Jump to content

Anyone removed from Orientation early?

Updated | Posted

cardiac-nurse-dropped-from-orientation-early.jpg.159e43c5efab4a3ab9be5b1d9be7a4ca.jpg

I am a second-career nurse. I taught high school for 9 years, went back to school to get a BSN, and just started nursing in March of 2020. What a crazy time to get started! Lots of learning opportunities. 

I took a position in a Progressive Care Unit with plans to eventually move into an ICU after gaining some experience. I was given a full 12 week orientation, with a couple weeks to float to the surgical and cardiovascular ICUs. When COVID hit the hospital, management decided to open up a new Step down unit and convert the current one into a Medical ICU. The plan was to begin the conversion in September. However, due to increasing number of COVID patients, this conversion happened literally overnight in July. Suddenly, we were receiving some of the sickest patients, with minimal ICU training. Nurses from other units were floated to help us out, but it was still rough. I am an independent learner, so I have been putting in the time and work to hone ICU skills as a new grad as quickly as possible. However, as a new grad I also feared being given assignments that I wasn't prepared for - this affects the safety of the patients and my nursing license. I'm not afraid to ask for help, and thankfully my charge nurses have been great resources. 

A position opened up in the CVICU, and a charge nurse encouraged me to apply. I thought this would be a good move, since the nurses there are more experienced in the ICU. My long-term goal was to work in this unit, as well. I applied, and was offered the job. I told them I'd accept as long as I was guaranteed a full 12-week orientation in the new unit. My manager agreed, and stated she'd roll me off orientation early if I didn't need the full 12 weeks. 

I started working CVICU in early December. After 2 shifts, management removed me from orientation due to staffing demands. Now I'm a full-time CVICU nurse. I don't have ZERO knowledge about heart patients, but not enough to feel safe caring for them independently. Currently I'm being given patients in the unit who are step down  or General ICU acuity. While it is manageable, I'm having to pick up extra shifts if I want any orientation. My would-be preceptor and charge nurses are helpful to teach me when they can, but we are all busy. I have spoken up about this to my manager several times, and this person's hands are tied by the higher up boss, who thinks I don't need orientation. The charge nurse is also fighting for me to get an orientation, but I'm continually denied because of COVID beds and staffing. It's very frustrating. I am told that the situation in other local hospitals isn't any better. However, I signed a two-year contract to work at this hospital, and will be fined if I leave early. I'm not sure what else to do, other than report this to HR. 

I understand things are tough all over right now. Needs are critical. Staffing and morale is low. But I'm frustrated because I'm hungry to learn and grow as a cardiac ICU nurse, and am denied this opportunity. Apart from seeking employment elsewhere, do you guys have any insight? Any similar stories? It could be that things are just rough right now all over. 

Thanks for reading!

I'm a CVICU open heart manager, and there is no higher-up boss who makes decisions for me regarding orientation needs. I make those decisions on an individual basis. Report what to HR? If you start reporting your manager I suspect your tenure in that unit will be limited.

8 hours ago, 2ndcareernurse37 said:

I told them I'd accept as long as I was guaranteed a full 12-week orientation in the new unit. My manager agreed, and stated she'd roll me off orientation early if I didn't need the full 12 weeks. 

And she knew this was what she was going to do.

The bottom line is you either accept it or you don't.  You either accept that you're never likely to get a bona fide CVICU orientation or you don't accept it. You probably can just learn by getting sort of thrown in this way. It isn't ideal.

Yes things are rough everywhere. Or in lots of places, anyway.

Your manager was still deceitful in order to serve her own interests. You either accept that or you don't.

You don't have your manager's promises in writing.

You have to decide what you are okay with and what you aren't.

Personally I would consider hanging in there. If they are willing to pay you OT to be oriented one day at a time in addition to your regularly scheduled shifts, I'd take the money, learn what I want to learn and get myself into a marketable position and then decide if I want to have any loyalty to them or not.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

12 weeks reduced to 2 days- that's obscene. At least you know what your manager's word is worth.

Along with the 2 year contract (I thought the idea was you paid them back for  the cost of orienting you if you left early.) Are they HCA by any chance?

Well, since 2 days instead of 60 (12 weeks) is about 3%, maybe early departure charges should be pro-rated to that... 

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

That sounds like a very unfortunate turn of events. As others have mentioned, only you can decide whether you're willing to stick it out and learn on the job. You are unlikely to be able to get more orientation time, but you sound like someone motivated to learn and when things calm down a bit maybe you can express to your manager that you're disappointed with how things turned out and you're hoping they will invest more education time for you. Good luck!

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

I want to be careful how I approach this, but you're requesting a SECOND 12 week orientation period, on top of an already completed 12 week one. Like you're asking for a total 6 MONTHS orientation, which was NOT a stipulation of your original new hire contract.

