This afternoon was my first day of my orientation as an LPN. The LTC facility I'm working is also where I have worked as a CNA for the past two years. Since I am fresh out of school and newly licensed my DON put with the Staff Education RN to begine with. So that I could learn paperwork the proper way amd etc. When I got there for the 3-11 shift chaos was breaking loose. There were 3 admissions, 1 new admit and 2 residents returning from the hospital. The day shift nurses were in a staff meeting with the DON and administrator leaving only one nurse to man each wing of the building. I reported to the side of the building where I was suppose to be working. The RN that was orientating me looks at me and says count with the off-going nurse, I just kind of look at her stunned, considering that I had never done a narc count before I thought this might be something that she might want to explain to me but she didn't. Luckily the off-going nurse took the time to explain to me. After that was done she told me that we were going to work on one of the admissions. We got through the majority of it and it was time to call the MD and she tells me I'm going to call the doc and you can talk to him. Once again I looked at her stunned. B/C I had no idea what I was suppose to say to him or tell or anything. I asked her and she didn't really elaborate much. We paged him and he called back, she put him on speaker phone and just looked at me. I was literally dumbfounded. But after about 30 seconds of me hum ohing around she took over the phone call. Later on in the evening she pulled this routine telling me I needed to call the pharmacy and ask about some meds that we needed. Once again she told me nothing about what I should say.
I know that talking on the phone to MDs and the pharmacy and whoever else is part of nursing. But I just thought that since I had never done either of those things before she might have given me a little more direction that what she did. Talking to docs and taking off orders and what ever else is not something that they teach you in nursing school
. I'm stressed and this is was just my first night. Am I over-reacting. I know they say to jump in with both feet, but tonight I just felt dumb.
May 1, '09
Based on my personal experiences while working in various nursing homes, a new nurse must unfortunately learn the different tasks of one's job through "baptism by fire," meaning they're often thrown from the frying pan into the fire. The orientation is often inadequate, so the new nurse must take personal initiative in order to learn the tasks and routine of the job. You must also communicate loudly and clearly about the things you don't know.
When the RN asked you to count with the offgoing nurse, you may have wanted to firmly state, "I've never counted with anyone before. This is my first time, so could you help me?"
When the nurse asked you to speak to the doctor, it might have been prudent to remind her by saying, "I've never verified admission orders with a doctor over the phone before. Could you guide me through the different steps?"
If you do not communicate what you don't know to the person who's training you, then you might end up learning through "baptism by fire." The moral of the story is to ask for help when you need it. Also, be assertive. Good luck to you!
Last edit by TheCommuter on May 1, '09
: Reason: I added a sentence