Orientation length for ICU

  1. I plan on taking a position in a cvicu in a few weeks and the hospital is giving me three months of orientation on day shift, I will be working on nights however. I have no ICU experience, just three years med/surg experience. Is three months the general orientation for this type of situation? The hospital is small, about 200 beds. thanks
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   rkealy
    Yup pretty standard
  4. by   Guy in Babyland
    3 months is standard, but I would request 2 months day shift and 1 month night shift. Day shift and night shift may have different routines that you need to get used to.
  5. by   CowboyMedic
    Quote from Guy in Babyland
    3 months is standard, but I would request 2 months day shift and 1 month night shift. Day shift and night shift may have different routines that you need to get used to.
    Very much agree with this. Our unit does 8 to 10 weeks on days then 2 to 4 weeks on nights if you are hired for night shift. You should never do a full orientation on days and then be expected to flip to nights on your own. Your body needs to be adjusted to nights and things normally operate a little different on nights. This comes from someone that has worked nights their entire nursing career except for orientation.
  6. by   CCU BSN RN
    I had tele/stepdown experience but no critical care experience

    I got 5 weeks on days and 1 week on nights, roughly. It wound up being a little longer because I got pulled off of orientation multiple days to take a stable patient assignment (patients who after AM rounds were declared telemetry or stepdown patients, and could thus be assigned to me, freeing up an ICU RN to take OR cases) and they did at least give me those days back. I also had to complete ECCO modules on my own time. I would find out what kind of educational preparation/support they provide. ECCO modules weren't perfect but I learned the necessary content, they were definitely a huge time suck. The other 2 major hospitals in my area offer an ICU course, which is a few weeks long, full time, to give you in depth pharm, patho, etc. I'd be wary of entering ICU nursing without something of that nature. Expecting every preceptor to have all of the necessary knowledge and ability to teach is unrealistic. Mind you a floor educator meeting with you to answer questions, or a few hours a week in the research library could probably make up for this; it's just something to consider.
  7. by   outriton
    I started as a new grad in a surgical ICU and did 3 months of orientation. I agree that that's pretty standard.
  8. by   bclark297
    i got 16 weeks as a fresh new grad in a high acuity surgical trauma icu
  9. by   purplegal
    3 months is better than 0 months like myself.

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