When to be off orientation

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    Hi all. I'm new to a med/surg/tele unit after previously working in home care and LTC. I've gotten good reviews so far from my preceptors in terms of time management and whatnot. I feel comfortable with the IV pumps for the most part, and have had ample opportunities to start IVs. But that's about all I've really gotten to do on my own. I haven't hung blood, have no experience with NGTs, haven't had a code or RRT, or really dealt with anything other than run of the mill stuff. My manager is anxious to get me of orientation, saying that I can just ask questions when needed, but this doesn't seem right since I'll be working nights and the charge on nights has a small pt load also. When do nurses new to acute care usually get taken off orientation? I've been on for a month, eight 12 hour shifts. Thanks for any replies
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    That's a lot for my hospital. If you are an "experienced nurse" (2years in any area) and coming to L&D they think you'll survive with two weeks orientation! LMAO

    Posting from my phone, ease forgive my fat thumbs!
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    You may have another month of orientation and still not do these things. You really need to learn as you go. I've been a nurse 2.5 years and have only done 1 NGT
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    Three months has been my experience for orientation. Just remember that if you are not comfortable don't come off orientation. It's your license. Being promised help and actually receiving help are very different. Once off orientation you are counted as staff & that makes numbers look good. Sometimes the "looking good" is all management is looking for.
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    Make them give you what they offered. I was told 3 months and I made sure I got my 3 months. They will always try to save a buck, but I wanted my full orientation time to learn everything I could from my preceptor.
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    When you start working as a nurse, it really is on the job training. Nursing school only gives you a foundation. A local hospital hired me as a new grad and I had one week of in-class stuff + a computer program (self-study at home) for PCU nurses, and then I had eight weeks of orientation on the floor. My manager told me I could have more if I needed it. I felt okay after eight weeks, but by that time she was eager to take me off...I didn't have a problem with it, honestly. I told her it's not like I wouldn't be able to ask questions or help if I needed it now that I was off orientation lol.

    A thorough orientation can make or break a new grad. Make sure you're ready. As for skills, I didn't place my first NGT until after a year of working, so it just depends.
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    PP's (lovemultiplies) information is not quite accurate. In many facilities, orientees are "counted" in staffing numbers. So, when there are folks in orientation, the manager just has to 'suck it up' and adjust staffing elsewhere to make up the difference.

    OP, what are the orientation goals for your department? You can find these in the orientation plan/checklists that are used for documentation. If you have met all of those goals, it's time to leave the nest. You are not going to 'lose your license' unless you violate your nurse practice act. After you have had a skill/task 'checked off', you may still feel uncomfortable simply because you are not confident. Confidence comes with practice, so this will gradually subside as time goes on.

    If you are faced with a task/intervention that has not been 'checked off', ask a more experienced nurse for assistance. But - continuing to seek assistance just because you are unsure of yourself? This may be characterized as 'needy' by your preceptor & manager. You want to avoid this label because it can be interpreted as 'failure to meet orientation outcomes' by your manager. No good can come of this.
    amoLucia likes this.


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