Orientation length?

  1. I'll be going back to the ER in about a month having been out of the specialty for 7 months. The facility I'm going to said they usually give nurses 4 days of orientation. I'm sure they will extend it for me but I don't like extending orientation, should I just ask for more up front? Do you think it's possible for someone to get up to speed in 4 days having been away for 7 months? I'm sure they won't throw me into a high acuity section right away.
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    About amzyRN

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 1,114; Likes: 1,231
    RN-Emergency Services; from CA
    Specialty: ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg

    5 Comments

  3. by   Pixie.RN
    I got 9 shifts of orientation at a Level 1, but they put me in the trauma/high acuity stuff right away, though. And triage. lol

    If it's a small/not busy ER with lower acuity, you might find that 4 is sufficient. Most of the time it's just about learning where things are (supplies and departments) and how to move your patients through to dispo. Is it a different charting system than you've used before?
  4. by   amzyRN
    It's a smaller ER, 18 beds with an average census of 80 visits a day. I doubt the census would be this low all the time, however. It's not a trauma center, but the manager said the acuity was high. It's a different charting system (IPEX) or something like that which is and old system but I was told it is easy. I'm used to higher volume ERs with a visit range of 180 to 300 visits a day but they had more support services like phlebotomists. I'll be doing my own blood draws and pushing my patients up to their rooms.
  5. by   OldDude
    Sounds like 4 days will give you enough time to identify what questions you may have about their procedures.
  6. by   JKL33
    Well, I'm admittedly somewhat a "precautionist."

    You have to learn a new charting system, where everything is, who is who, and, well.....how they roll (that latter thing being what will make or break you if you don't figure it out in whatever time frame they consider reasonable).

    Two weeks is still only 6 shifts. I don't think there's a lot of harm in asking for a couple more shifts up front. If necessary, you could say something like, "It may turn out that I don't need them, but it would take off some of the pressure and allow me to focus on making sure I'm doing a great job in my new place."

    ED people are go-with-the-flow people, so I know my caution sounds wimpy. It's just meant to be food for thought. I would really hate for them to run with the assumption that you're a big shot w/ this Level 1 experience - - for some reason that is a set-up for scrutiny and very high expectations.
  7. by   amzyRN
    Yeah, I'm definitely not a big shot and I have limited experience with trauma. I'm still pretty green with only about 1 and 1/2 years experience. I think any experienced ED nurse would know that though, so I presumed they knew that when they hired me. I also told them that up front that I was a beginner, not an expert with 10 years experience who can get an IV 95% of the time. I do have my TNCC, but way different than real experience. If they put me in a lower acuity section, like not in the resus/crital rooms right away, I think I'll be fine. I'm okay with triage too, I did lots of that at my last ED. They do 8 hours shifts, so I'm going to ask for 2 weeks orientation.
    Last edit by amzyRN on May 11

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