How long does it take to get Oriented on your New Psyche Nurse Job

  1. Hi ....I just started in a psyche facility and they give you about 3 weeks orientation and then you are on the floor. Very overwhelmning...The legal and everything....lots to long does it take to get the hang....Will I make my 90 day probation......They seem supportive but are kind ramming things at me....What do you think?? Thanks eeveryone....
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    About everyday6/12

    Joined: Aug '09; Posts: 34; Likes: 15
    Psyche RN; from US
    Specialty: 12 year(s) of experience in Psyche RN


  3. by   ddunnrn
    Well, you sure gave us a doozy of a question: there are so many variables to consider. Do you have any psych experience? Is it a for-profit or non-profit facility? Is is connected with one of the psychiatric hospital chains? What kind of patients are there--geriatric, adolescent, dual diagnosis, voluntary, involuntary?, etc. etc. You might think it's not so important, but it makes a big difference whether the facility is located in an urban or suburban area, or out in the "boonies"

    I have 25 years experience as a psych nurse, in a variety of settings, and I can tell you off the top of my head that 3 weeks is not a perfect orientation. I didn't feel comfortable in psych, as a new graduate, for about 6 months--there is so much to learn and to put into practice without having to think about it. I didn't feel fully competent and accustomed to psych until I had about 2 years experience.

    I'm sorry I can't be of more help in such a short response, but if you'd like to ask me more questions, feel free to email me. And remember, the number one thing to always have foremost in your mind is SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY!! Go by the book for all security issues like having backup plans, searches, suicide checks, contraband,etc, or you will eventually regret it.

    Dave Dunn, RN
  4. by   everyday6/12
    ]Hi ....I just started in a psyche facility and they give you about 3 weeks orientation and then you are on the floor. Very overwhelmning...The legal and everything....lots to long does it take to get the hang....Will I make my 90 day probation......They seem supportive but are kind ramming things at me....What do you think?? Thanks everyone....[/QUOTE]

    My question pertains to whether or not the facility which is private will give you a certain amount of time to perform and if you dont perform will they terminate you. Under the circumstances that i am a new grad I was just wanting to know how long the average learning curve is for a new grad Nurse to get into the groove of performance....
  5. by   everyday6/12
    Thanks for the earlier helped a lot....
  6. by   ddunnrn
    I forgot to mention in my long-winded response how much I love psych nursing. I don't think I would have ever enjoyed any other specialty as much. With nursing in general, you can use all of your life's experiences and knowledge to help your patients, but I have found this especially true in psych nursing, because you have such a wide array of types of patients, and those patients have all sorts of problems--emotional, financial, medical, behavioral, etc.

    Over the years I have also realized that, notwithstanding "book knowledge" and "evidence-based practice", that your best tool for helping your patients with behavioral issues is just being yourself--as sane and as functional an example as you can be. People naturally learn from good examples, and I think this is even more "therapeutic" than some of the other fancy therapies.

    I hope you will enjoy psych nursing as much as I have!

    Dave Dunn, RN
  7. by   everyday6/12
    Hi David,

    Thanks again for your honest response.....but will management let me learn as I go through the proabtion period......I do not have to feel threatened that I am not fast enough or good enough. All I am saying is that I want to make it through my probation and enjoy psyche Nursing because it is trully where I belong......I just don't want to feel threatened by the probationary period.....What do you think???

  8. by   ddunnrn
    I'd like to say everything is rosy, but I have known probationary nurses to be given the axe because management doesn't think they're a "good fit". Just like everything else in life, in the off chance that it might happen that way, treat it as a learning experience.

    Dave Dunn, RN
  9. by   Blue4me2
    I am a new nurse and have been working in inpatient psych at a hospital for about six months now. I was given three weeks orientation as well. I do not believe it was an adequate orientation. When I approached management about some of my concerns like safety etc I got an eye roll and a oh you are overreacting it's not dangerous at all (low staffing, being alone with patients in isolated area) Needless to say I have given my notice. I found that management who appeared very supportive initially was not and overall it was a seriously disappointing new nurse experience. I actually considered leaving the profession for good over this poor experience. I have instead decided to give another area of nursing a try in hopefully a better environment. My suggestion to you is to give it sometime until you get to know whats going on on the unit or units and how supportive management is in addressing any of your concerns and definately watch for high staff turnover it is definately a red flag people are leaving for a reason.
  10. by   TerpGal02
    I am a new grad nurse and started with my agency in May. I work at a community agency and didn't really have an orientation per se. I did basically shadow the other nurse for about 2 1/2 weeks before I started doing client visits myself, and if its a client I haven't met yet, the other nurse I work with will go with me too. Its been very sink or swim. I know I still have a ton to learn and feel lkke I'm flying by the seat of my pants some days, but its been good so far. I feel very supported by my team. Our program director basically told me to not expect to really be proficient at this job till I've been there a year.
  11. by   everyday6/12
    Thank you....I worked last night in the Kids unit and in a shift , reported off, checked physicians orders, charted, performed an admit interview, discharged a pt, passed meds, ran group, answered the phone etc....I would say that when I do go on my own, I too will probably be flying by the seat of my pants, but a lot of the action items seem to come naturally. I enjoy assessing sucide risks because this is when the pts open up. I hear so many stories.....I suppose this is an art that i will have to develop as I go............ thx
  12. by   SCSTxRN
    I was an experienced med surg nurse with 10 years of teaching experience, much of it special ed. The standard orientation at my facility is 6 months for a new grad, 3 months for a non psych nurse, 3 weeks for a psych nurse new to the hospital, and 1 week if you're just switching units.

    I was out of orientation in 6 weeks - but that's where my preceptors and I felt comfortable.