nurses don't know when they're orientating - page 3

by proud nurse

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I'm having a good learning experience so far in orientation, but I just have one question that's bugging the heck out of me. Why don't my preceptors know I'm coming? I've worked with 2 nurses so far that have had no idea... Read More


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    Quote from Altra
    Just so the OP and others reading know ... it doesn't have to be this way. Some places do have organized orientations planned with forethought.
    ^Yes, that much is true.

    If there is a change, there is usually open communication in terms of orientation, scheduled orientation days, etc. I had a 1:1 post-OP pt while my preceptor had to take a critical pt. The leadership was very helpful in being available for assistance, if I needed anything, etc. I missed a step that I needed to do, I emailed my orientation leader (who was also present on the floor to help me) and she thanked me for being flexible and was very flexible in helping with this.

    There is so much that can go far in terms of orientation, skill mix and bed flow. Nursing care is never predictable, and you never know how your day or night is going to be. I think the oriented must be cognizant that anything can happen, and keep that in perspective, so while you are in orientation, taking a very active role may help in the long run; as long as you have a questioning attitude of your pt's assessment, plan of care, basic and unit-based skills, and a routine that sets up for flexibility if things start to go south, it will benefit your nursing practice.

    I completed my first week in critical care, and one of my two days off is dedicated in getting more familiar with the aspects of care, what to expect, etc. reflecting and using 5 x 8 cards as resources. I will admit it I do work in a very engaging environment, I have a orientation coordinator, have a mentor, charge nurses, and clinical leaders, and an education coordinator that are constantly present for resources and support, and residency class every three weeks. I have never had so much support at a nursing job-ever. It is refreshing.

    I suggest to the OP to be proactive in stating their learning needs. If helps to have a good 30 second intro, include what has been learned so far, end with what I can start with, and go from there. There are many styles if nursing, good tips, facility policy, and incorporate as much as a base in your nursing judgement and practice. It takes two years to be an Advanced Beginner per Benner's novice to expert-it is going to take time, and you will get there.
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    Also, I have been on both sides. As a preceptor, I didn't mind precepting at all...If I had a long day ahead with complex patients, sometimes it would be challenging to teach "on the go" because I already have a set technique, I like to teach hands on. I assess how my orientee learns, experience, etc., go through policies, skills, pts, diagnoses, tips to time management and organization. That's a lot to juggle sometimes, too. I always keep that in perspective too.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  3. 0
    Quote from proud nurse
    I'm having a good learning experience so far in orientation, but I just have one question that's bugging the heck out of me. Why don't my preceptors know I'm coming? I've worked with 2 nurses so far that have had no idea they're having an orientee. Not only do I feel like a goof standing there saying "hi, I'm proud nurse and I'm orientating with you today", but they have this deer in the headlight look, like "crap."

    I'm trying to make the most of it, although I feel like I'm directing my orientation and there's really no plan laid out for me. The patients are great, the staff is helpful and friendly so far. It's kind of difficult for a person like me with my OCD tendancies to have something so unstructured, but I also feel like it might be best if I go with the flow.
    I'm glad you're having a good learning experience so far. And you're right -- it is best when you go with the flow. Have an idea of what your learning needs are and be able to describe your prior experience in a few brief sentences -- that'll help the preceptor figure out what to do with you. You may have to "structure" your own orientation. It's too bad when that happens, but if you feel as though you're getting a good learning experience, you're better off than many.

    By the way -- it's "orienting" rather than "orientating".
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    I can relate to this! I found that the seasoned nurses did not panic and did not mind orienting me at all! They were cheerful, friendly and explained every single thing! The younger nurses less than 5 years experience, they freaked out when they found out they had to train! I think this is because they either do not like to teach or they are not comfortable or confident!
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    Quote from Altra
    Just so the OP and others reading know ... it doesn't have to be this way. Some places do have organized orientations planned with forethought.
    In my unit, you're assigned a preceptor and work their schedule during orientation. Their may be a shift or two with someone else but that's rare.
    Altra likes this.
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    At my hospital, staffing can change in a heartbeat. When someone "calls out," it can be very difficult to find someone else to fill in. We end up pulling nurses to other departments. Someone can easily "not know they are orienting someone" because of this. I, myself, never know where I will be working when I go in. I get pulled between 3 different departments.
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    Are you in a situation where you could champion somewhat the new orientation program, or at least give the feedback to the right people on some ways to improve the preceptor program. Ex knowing who your with, documentation for orientee, classes for preceptors(to know what's expected of them), adjusting nurse pt ratio to allow for teaching, ect... This maybe very helpful for others coming in and speak very well of your professional abilities. They may be willing to take a look at your orientation plan immediately.
    proud nurse likes this.
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    Usually this happens because they are just so busy! They really don't have time to put much thought or coordination into it, typically. The moral of the story is... ask questions and look for opportunities to learn because you are in charge of your own training a lot of times.
  9. 1
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    I'm glad you're having a good learning experience so far. And you're right -- it is best when you go with the flow. Have an idea of what your learning needs are and be able to describe your prior experience in a few brief sentences -- that'll help the preceptor figure out what to do with you. You may have to "structure" your own orientation. It's too bad when that happens, but if you feel as though you're getting a good learning experience, you're better off than many.

    By the way -- it's "orienting" rather than "orientating".
    Thanks Ruby Vee. Sometimes I get mixed up with that word orienting. Like when someone asks if a patient has been orientated to his room, or oriented to his room.
    Altra likes this.
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    It's disorganized in my situation. I've seen my schedule for the next 2 weeks. Everytime I have a scheduled day off and come back to work, looks like I'll be working with someone different. At that rate, by the time orientation is over I will have worked with probably 12 nurses, because I've only had 7 days on the floor with 3 preceptors thus far.

    It's just frustrating


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