Orientation Time

  1. I'm a new nurse (just graduated 06/2005). When I was originally hired in the OR I was told I would have a 12 month orientation, then it was bumped to 9 months. Well, the other day they had a staff meeting without me (I was in ACLS) and they decided a way to solve some of the staffing issues would be to let me start taking rooms on my own and taking call as second scrub. Keep in mind I have been in the OR for just 4 mo. now. I have two issues with this:
    first, I do not feel comfortable being in a room on my own. I do not know if I could troubleshoot some of the machines and really don't know cases well enough to anticipate my scrub's needs off the field. (I circulate 99% of the time). I know the routine of things, but I'm still not always sure why I'm passing certain things onto the field. I feel you really have to get the "whole" picture of what is going on on the field to be able to anticipate. I know this comes with experience, but I really don't feel comfortable just passing an instrument or suture onto the field without understanding what they are going to use it for. Also, I would like to be able anticipate when a laproscopic case looks like it might go open so I can be prepared.
    Second, in regards to the second scrub call issue, I have only scrubbed a total of 9 cases (2 of them were as a student, 4 were just observing and 3 I was actually first scrub). Most of the cases I have scrubbed in for were small 20 minute cases that probably aren't the type of cases we're going to be called in for. Plus I have never been second scrub and the only time I've held a retractor is for two minutes during a back case. I addressed this issue with my manager, who first tried to tell me anyone could hold retractors, than agreed to let me scrub as second scrub for a few cases before I have to take call.
    My question is has anyone else experienced anything like this? I really feel like I'm being cheated out of my orientation. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Quote from ianurse0509
    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    1. Speak up! (Adamantly!)

    2. If that fails, find another job elsewhere!


    OR is lawsuit city. There's a reason they are to provide a lengthy orientation. Someone I graduated with is having a similar experience to yours. She used work at a plastic surgeon's office and they saw the word surgeon and ran with it. You are absolutely right! You ARE being cheated out of your orientation. Either the recruiter was not up front with you so that he/she could fill up his/her numbers or the OR manage is not following policy. Neither scenario speaks well of the facility.
  4. by   preciousmofo
    you ARE being cheated!!!
  5. by   astridrose
    Quote from ianurse0509
    i'm a new nurse (just graduated 06/2005). when i was originally hired in the or i was told i would have a 12 month orientation, then it was bumped to 9 months. well, the other day they had a staff meeting without me (i was in acls) and they decided a way to solve some of the staffing issues would be to let me start taking rooms on my own and taking call as second scrub. keep in mind i have been in the or for just 4 mo. now. i have two issues with this:
    first, i do not feel comfortable being in a room on my own. i do not know if i could troubleshoot some of the machines and really don't know cases well enough to anticipate my scrub's needs off the field. (i circulate 99% of the time). i know the routine of things, but i'm still not always sure why i'm passing certain things onto the field. i feel you really have to get the "whole" picture of what is going on on the field to be able to anticipate. i know this comes with experience, but i really don't feel comfortable just passing an instrument or suture onto the field without understanding what they are going to use it for. also, i would like to be able anticipate when a laproscopic case looks like it might go open so i can be prepared.
    second, in regards to the second scrub call issue, i have only scrubbed a total of 9 cases (2 of them were as a student, 4 were just observing and 3 i was actually first scrub). most of the cases i have scrubbed in for were small 20 minute cases that probably aren't the type of cases we're going to be called in for. plus i have never been second scrub and the only time i've held a retractor is for two minutes during a back case. i addressed this issue with my manager, who first tried to tell me anyone could hold retractors, than agreed to let me scrub as second scrub for a few cases before i have to take call.
    my question is has anyone else experienced anything like this? i really feel like i'm being cheated out of my orientation. does anyone have any suggestions?

    there's only two things you can do:

    1. speak up and let them know your concerns and how you feel with the treatment you're getting at the moment,..remember, if you dont let them know, they wont know there's a problem, and if there's no problem, there's nothing to address..you wont get what you want by keeping your mouth shut, you have to try.

    2. or you can suffer in silence and endure unhappiness on the job you love..

    goodluck!!!!!!!
  6. by   grimmy
    [font=book antiqua]did you sign a contract? do you have a letter of agreement as to the length of time of your orientation? if so, dig them out, make copies, and start making sure that you get what you came for. at 4 months, there is no way that i'd allow a newbie to do what they're asking of you. it is your license - never forget that. granted, you may bump up against some bitter feelings if you make a fuss, but in reality, they are not thinking about your neck at all! if you get nowhere with your nm, get in touch with hr. this is a potentially bad situation.
  7. by   ianurse0509
    Thanks to everyone for your advice. I did sit down with my manager and told her I was not happy with the way things were going. I told her that I know she feels comfortable with me being alone in a room, but I did not feel comfortable and that's what matters. For now they aren't leaving me alone. I still have to take 2nd scrub call, but there letting me scrub a few more cases before I start taking it. We'll see where this goes.....
  8. by   achateas
    That was acceptable when I started in the OR 30 years ago, but not today.
    Stand your ground. It's your license on the line. Hopefully you signed a written agreement for the 12 month orientation.
    If they insist that you skip the rest of your orientation, you have options.
    Quit
    Make them sign a document, acknowledging that you were forced to forgo your orientation and that they, the hospital, will accept full legal responsibility should anything happen. Insist that the hospital lawyers sign this document. I don't think they will.
    good luck
    achateas
  9. by   Sarah, RNBScN
    I rec'd 6 wks. with one on one with a mentor.

    1st week alone was instrumentation, scrubbing, sterile fields, etc., role of scrub nurse.

    2nd week 2nd scrubbed with my mentor.

    3rd week scrubbed for minor cases and my mentor was beside me.

    4 - 6 week....scrub, scrub and scrub.

    We are a small local hospital that only provides the following:
    ortho
    ENT
    gen
    gyne
    uro


    I scrubbed for the first 6 months and then started taking call as a scrub nurse.
    Circulating duties came later.

    Some I worked with would say "see one do one" and I refused all the time.
    Stick to your guns. Do not do anything you are not comfortable with.

    Best of luck
  10. by   ianurse0509
    You're lucky you got one on one with a mentor. I've had several different nurses and even scrub techs mentoring me. Unfortunately you are told to do something one way by one person and then criticized for doing it that way by the next person you work with. It makes it really hard to learn how to do something correctly when everytime you learn to do something you're told to do it a different way.

    We also have the see one, do one, teach one theory in our OR. We had a new computer system roll out and I was the one with the most computer knowledge, so I got to go to a class to learn the new system. I saw it, I practiced it, than I had to teach it to the others on the unit. I like to see something a few times before I have to do it, than do it a few times (or more) before I have to teach it.

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