I recently started a new position in CVICU. (Background is 3 years of cardiac step-down). My oreintation is 3 months long, starts with taking care of stable post-op patients that may still have chest tubes and pacer wires and progresses to taking care of patients fresh off the pump. I'm currently toward the end of my orientation and freaking out because I have not had much opportunity to take care of the patients straight out of surgery, as there are not necessarily cases always scheduled for days that I happen to be at work.
In your opinion, how long of an orientation should a nurse have strictly taking care of these patients? My fear is that I'll really only get about 7 good days tops, if I'm lucky. I really like this unit and want to excel at my job, but the perceived lack of experience with the fresh CABG's is starting to worry me. Our hospital is very strict on orientation and will not extend it
Any input is appreciated!
The CV-ICU unit that I work at also gives RN (with prior nursing experience) about 3 months of orientation. I am also a preceptor and the orientee recovers fresh post-ops in the last few weeks as well. If you are still worried that you don't feel ready or prepared to work on the unit, I would express these concerns to your preceptor, manager or supervisor. If they agree, they might be able to extend your orientation a couple of days and focus on the skills that need improvement. Even though the time limit is strict, I really don't think they should force you to come off orientation if you feel like you are not prepared- to me that seems unsafe. Also, you most likely will get assignments with stable ICU patients when you are off orientation and on your own. It can be a little nerve-wrecking and scary to think that you only had a short amount of time to train, but the understanding is as long as you understand the unit and practice safely as a RN, you should be fine. Just don't be afraid to ask other RNs for help or when you don't know something. Hope this helps & good luck!
Last edit by SRNA2011 on Jul 22, '11