Quote from nickola
Yes, you are right, new nurses are going into specialty areas w/out proper assessment skills. This is not fair to the patients OR the nurse. Management seems to be desperate for anyone w/a pulse to fill vacancies- they expect staff to TRAIN these people- it is causing a lot of morale problems where I work. Nobody minds orienting a person but to train someone in a critical care area who has never done it is another story. I see close calls nearly every day w/these newbies & that raises the stress level of the whole unit; and it's not just inexperience, it's over-confidence too. You can not possibly teach a nurse to have that "6th sense" or the assessment skills acquired over years of caring for patients. Their lack of experience is very apparent & management doesn't see the day-to-day problems, nor do they want to hear about it- believe me, I've tried, b/c that is seen as "not being nice to newbies" & "contributing to poor morale". I am of the belief that a solid year (at least) of Med-Surg is very helpful b/f moving to specialty areas; even then it is still a HUGE learning curve. Let the inexperienced nurses become proficient in one area b/f trying to move on to another- and then only w/the proper precepting & classes. At my hospital they have put nurses w/no or little experience in ER, ICU, OR & PACU- pretty scary- and very apparent when dealing w/these nurses. More needs to be done to retain experienced nurses & staff so that training these new nurses is done in a organized & efficient way, even then they shouldn't be expected to 'fly solo' until they have met certain criteria & have done it fulltime for at least 6 mos to a year. Instead we have an influx of RNs that come w/a sense of entitlement & lists of what they will and will not do-- certain days/times/shifts/holidays they "can't" (won't) work- & management allows them to call the shots, while the rest of the experienced staff picks up the slack. I'm seeing a new trend in the medical field that makes me never want to be a patient!!
I disagree to a certain extent. I do agree that hospitals that have little or no orientation for new nurses in an ICU area is incredibly scary. That is no fault of the new nurse though, but rather the hospital.
However, I will be working in the PICU when I graduate and I have to go through a 6 month orientation program that includes classroom and preceptorship. Will I come out with those skills that a 10 year veteran has? Absolutely not. But I will come out with the ability to practice safely and there is no shame in asking for help and asking questions if I am unsure of myself.
I will not work in a med/surg area when I walk out of nursing school -- I despise working with adults. If they wanted me to work on a general pediatrics floor, I would. However, I will have worked an entire year as a nurse apprentice on a general pediatrics floor when I graduate and move to the PICU.
And many experienced nurses refuse to move into the ICU setting and hospitals NEED to fill these positions -- the only way is to hire new grad's who are willing to at least try it out. And you speak as if every new grad wants to go into a specialty area. In my class, there are only about 10 or 15 out of 40 who want to go into a specialty area. Otherwise the rest have no preference yet and will probably start out in a med/surg area.
In regards to new nurses coming in with a sense of "entitlement". I know new nurses on the floor I am on do not get a say as to when they work. We are self-scheduling and the new grads understand that the days they want to work do not necessarily mean they will work those days. It is all based on seniority. And there is nothing wrong with a new grad coming on with the attitude of "no one is going to walk all over me" because hospitals will walk all over you if you do not stand up for yourself.
It bothers me immensely when people generalize about new grads because of their experience at one hospital. It is different everywhere. Also, I know of new grads who have quit nursing altogether because of the horrible work environment because the way the experienced nurses have treated them as if the new grads did not "belong" in their department. Instead of this attitutde, nurses should embrace the new grads and promote a healthy learning environment and help them along. If you have a problem with a new grad on your specialty floor, go to your hospital administration, not to the new grad.