Length of orientation?

  1. I'm just curious how long everyone's orientation was/is, and what type of unit you oriented to? I'm currently finishing my 5th week of orientation (out of 6) and I don't feel ready to be on my own with a full patient load (up to 5 or 6 patients). I'm on a medical-oncology unit working days and evenings, and the shifts can be hectic.

    So I was just curious how long other people were/are on orientation? Six weeks just doesn't feel like long enough of a mentorship for new graduates. I know several of my fellow graduates have orientations of 12+ weeks.
  2. Poll: How long was your orientation?

    • Less than 6 weeks

      15.00% 3
    • 6 weeks - 3 months

      60.00% 12
    • More than 3 months

      25.00% 5
    20 Votes
  3. Visit PA_RN87 profile page

    About PA_RN87, BSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '13; Posts: 163; Likes: 135
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: Medical-Oncology, Nursing Education


  4. by   RN2012Newbie
    I had 6 weeks of orientation on days on a busy cardiac step-down unit. I dont think I would have ever felt completely "ready" to be on my own 6 weeks or even 12 weeks in. As long as they expect and allow you to ask lots of questions once you're on your own, you will be fine. The first few weeks will be the hardest, but if you made the most of your 6 weeks and took on as much responsibility as possible, you should be fine. If you really dont feel prepared or comfortable you could always ask your NM for an extension! Goodluck!
  5. by   plinytheRN
    I will be getting 8 weeks for a medical telemetry floor.
  6. by   ssaarraahh
    My orientation is 6 months on a high risk labor and delivery unit.
  7. by   EDRN1091
    I just got hired for a year long residency program. I'll orient on a med surg floor, then inpatient psych (I got hired into our Crisis ED) before orienting to my unit. I did my capstone in crisis so they know me and I have a good grip on the unit, but they told me I'll be able to have as much orientation as I feel I need. I'm very lucky to have gotten this spot with such fantastic staff.
  8. by   turnforthenurse
    I had 8 weeks on a progressive care unit when I started.
  9. by   SNB1014
    i work progressive care, (PCU) as well. first week, was hospital orientation, hr stuff, safety and whatnot. week 2, is eMAR/ computer orientation.
    then, i have a full 12weeks with my preceptor. we mirror their schedule.
    we have this check off sheet for skils, some with education people, mostly our preceptor signs. every tuesday we had "class" for 2 hrs. it was 1/2 teaching about equipment/core measures, the other half complaining and/or problem solving.
    by the end of the 12 weeks, i got my acls, provided by my facility, in order to work independently.
    i am on my last week of orientation and hr, education, our unit directors/managers and preceptors were invited to a luncheon for us.
    now technically, i am on "orientation" for a total of 6 months. what that means exactly, i couldnt tell you.
    i nearly cried at work yesterday because i was starting to get cold feet. there were a couple things i couldn't figure out on my own and needed my preceptors help with. i starting thinking, oh heck, i have no idea what i am doing, im not ready blah blah, i was feeling separation anxiety when i couldnt find my preceptor immediately, whole sha-bang lol

    the orientation is good, overall, but i think i would have appreciated more constructive criticism, actually.
    the biggest thing i need to remember is to restock the cabinets in my pt rooms with various syringe sizes, various needles, extra flushes, alcohol pads, insulin adapters and most importantly, when i have a specific thing to do, always have *all* of my equipment ready with me. i realize i forget simple things, like the tape (?!?!) but only when i am just about done with a dressing change.
    nothing wastes time quite like having to run half way down the hall for a glucometer strip or getting ready to hand over pills and realize there is no cup for them to drink and wash down pills.
    it also makes me look ditzy, in my opinion
  10. by   SNB1014
    oh, i am now the new grad who was "locked" in the supply room for 1 hr. everyone finds this to be hilarious, so let me share.

    it was maybe the 3rd shift i had worked with my preceptor. in the first week, we new grads had a "treasure hunt" to find where things were on the unit and the supply room, etc. but to be honest, we all "cheated/helped" eachother .

    the prior two shifts i had skated by pretty well despite not knowing where a lot of things where or i had a pretty good radius of where to find things. well that "radius" goes to hell in our tiny supply closet that is overflowing, from floor to ceiling and a wall that is entirely different types of wound dressings (versiva vs collagen vs petroleum etc).

    well one of my patients was going to get "upgraded" from a face mask to a venti mask, so thankfully this wasnt an emergency. my preceptor asked, "hey do you want to go grab one, you know where it is right?"
    I said "oh yeah! sure, i'll brb!" ( i didnt know but i figured hey, its in the resp. rack, how hard could it be to find?"

    fast forward 15 mins. she came looking for me because she thought i left the unit or something.

    "i thought you said you knew?!?"

    me: umm, well i lied, sorry :-)

    "no no no! you are to be locked in this room for 1 hr! 1 hr and don't come out. figure out where everything is...this is PCU girl, there is no time for you to be confused!"

    I thought to myself, umm okay, well this room is like 8X8 feet if im lucky, this'll will be quick. NOPE! it took me a full hour to really process where everything is and to learn that not all the "packs" come equipped with everything (for example. the central line changing trays don't have the little adhesive plastic thing with the "wings" to stabilize the PICC, if you will....)

    i still get lost in there on occasion, but i think this should be an essential part of orientation lol
  11. by   PA_RN87
    Thanks for your input everyone! Today is my first day on my own... so we'll see how this goes.