Considering these Covid times, that IS a bit liberal. I really don't fault the facility for NOT extending your orientation for such a long period. They DID provide 12 weeks; perhaps another 4 weeks might have been a reasonable  consideration. But half a year ...

To your benefit, you come across as focused, goal oriented, a strongly motivated learner, safety-conscious, and you have clinical peer support. But it is Admin that has to make the decisions - and you got caught up in the changes.

You now have to make the best choices for yourself. You can stay on and make the best you can. And you'll prob do well. You can go elsewhere (with the threat of that pay-back contract). But like PP sevensonnets commented, complaining to HR about unfulfilled promises can come back to bite you.

Good luck to you.

 

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

HR is there for the employer, not the employee. There are new grads at my hospital being kicked off orientation after 6 weeks, then floated to all levels of acuity. Some leave hoping for greener pastures, and others play the "sink or swim" game. They are swimming, for the most part.

8 hours ago, sevensonnets said:

I'm a CVICU open heart manager, and there is no higher-up boss who makes decisions for me regarding orientation needs. I make those decisions on an individual basis. Report what to HR? If you start reporting your manager I suspect your tenure in that unit will be limited.

I don't plan to report to HR. Someone suggested it to me, but after careful thought I decided it wouldn't be wise. This manager thus far had proven to be true to their word, and has treated employees with respect. I suspect times are tough right now with COVID beds and staffing. When I requested more orientation time, she told me that the critical care manager (her boss) said that that would not work. I've decided to stay put. It's a good unit, and the nurses there are knowledgeable and willing to teach. 

On 1/12/2021 at 3:12 PM, amoLucia said:

I want to be careful how I approach this, but you're requesting a SECOND 12 week orientation period, on top of an already completed 12 week one. Like you're asking for a total 6 MONTHS orientation, which was NOT a stipulation of your original new hire contract.

Considering these Covid times, that IS a bit liberal. I really don't fault the facility for NOT extending your orientation for such a long period. They DID provide 12 weeks; perhaps another 4 weeks might have been a reasonable  consideration. But half a year ...

To your benefit, you come across as focused, goal oriented, a strongly motivated learner, safety-conscious, and you have clinical peer support. But it is Admin that has to make the decisions - and you got caught up in the changes.

You now have to make the best choices for yourself. You can stay on and make the best you can. And you'll prob do well. You can go elsewhere (with the threat of that pay-back contract). But like PP sevensonnets commented, complaining to HR about unfulfilled promises can come back to bite you.

Good luck to you.

Hi amoLucia, 

Your perspective is reasonable. 12 more weeks is a lot to ask for. I was given a 12 week orientation into the PCU upon hire back in March. I did not receive an ICU orientation. I would be fine with a 4 week orientation now in the new unit. And yes, I got caught up in the changes. Regardless, I had patients on vasopressors, paralytics at times, A-lines, etc, in the MICU since August. I have experience with those. I doubt I even need 4 weeks.

I think I got caught up in other nurses giving their opinions on what I should do. A charge suggested I put my foot down and say I will not accept any less than a full orientation. While that's.... noble... I guess? It's not wise. With a global pandemic, things are different than they were a couple years ago, when x employee "demanded" her 2nd orientation and received it. 

I appreciate everyone's input. It's unfortunate, but I'm going to stick it out. I've built some rapport with the nurses here, who see I sincerely desire to grow in patient care and do well. Also, I wouldn't do anything I felt unsure or unsafe about, and I'm not afraid to ask questions and ask for help. 

Hope you have a great week!

On 1/12/2021 at 10:12 AM, JKL33 said:

You don't have your manager's promises in writing.

Sidenote, I do have this in writing. It was sent to me through text. But I don't know how that would hold up, haha. 

On 1/12/2021 at 9:48 AM, sevensonnets said:

I'm a CVICU open heart manager, and there is no higher-up boss who makes decisions for me regarding orientation needs. I make those decisions on an individual basis. Report what to HR? If you start reporting your manager I suspect your tenure in that unit will be limited.

And in a completely opposing perspective: When $#%$# hits the fan, it's your license and nobody else's on the unit.  If you've only been given 2 days of orientation as a new nurse, there's nothing wrong with speaking up.  Could it burn bridges on that unit, yeah.  But remember, it's this one unit vs the entire rest of your career.

Talk to hospital ombudsmen in confidence, or a personal attorney, get it on record that you think you need the orientation  you were promised in order to keep everyone safe.  This will help to protect your license. A facility that will throw you in anywhere is not patient centered and would probably not hesitate to throw you under the bus, if there is an unfortunate incident. 

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

You started out on PCU but this turned into ICU without adequate training. Then, you received 2 days of ICU orientation in the ICU. To me - this is a danger to your license. However, it is your decision on if you feel comfortable and safe in your environment.