Mentor, orientation, or trial by fire? Mentor, orientation, or trial by fire? | allnurses

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Mentor, orientation, or trial by fire?

  1. 0 Hi hello everybody.

    I'm just wondering how everybody got their feet wet in nursing. Did you have a really good mentor showing you the ropes? A really good orientation program that prepared you for your first day by yourself? Or were you just thrown in with none of the above?

    (Maybe another method?)
  2. 18 Comments

  3. Visit  Fiona59 profile page
    #1 0
    Three orientation days, two evening shifts with a buddy nurse and I was cut loose.

    I've worked for three different care groups and that's the norm. Here, you only get a prolonged orientation if you go to dialysis, the OR, or cardiology.
  4. Visit  TheLiftedButterfly profile page
    #2 1
    Good question. I find it interesting because in my case it was trial by fire. Fortunately enough, I only received one patient at a time with their diagnosis, medication, and all info before accepting the patient, so I was able to carry out all the proper research, but I did have to prepare all on my own and proceed on my own as well. I always had someone in reach by phone, but the thought was still daunting. Made me tough in my shoes though!
    Last edit by TheLiftedButterfly on Dec 1, '13 : Reason: Wording
  5. Visit  zeus&lincoln profile page
    #3 0
    Were you all new grads? That seems crazy to stick a brand spankin' new nurse with no prior health care experience and expect them to perform as a functioning RN no matter the specialty... Seems very unsafe to me. I am a GN in NICU and have a 16 week thorough orientation headed by a wonderful preceptor.
  6. Visit  RunawayN profile page
    #4 0
    Quote from zeus&lincoln
    Were you all new grads? That seems crazy to stick a brand spankin' new nurse with no prior health care experience and expect them to perform as a functioning RN no matter the specialty... Seems very unsafe to me. I am a GN in NICU and have a 16 week thorough orientation headed by a wonderful preceptor.
    That's what I'm wondering. I always thought that orientation would always be a couple of weeks.
  7. Visit  SquishyRN profile page
    #5 0
    Trial by fire. 3 days orientation total as a new grad LVN in a SNF with 45 patients -- 1 day paperwork and 2 days on the floor. As a new grad RN I got 4 weeks orientation in the LTACH I've been working as an LVN for the past year and the transition has been cake. It actually feels weird getting a decent orientation at this point since I've been accustomed to just being thrown into the fire for my entire short career.
  8. Visit  applewhitern profile page
    #6 0
    Five days of orientation, on a 44 bed telemetry unit. I was made charge nurse after just 5 days. I had never worked in a hospital before, nor had I been an LPN or assistant. The only experience I had was nursing school. I went to a school that prepared you well, though.
  9. Visit  cassie77775 profile page
    #7 0
    Mine was a little different as I started my first job in a resident program with 16 weeks of orientation with a preceptor. Started by shadowing a few days and then performing with the nurse watching me and guiding, then I took on one patient for a week, then 2 for a few weeks, then 3 a few weeks and then 4 for the last few weeks. It was an amazing opportunity and really allowed me the perfect amount of freedom with a little bit of babysitting. Really helped me feel comfortable with providing competent care.
  10. Visit  loriangel14 profile page
    #8 0
    I did my final placement for 12 weeks on the floor I was hired on.No orientation once I offically started working there.
  11. Visit  gunrock profile page
    #9 0
    I was in a residency program and my orientation was 6 months. I had a 1on1 preceptor for that duration and after 6 months I was on my own. This was in an ICU for acute care my hospital have 3 months of 1on1 preceptorship.
  12. Visit  K+MgSO4 profile page
    #10 1
    I studied in Ireland. 6 months before I finished I was promoted to acting staff nurse was covering a nurse who had pregnancy repeated problems. Was defo trial by fire. I was the only student who worked night duty Christmas! But I did get paid so was a plus. After I graduated I was called in 4 weeks early to ED to cover for a person who had died. Small dept in shock I just got on with the job. No orientation they took my acting position as proof enough.
  13. Visit  ausrnurse profile page
    #11 2
    4 days with a buddy (who was too busy to actually buddy me), then I was on my own. I was in a graduate program, and a specialty. I survived it (barely), and 3 months later was expected to be in charge. Still wondering why I haven't quit yet.
  14. Visit  fetch profile page
    #12 2
    In a non-hospital setting, run by an international plasma company, I had 2-3 days of computer training and then minimum 6 weeks of shadowing another nurse. That ended up getting extended to 8 weeks due to misplaced paperwork, and during that time I also cross-trained to non-nursing duties that were primarily done by MAs and phlebotomists (the nurse who was hired before me did even more cross-training in the same period, and the nurse hired after me did far less, so it was really self-directed/depended on how busy the center was).

    While it was frustrating at times to have to undergo training for stuff I had literally just gotten a degree in, and to have to keep up with quarterly training requirements, it was also very nice to have clear expectations and well-documented training. It reinforced a lot of what I already knew and gave me a clear pathway for going forward on my own (nurses frequently worked alone and with a doctor only available via phone at this center).

    As a school nurse, the coordinator of nurses for my district was thrown into school nursing without any training beforehand (~15 years ago). She hated the "trial by fire" so much that now she's organized 3 days of orientation for new nurses as well as 3 days of annual training for all nurses at the start of the school year. In addition, we get mentor nurses at local schools, and don't have to take any student nurses for our first year, as she knows we are still learning the ropes. She is a blessing!