Can I borrow your shoulder..and your ear?

  1. 0
    I am a new grad nurse and just started my first job in ortho/neuro at the tail end of July. I am drowning.

    My orientation was six days of classwork reading old, blotched, copied sheets of generic information. Sadly, with the exception of a couple of hours, the class time was a huge time-waster.

    My manager placed me with a "preceptor" that I was to orient with for anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. My preceptor's idea of orientation was: "these are your patients...if you have questions, call me." While she sat up at the nurses station, doing her job. I asked plenty of questions (she does not volunteer any info or explanations but will answer most questions when asked) of her and of every nurse I could petition for information. It is a hit and miss way to learn.

    Some of the things I have learned, I have learned by asking (I am not afraid to ask lots of questions or to look ignorant to co-workers). However, most of the things I have learned have come from being lost or making a mistake or learning after I missed something. The list of things that I "don't know I don't know" is looooong and at least one day a week I come home deeply discouraged because of the caustic remarks of one co-worker in particular (she is charge on night shift). My managers and my co-workers say "you are doing great/you really learn fast/you are doing awesome" etc etc blah blah blah.

    But the truth is that with some patients I feel I am dangerously ignorant.

    I realize that every first job out of school is going to be challenging. This job is causing me to question the wisdom of staying in nursing, especially in the area where I live (two hospitals to choose from and neither one of them is really great). I have already been shopping around online for hospitals and programs that are new grad prepared. I have years of experience working with the public and working in the service industry (hair stylist and sales and taught art to pre-K) and I have built an excellent reputation everywhere I have ever worked (including here so far). I can handle crabby and even impossible patients; what I really feel wrong about is working some place with no learning curve and without real resources to properly train and orient new grad nurses.

    Does anyone out there have any encouragement or advice for me? I am willing to relocate to find the right job. Please tell me there is something better out there.
  2. 4 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Yes there is something better out there. You didn't get an orientation, you got a crappy crash course, and the preceptor who isn't precepting.

    At your next interview ( if you went on one) ask what their orientation consists of. This way you'll know what to expect, and will know instantly that you wouldn't be getting what was promised.
  4. 0
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    Yes there is something better out there. You didn't get an orientation, you got a crappy crash course, and the preceptor who isn't precepting.

    At your next interview ( if you went on one) ask what their orientation consists of. This way you'll know what to expect, and will know instantly that you wouldn't be getting what was promised.
    Thank you for the encouragement Marie...and best of luck to you as you continue to further your academic education.
  5. 0
    Quote from introspectiveRN
    I am a new grad nurse and just started my first job in ortho/neuro at the tail end of July. I am drowning.

    My orientation was six days of classwork reading old, blotched, copied sheets of generic information. Sadly, with the exception of a couple of hours, the class time was a huge time-waster.

    My manager placed me with a "preceptor" that I was to orient with for anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. My preceptor's idea of orientation was: "these are your patients...if you have questions, call me." While she sat up at the nurses station, doing her job. I asked plenty of questions (she does not volunteer any info or explanations but will answer most questions when asked) of her and of every nurse I could petition for information. It is a hit and miss way to learn.

    Some of the things I have learned, I have learned by asking (I am not afraid to ask lots of questions or to look ignorant to co-workers). However, most of the things I have learned have come from being lost or making a mistake or learning after I missed something. The list of things that I "don't know I don't know" is looooong and at least one day a week I come home deeply discouraged because of the caustic remarks of one co-worker in particular (she is charge on night shift). My managers and my co-workers say "you are doing great/you really learn fast/you are doing awesome" etc etc blah blah blah.

    But the truth is that with some patients I feel I am dangerously ignorant.

    I realize that every first job out of school is going to be challenging. This job is causing me to question the wisdom of staying in nursing, especially in the area where I live (two hospitals to choose from and neither one of them is really great). I have already been shopping around online for hospitals and programs that are new grad prepared. I have years of experience working with the public and working in the service industry (hair stylist and sales and taught art to pre-K) and I have built an excellent reputation everywhere I have ever worked (including here so far). I can handle crabby and even impossible patients; what I really feel wrong about is working some place with no learning curve and without real resources to properly train and orient new grad nurses.

    Does anyone out there have any encouragement or advice for me? I am willing to relocate to find the right job. Please tell me there is something better out there.
    I sure am wanting to think that with your work experience, your preceptor is assuming you know more than you do. Either that or why in the world would they place you with someone that obviously doesn't want to TEACH. I would encourage you to make a list, have a meeting with your preceptor first and make sure she understands what you are dealing with. If you are still feeling that you are lacking the guidance you need, you both could meet with the nurse manager. Feeling overwhelmed is normal.
    As you gain in experience, then you should be more confident and independent. Does the unit have a list of competency skills or how do they document that the staff is competent. This could be a starting place.
  6. 0
    Just wanted to let you know that your orientation process was not normal! From the sound of it, the hospital, nurse manager and preceptor should be ashamed. That would be a bad orientation for a seasoned nurse, let alone for a new nurse grad. When I started my first job out of nursing school (about 3 years ago now) I was on a high acuity surgical unit - We had 6 weeks of indepth classroom training, and about 4-6 weeks of working w/ a preceptor. First I just watched her, then she watched me take 1 pt then 2 pts etc. until I was comfortable taking a full pt load - in which she still checked in w/ me frequently until I was completely comfortable being on my own - That is what you should expect from most major hospitals - If you want to relocate to the good old midwest, there are several great hospital systems in Indy, Chicago, Cleveland etc. that will provide an excellent orientation process. Good luck!!!


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