...is for someone to stop and listen to them.
Unfortunately, when we're doing the "Short-handed Shuffle", the thing we have the least of is time. Also, unfortunately, this is the time when they need our time the most. They feel neglected when we're running around like decapitated chickens.
My advice? Do one thing at a time.
I think a lot of times we fall into the trap of trying to turn off all the call lights in order to stop the beeping (and keep the Charge Nurse off our butts) and then go back to do what we've been asked. My experience has been that all this accomplishes is us forgetting one or more of the requests and then we have upset residents. We're better off if we take care of one resident and then go on to the next one. Yes, it will look like we always have a call light on, but if our charge nurse is paying attention, she'll see that it's a different one and that we are getting things done.
Also, before we leave the room, we should try to remember to ask if there's anything else they need. And wait for the full answer. Sometimes they will start out with "no" followed by "but". An extra two minutes spent here will prevent us from running back to that room two or three times more.
One last thought. While it's nice to get away from the residents and take a break with the other nursing staff, try taking a break in a resident's room once in a while. Especially with some of the ones who don't get a lot of visitors. I don't do this as often as I should. Whenever I do, I always feel good about myself and my job. As opposed to when I go on breaks with my compatriots where we complain about everything from management to each other. A little kindness spreads a lot of joy.