The Foundation of Nursing Practice: How to Have Time with Patients

by | May 16, 2016 | 10 comments

The Foundation of Nursing Practice: How to Have Time with PatientsI ask a quick question when a nurse subscribes to my newsletter, which is: “What is the one thing that gets in the way of you enjoying your nursing career?” Now the responses come in all over the place… but the number one thing I hear is this:

“I have NO TIME for my patients!”

This answer is all too common. In fact, I heard it so much in 2014, it was what had me start the annual Art of Nursing Nurse’s Week program for nurses. The very first Art of Nursing program was completely focused on how to find time, space, and the energy to connect with our patients- despite all of the technology (think EHR) surrounding us each shift.

And while I DO SEE the benefits to technology in nursing (e.g. safer care, ability to track outcomes, faster services)- many nurses do feel that the science of nursing (all of that charting) has created a disconnect with the patients they serve each day.

So here’s a quick video tip with one fundamental tool that EVERY nurse can use on a daily basis. Get this- it’s easy, fast (takes no extra time at all to do), and free. So watch below for how you can reconnect with the patient (and with the profession of nursing).

What did we miss? I’d love to hear how you increase your ability to have time for connecting with your patients. Leave a tip in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN; Founder of Nursing from WithinAbout the Author: As a keynote speaker, bestselling author and virtual conference host, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. During the National Nurse’s Week online conference, ‘The Art of Nursing‘, Elizabeth supports nurses in achieving professional goals of continued learning and development. Click here to find out more about how The Art of Nursing appreciates and celebrates our profession in a meaningful way.


  1. bethboynton80539889

    A great suggestion for us all, Elizabeth. While I know there are cultures and workloads that are so frenzied that I would not be very successful in using it, I also know they would not be good for me to work in. For me, practicing the centering or grounding breath is a great way for me to reconnect w/ a sense of trust and faith in the work I am doing and feel called to do and I thank you for this reminder!

    • Elizabeth

      Great points, Beth. Thanks for adding to the discussion!

  2. Tiffany

    Loved seeing your face and hearing your voice! The breath is such an amazing tool to remind us how much control we actually have. Since I work in PACU and I am often giving narcotics, I have to remind my patients often to take a deep breath! So when I encourage them to do so, I do the same thing and breathe with them. It really connects us and supports our little healing environment.

    • Elizabeth

      Perfect! I love to hear as you encourage them to do so that you do the same! Thanks, Tiffany.

  3. Cynthia Jaffe, D.C., NP-C, F.I.A.M.A.

    Elizabeth, I looked at your latest post before looking at this post and have just realized how they relate! I love that you keep reminding us to do things like breath! Hopefully, it can get some extra oxygen up to those exhausted brain cells that get so overtaxed when we have so much to do! I love this tip and I am taking a big deep breath right now!

    • Elizabeth

      Too funny, Cynthia. Right on though… the breath is crucial!

  4. sunnysandra16

    Elizabeth I agree technology is beneficial, but it seems like I spend so much time documenting then when we wrote SOAP notes and completed care plans on paper.
    Yes, I am always taking a deep breath to ground and center me. Never really looked at it as a tool to help me have more time, but it makes sense that it would.

    • Elizabeth

      Great to hear that you use this practice already, Cassandra. Now that you have viewed this post… you can also add the fact that this tool helps save time. So all the more reason to do it, I imagine! Thanks for your comment.

  5. Carmen Davailus Buck

    Thank you Elizabeth! Great article and can I just say you are an inspiration to those of us hoping to do more speaking, writing… I’m grateful for you! Carmen

    • Elizabeth

      You got it!


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