What was your orientation/training processes like for your first new grad RN job?
Highly structured 16 week program, modeled after the Versant residency program. Could also be 12 week for a med-surg position, but I was in a critical care area. Weekly checklists to guide the weeks learning, preceptor on my unit so she was able to closely monitor my progress. Weekly meetings to discuss progress, opportunities for growth, etc. Very well supported by most of my colleagues (there's always got to be that one nurse, doesn't there?), really enjoyed it.
Was your preceptor also a nurse on the floor and had patients of there own?
After the first couple of weeks, yes. However, we were in PACU, so there are strict nurse to pt ratios. Couple that with a small 16 bay area only divided by sliding curtains and you can see we were all together, all the time. Very different than being spread over a large area, sometimes available sometimes behind a close door.
Right I see. I started at a long term care acute hospital and last week I started on the floor. I'm orienting with one other person who is a new grad as well. We both have the same nurse/ preceptor. She has her assignment of 5-6 patients. By day 3, I had 2 patients out of my preceptors assignment and the other person had 2 patients as well. Already I feel I'm just getting thrown out there and not having a lot of support, guidance and direct hands on learning. If I need my preceptor for something she is not always around since she has the other new hire who orientating too or she's with other patients. I'm sure every place is different but wanted to get a feel of other peoples experiences for there first nursing job. I just don't want to be developing bad habits.
Yeah, that's tricky. On the one hand, there is no experience like just doing it, make a mistake, learn from it, move on. It's a great teaching model, it's what I used when I was teaching new student nurses. It felt scary to them because they were brand new and felt like they knew nothing and could kill somebody. You and I know their ability to hurt somebody was pretty low level unless they were crazy. On the other hand, you sound like me in that you want to do it right so instant feedback is important. I think if you trust yourself more you'll be more comfortable with leaning on your own learning. Consider you are a nurse, you do know stuff, trust the process!
My first RN job was on a Med-Surg Oncology unit (more on the medical side). First 2 weeks I was in classroom training; learning hospital policies and procedures, how to use equipment, and learning EPIC. After that I went on the unit and began my 3-month unit orientation.
My preceptor was amazing, first we started with 5 patients he would quiz me about what to check before giving medications, gave me feedback on my nursing skills, and helpful shortcuts he used to get the job done. After about 2 months he felt I was able to become semi-independent so I had 5 patients on my own and he'd occasionally check in, once I hit that 3rd month I was flying solo. That's generally the gist of my orientation.
I just completed my orientation. 90 days with a mixture of class days and unit days (mostly spent on the unit). I had a dedicated preceptor and started on day one shadowing to get to know the unit, day 2 took one patient. then I went to 2 patients and worked my way up to 4 (our typical ratio). For 2 1/2 months we work day shift regardless of shift hired for. that allows us to get experience and contact with all the physicians and other providers. Then if you are on nights you switch over with a dedicated preceptor for the last 2 weeks. My unit is extremely supportive and even now that I am flying solo I know that I can ask for help if I need it and usually the charge nurse will check in on me to make sure I'm doing OK. As a pair (me and preceptor) we only took a normal load. So when I was taking 4 patients she was there if I needed and worked as a resource nurse to help out on the unit. When I had less than 4 I took my patients and she had hers.
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