Asking pertinent questions -- RN or 18 months

  1. I know people have said time and again there is no such thing as a stupid question. But is it possible to have been through an orientation and struggle because the questions you're asking aren't getting you the answers you need/want? What kinds of questions should a new hire and new grad be askin during orientation.
  2. Visit LTCnurse11 profile page

    About LTCnurse11

    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 64; Likes: 17


  3. by   not.done.yet
    Any that represent stuff they need to know but do not, as the need arises. I am almost a year off orientation and ask questions all the time.
  4. by   LTCnurse11
    What do you mean....such as pertinent labs and diagnoses? Can you give me some specifics?
  5. by   roser13
    I think you don't need to try to anticipate which questions are appropriate or proper to ask. As the previous poster said: ask the questions as they arise. If you come across anything that you do not understand, either research it or ask it in order to give adequate care to your patients.

    For instance, you get a new admit to your Med/Surg floor. You have the patient history that gives a diagnosis with which you're unfamiliar. Either look it up (preferable if you have the time) or ask a more experienced nurse. By asking a co-worker, you will (hopefully) receive not only the low-down on the disease but also how to give care, what care to give, what to anticipate by way of orders from the MD and what the patient's course of recovery likely is.

    Bottom line: if you don't know something about your patient, the diagnosis, the meds or the care required, ask questions or do your research. Do not sacrifice patient care because you were embarrassed to ask a question.
  6. by   not.done.yet
    Exactly. There is no secret list here of appropriate questions. Anything you do not know is appropriate and you don't know what you don't know until you run into the wall of not knowing it. It is part of critical thinking to acknowledge what you do not know and part of the learning process to discover what you should know but don't. You can't anticipate what you don't know ahead of time because you can't anticipate what any given patient will have going on, on any given shift. You have to experience the patient and the situation and use them to learn. It is vulnerable and hard and scary. It is great you want to be prepared but this is why it is said that you don't really start learning how to be a nurse until you hit the floor working as one.

    My first patient ever with my preceptor on my first shift ever was desat-ing when we went into the room for bedside handoff. I had no idea what to do including where to even hook up O2. I had to ask about that as well as how to call for a rapid response.

    The next day one of my patients had a BP of 209/110 when I arrived. I went into a shaky hyper freakout because I had no idea what to do. I had to ask about that.

    Another patient had a BUN of 71 and the lab called with that critical value. I didn't know what to do with that information and had to ask.

    It just comes with time. You can't do it ahead of time. The only way to the other side is through.

    Good luck. You will survive it and you will do great.