Quote from CRC12
Thank you all for replies! There are many things I still don't know, but I can ask just about any nurse on the floor if I have a quick question. Sometimes seasoned nurses ask questions which I overhear and know the answer to. So everybody has questions (young or old), but this doesn't mean everybody needs a preceptor. But I am definitely going to take your advice and stay on orientation for 12 allowed weeks.
I've worked on a tele floor before and when all hell breaks loose, you don't have time to ask the other nurses. And the other nurses aren't going to have time to stop their work to help you. I've had days (not tele, rather on onc/palliative) where we were fully staffed (5 patients/nurse, night shift) and NONE of us had time to breathe. Imagine having a patient getting blood, another is on an Argatroban drip, a third is on a heparin drip and you have a palliative patient who needs pain meds every hour. And every single nurse has an equally heavy load, except the charge nurse, who has 2 patients on chemo (one on induction) so she is having to deal with that. You don't have time to breathe, let alone ask for help or questions. And your co-workers aren't going to have time to breathe either. This has happened a lot on my unit.
If you have a preceptor, and you start to drown (and it might happen tomorrow, you never know) you have a resource at your side to help you through it. Without that preceptor, you could very well be on your own with no one available to help you out. If you feel like you need to have your preceptor back off a bit, ask her too. Just try to be humble and polite about it.