Hey everyone... I just passed the NCLEX a few weeks ago, yay!! And now I'm starting off on a cardiac care unit. The hospital I'm working in is one of the few around here that doesn't offer internships or extensive orientations for the intensive care units. My orientation is only 8 weeks, yikes. However my nurse manager said if I need more time, it wouldn't be at all a problem. Anyways, I'm in my 3rd wk of orientation and wondering if I should be taking 2 patients by now (which is a full load by the way). Especially considering I'm technically almost halfway done with my orientation. Any advice or pointers?
Jan 13, '07
I think that you should go with whatever feels comfortable for you. If you don't feel comfortable taking 2 patients, then don't. The nurse manager has already assured that you could stay on orientation longer, so go with the flow and see where you are in 8 weeks.
Congratulations on passing NCLEX!
Jan 19, '07
Quote from adidasgirl0699
However my nurse manager said if I need more time, it wouldn't be at all a problem.
HOpe you got that in writing. There have been many posts regarding the same unfulfilled promise.
8 weeks of orientation is just not enough. I would not want a GN with 8 weeks of orientation taking care of me or my loved one in a critical care area. I don't think 8 weeks is enough for any unit, let alone ICU. There are so many technical things to learn.
Why did you choose the hospital with no internship and an inadequate orientation?
Jan 19, '07
I chose the hospital b/c I precepted on the unit for my preceptorship in school for 180 hours and loved my experience I had there. The nurse manager offered me a job, so I took it. And thankfully, I misunderstood my nurse manager... I have AT LEAST 12 wks orientation. But you have a good point..I mean, i was VERY iffy about taking the job just b/c of that reason..of not having an internship program in play. But I also believed that 180 hrs on the unit was a long enough time to see how it was actually ran...and it's ran the same now as it was then when I was a student there. So that's good... The ppl there are great, very helpful. But I still do believe 12 wks is insufficient. So I'll ask for more. And if for some unfortunate reason, that's not an option, then I suppose I will need to address the issue to someone the next level up? I haven't thought that far, I'm just hoping that it won't be a problem. But I'm now in my 5th wk, and things are going great. Hopefully, I'll be alright. The ppl seem supportive enough thus far.
Jan 19, '07
My internship in CVICU is 6 months minimum, they allow you to take up to 2years (yes, that's a ridiculous amount of time but they make us sign a contract and it states that in the contract...probably for legal reasons...but i digress). Anyway, I would be terrified to have a 12 week orientation.
You say that you precepted there during school for 180 hrs...that's equal to a mere 15 twelve hour shifts. You may be comfortable with how they run the unit, but you are not near ready to be on your own. I have teched in our ICU for eighteen months, am very comfortable with how the 'run things', but am still learning basic nursing concepts needed to provide safe and competent care to critically ill patients.
I wish you the best of luck and i hope you have an amazing preceptor. I hope you go home each day and read and study what you learn, have your P&P's down well, ask lots and lots of questions!
Jan 23, '07
Holy mackeral, 12 weeks is not enough time....at least, compared with anything in this area: 6 months is the standard orientation for ICU. I can't imagine the full responsibility of 2 critical patients after that short a time!
Jan 23, '07
Yeah... I know 12 wks isnt sufficient to be a competent nurse in the ICU and take 2 pts. Which is why I'll be asking for a lot of help when needed and do what asoldierswife said...go home and study up! Actually, I've been studying while at the hospital too...Just looking up stuff r/t to my pt that day. The standard orientation in my area is 20-25 wks in ICU's and 6 mo in Operating Room. I know I won't be able to do too much right now with my orientation situation but work for the best, but I plan on addressing what I think to the nurse manager and offering suggestions. I appreciate all of your input! Wish me luck
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