. .
While for listening and for patient requests there is in most cases a dedicated time (and not even foreseen by the organization) but a time that, depending on the situation, can be perceived as given as a gift or wasted, lost or subtracted from something more important.
A time out of work
It is therefore not surprising that when nursing students start working they are motivated by values and ideals.
As they have been taught, in the classroom training path, they are convinced that they can provide high-quality and holistic care (i.e. that takes care of the person, and not just the disease) and that they have time to dedicate to patients and their family members. However, after a year and a half they realize that they are unable to work as they would have liked (and as patients expect) .
This situation does not seem to improve over the years: most nurses fail to do what they should  and lack of time continues to be the main challenge for the nursing profession both internationally and nationally .
- The Americans, very pragmatic, have proposed to nurses a series of rules for an optimal management of their time: get to work early to read the instructions and organize themselves;
- write down the things to do and evaluate how long they take;
- define priorities, starting with the most urgent things; avoid doing things not on the list;
- learn to say no; listen to patients;
- take a break, to relax and focus on what to do; be flexible; don’t be too demanding of yourself .
However, these rules alone, like others, are insufficient to solve a problem that requires an awareness on the part of organizations, of those who work and also of patients, who must have their right recognized in the time dedicated by the operators.