Need orientation survival tips - page 2

by VAC

I just left ICU for the PACU after 9 years. At the beginning of the ICU career, I had an orientation from hell that I do not want to repeat, so I'm trying to keep my mouth shut, opinions to myself, and my ears and eyes open.... Read More


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    Glad to hear, others with the same issues. I started in PACU three weeks ago, I have been a OR Director, and OR supervisor, and got totally burned out, I'm trying to find a niche where I love my job again. It has been very stressful, even though I have been in the OR environment for years. I am not getting any formal orientation, having to teach myself alot and it is very scarey at times. Some of the senior nurses in this area feel like since I have been a Director I know everything, or should and are not very helpful, my Director now is very passive, and there are no set guidelines for orientation. I'm afraid I have become a burr under her saddle with all my questions, but alot of the basic nursing standards aren't being used either. This is a small hospital in a small community and they tend to do things the way they want, with little acceptance for change even for the better? Sorry this is so lengthy, just getting very frustrated.
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    When I first started in PACU I had been an OR nurse (for 12 yr.) Coming from a large OR to a very small one. I would help out in the PACU when I finished my cases. Then slowly I became the PACU nurse because the PACU nurses that were hired didn't stay. No wonder! I didn't realize the risk not to mention the standards that were not being followed until in 1/08 I started working in a large metro inner city hospital PACU. The manager hired me knowing I had no critical care experience I told her the PACU experience was mainly phase II for about 1-1/2 yrs. I do have ACLS we had to have that to work in the OR. MAN I had no idea what I was getting myself into working in a Phase I PACU. Thank goodness I work with a great group of nurses that truely know the meaning of teamwork. They have been so helpful I have been hitting the books studing like I was back in school. (which was many moons ago) It has been both terrifing and stimulating. I was getting pretty burned out. I can't say I love it, yet, give me another 6 mo. One of the nurses told me you don't ever want to get too comfortable thats when mistakes happen you need to keep that edge. Sorry this is so long but I empathize with anyone starting out in PACU without critical care experience first. It has been very stressful for me but I am learning so much. Oh I had maybe two wks. of orientation and have yet to hang out with a Resp. Therapist for a day which is what my manager wanted me to do since I have no vent experience. We are to short staffed I hope I don't get the see one do one orientation with that.
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    Thank you so much, I have totally felt like a fish out of water. I have bought a very helpful book and have been studying also. It does make it difficult to be studying and trying to take care of these patients at the same time. I do work with two other very good nurses, that try and help me and answer all my questions, but the director part of me comes out and I see some changes in standards that need to be made for us to give safe care, such as functioning monitors, and they have gotten so use to working without the support they need that I feel like I'm speaking greek but I just take it one step at a time. I've got a two yr. contract at this facility and have just moved to this area, and really want things to work out so I'm giving it my best shot. Thank you again for your response!
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    Question: Does your hospital have PACU nurses on call? Or do the OR nurses recover pts after hours/on call on the weekends?

    We as PACU take call. My sister in law said their hospital has the OR nurses recover the pts and the PACU nurses never take call.

    Just wondering.

    I'm glad that this forum is here. What books are good for new PACU orientees?
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    You will feel a bit out of it because the skills are different in some ways. Believe me, a few months from now you will wonder why you worked ICU as long as you did. Give it time, you will fit in.
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    hi guys! I'm as novice as I could get...I'm just about to start in PACU on Wednesday. This is my first ever hospital experience after college (last year ). Long story but yes, I'll undergo the same experiences that you've had. scarry!!! help please? what can i expect?!


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