IDoes the probation period means the same as orientation?

  1. Ok so I was told by my future manager (I'm starting my first hospital job Wensday yay!) that I will be given 7-8 weeks of orientation,give or take since it depends on how fast I will catch on..This unit (surgical tele with medical overflow) does not usually hire new grads and my manager told me that it has been a long time since she had a new she said she has to figure out my schedule but I will get at least 6 orientation on the floor (the first week I will be orienting to the hospital,the second week I will be orienting on the unit (reading up the unit's policies stuff like that) Well when I got my offer letter it said that I will be put on a 3 month probation period and my manager will evaluate me after 3 months.So my question is will I have an preceptor for the whole three months or is this just a general probation period,like at any other job,thanks a bunch
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  3. by   traumalover
    In my experience, probationary period is different from orientation. Probation is generally the first ninety days, in which at any time they can decide it's not working out. Also, you usually cannot call in without a doctor's note excusing you. Orientation is simply how long you spend training with another nurse. At my new job, in a large hospital, I oriented for four weeks, but my probationary period is ninety days.
  4. by   livistarr
    Usually your orientation and your probation period run concurrently. You will have your orientation period for the first 6 weeks and after a total of 12 weeks (6 weeks on probation, 6 weeks off), you will be off of probation. You don't have a preceptor/mentor usually for your probation period. That's basically the hospital telling you that if you screw up, are chronically late, call off or anything they deem "bad", you can be let go without much cause because it's understood that you are on probation. So....get all the info you can on orientation so you're crossing your Ts and dotting your I's. Inevitably someone is always trying to snitch on the new person for something so just make sure you're doing what you're supposed to and there's no problem. Good luck
  5. by   caroladybelle
    The first 3 monthes as probation thing, is usually a general work thing, where you cannot yet draw certain benefits like PTO, and where you and the employer are "trying each other out" and common to all businesses, not just healthcare. It is where you can leave or they can fire you without much issue.

    Orientation is more specific to acclimating to your role as a floor or new nurse, getting used to your new role in that work organization.
  6. by   Meriwhen
    Have to agree with the above posters: in my work experiences, probation when you first start the job is typical--it's a chance for you two to see how you like each other and how well you are progressing as a new employee, so they can see if they want to keep you at the end of the period. Don't let the term throw you off of your game.

    IMO, only worry about being on probation when you get it AFTER you've been working there for a while
  7. by   Jiminocala
    Naw, Probation Period is a device that employers use to get around paying Unemployment Compensation . They can let you go at any time during that period and you won't get unemployment on THEM. Maybe on your previous emplyer, but not them. Most employers also tie their benefit package eligibility to 90 days for several reasons, plus you get your first evaluation around that time, so it all falls together. They keep you, you keep your job and can enroll in benefits. They don't like your face, you get a lousy evaluation, they let you go and you have no job or benefits. Make sure they like you...
  8. by   BluegrassRN
    Probation and orientation are two completely different concepts.

    Probation means they can fire you at any time.

    Orientation is when they are actively teaching you how to be a nurse at that facility. It usually involves double staffing (ie, you and your preceptor). Our orientation with a preceptor typically lasts 6-8 weeks, with another two weeks tacked on. On those last two weeks, you take all your own patients and do not have an assigned preceptor, but you do not count in staffing either. Therefore, everyone's load is slightly lighter, with the idea being we will all be able to assist you if you need additional help during this time.

    I personally appreciate that we have a probation period. We have had a few instances where it has been obvious a nurse will not work out on our floor. I would prefer to be rid of them easily and not waste our time, rather than have them on the unit for a year while we build a case for firing them. We've gone that route, too, and honestly, it makes it miserable to work when you know you are working with someone who isn't safe AND you need to document and submit to your director all unsafe behaviors you witness AND you need to pick up her pieces AND (for us charge nurses) you hold responsibility for her actions.

    During the probationary period, we've fired three people out of the last 15 we have hired. I worked with all of the nurses, and after a few weeks it was painfully obvious that they would NEVER be up to speed. One appeared to suffer from some extreme anxiety, wouldn't make eye contact with us, would disappear for long periods of time, and would speak so softly none of us could understand him. One had anger management problems, and actually left the facility while on break (did not inform anyone she was leaving), so that she could drive around and blow off steam rather than "punch someone's lights out" as she put it. The third could not figure out how to use our computer system. She COULD. NOT. FIGURE. IT. OUT. After three beginner classes and 4 weeks of hell, we kissed her good bye and wished her well.

    If we would have not had a probationary period for these three, and would have had to spend months documenting issues in order to have enough incidents to fire them, it would have been hell for all of us, and dangerous for our pts.
  9. by   RNKPCE
    As other's have said orientation is different than probation. Once off orientation can this new hire fly solo? I think ours is 6 months but they don't have to wait that long for benefits it is either one month or 3 months for that. I am glad we have the probation period. The new employee also does not get cancelled during that time even if they are requesting the cancellation. That is because you actually have to be at work, working to be evaluated for the fit.
  10. by   kcochrane
    I agree with everyone else. In my jobs, orientation was usually 12-16 weeks. After that you were on probation to see if it was going to work out. My last job, the probation period was a year..this one is 6 months.
  11. by   jlcole45
    No its not the same thing. Probation is a try out period for both parties. So if at the end of
    the 3 months you are not working out on the unit they can let you go, or suggest you tranfer to another unit.