question

  1. Is 12 wks of orientation for L&D. Ob triage, and PSU enough?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   SC RN
    In my opinion ... No. I just finished up 16 weeks of orientation for L&D only. When I first heard I had four months of orientation, I thought it would be WAY too much ... I was WAY wrong. There is so much to learn and so much that there isn't time to learn during orientation. If 12 weeks isn't enough, ask for more time .... it can't hurt! Best of luck to you!
  4. by   palesarah
    NOt sure what PSU is? When I oriented to L&D (that incuded triage) my initial 12 weeks was not enough, I ended up going back for another 2 months of orientation. A lot of it depends (at my old hospital) on what you actually get experience with- some people get exposed to nearly everything, do enough of all of it to feel competent, and are ready to to fly at 12 weeks, some of us need longer... I was grateful that I was given the extra time to learn!
  5. by   malibu03
    for me, it wouldn't be enough. However, others may be a different story. I have a 6 month orientation, I'm currently in month 4, and am nervous about being "kicked out of the nest". I know that after orientation, I will have a time where I will be working with a mentor, and all my colleages are very helpful.

    Can you ask for more help/longer orientation if you need it?
  6. by   sdavis56
    I've been a L&D nurse preceptor for several yrs. We do 6 mths orientation and feel this is a must. At our hosp. the nurses also do c/s, so they must learn to scrub,circulate,and recover, which are other roles besides the "labor side" of l&d. after the 6 mths, the 2nd 6 mths the orientee is paired with experienced nurses to provide support and answer questions. we have been told that our orientation is GREAT and made the new nurses feel so much more comfortable knowing they had that much time to learn and grow. best wishes on your journey in l&d!
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    As a rule, no, esp if you are expected to function fully on your own after such an orientation---unless you have prior OB experience! Where I work, new orientees get generally 6 months or longer orientation on dayshift, first, then nights, (if that is when they will work).

    I would wonder about the climate of your unit.....is someone going to be there to help you in that first year? Really, it took me 2 years' fulltime working in OB/GYN nursing to feel at ALL competent and able to function independently. 12 weeks is surely not much time to get "it all" in. Good luck to you; I wish you the best.
  8. by   newnurse.rs
    Thank you all for replying. First of all I must say that yesterday was my first day of orientation and I guess I'm already getting a little nervous. I feel uncomfortable with fetal strips and I will be studying them but I still feel unsure. I just feel uncomfortable charting things that I'm not absolute sure of.
    Oh yeah I was at triage. Can someone give me an example of one day of your orientation, Did you get to do anything on your own in the beginning? Did you have to follow your preceptor all the time? Thanks in advance.

    PSU - perinatal surveilance unit
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I was given a patient to care for, with my preceptor "backing me up" and answering questions/showing me the ropes. There is nothing like DOING to teach you how things should be done, I say.

    You also need:
    NRP
    Fetal Heart Monitoring classes by AWHONN

    ASAP.
  10. by   obosoon
    I've been in a leader role in OB for longer than I like to admit and have known several nurses who are so overwelmed in the first week that I worry whether they will come back for another. We have a small unit that has antepartum, L & D, postpartum and nursery all in one. The nurses are expected to work independently and must be competent in all areas. We have a long orientation process that is at least 6 months long then the new nurse works closely with another nurse like a mentoring program for as long as they need it. They are not 100% alone for labors until our providers and I are comfortable with their skills and critical thinking. This whole process may take over a year.
    We are fortunate though to have CNM's present for most active labors which provides reinforcemet for the new nurse.
  11. by   RaeT,RN
    As someone who is nearing the end of my orientation in L&D, I am going to throw in my 2 cents.

    On my unit, new grads are given a 12 week orientation. Experienced nurses are given 6 weeks. We are the first group of new grads to go through the AWHONN orientation classes - 80 hours over 3 months. We learn all body systems and complications, etc., NB transition, PP, EFM - everything. This helps immensely because you go further into depth than you did in nursing school. Helps to make connections. Because we have this class and I am losing floor hours because of it, I squeezed two more weeks in. We do cross-train to other areas. A week on High-Risk Antepartum, a day or two with our baby nurse, three days scrubbing in OR, a week of c/s circulating, a day in the big PACU downstairs . . . I think we're supposed to have a day in triage, but we can't be assigned there until we've had a year experience.

    We go to nights afterwards; there are six of us new grads so three of us are going to nights (me included), while three stay on days, and then we flip flop every six weeks. Not sure how long that's going to happen. Wish they'd just leave me on nights, but anyways . . .

    We always have a resource person, and we still will be paired with another nurse when we have a pt with things going on we didn't get to take care of in official orientation. Everyone watches out for you, especially the charge nurse. They don't expect you to fully function without support on your own for about a year.

    Having said all that, I must point out that not only did I work on our unit as an NA II, I also did a 3 week preceptorship at the end of nursing school up there, which really really helped to introduce me to the role of the nurse. I definately feel that I was at a great advantage when I actually started as an RN.

    My preceptor does not believe in letting me "watch". From the first day I was getting my hands dirty. I absolutely agree with Deb - you learn best hands on, which has also helped me.

    Good luck with your orientation. You will have days that you feel you cannot do it - stick it out, and remember that they don't expect you to know it all right away! Ask lots of questions - never be afraid to ask anything. And this forum is a wonderful way to vent and gather support and ask questions about tough pts and situations.

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