What did they tell you in orientation/1st day? What do you WISH you had known then?

  1. I am curious about what information you were given on your first day in terms of orientation. Was it helpful? What information do you WISH you had been given? Did the information make you more fearful of classes or more excited to start? What format would have been ideal to promote excitement about school and bonding with your classmates (ex- an activity, party, etc).
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    About AOx1

    Joined: Jun '08; Posts: 1,011; Likes: 3,354
    Nurse!; from US
    Specialty: 15 year(s) of experience in ER, ICU, Education

    5 Comments

  3. by   lnt3
    I'm a second-degree accelerated BSN student so my orientation might have been different than what you will or have experienced. But the biggest piece of advice I have for you and I cannot stress this enough is to remember that it is NOT as bad as they will make it out to be on orientation day.

    I remember walking out of the room and just wanting to burst into tears. I thought "How am I ever going to be able to make it through this program?" Two semesters in (and two semesters on the dean's list) I look back now and think about that day and laugh. All of the program coordinators got up and talked about everything we would have to do by graduation and it was SO overwhelming. But you have to take it day by day and realize that it is not impossible, or else we wouldn't have any nurses today!

    If I have made it this far (and I'm 7 months away from graduation!!! ) then you can do it do. Just remember to breathe. Good luck!!
  4. by   melmarie23
    the biggest piece of advice I have for you and I cannot stress this enough is to remember that it is NOT as bad as they will make it out to be on orientation day.

    ditto. There is so much you can take away from someone else in the program telling you what is hard and what is difficult. You are going to have to figure that out for yourself. It is going to vary person to person and you have to know yourself and how your own personal study habits are and how effective you are at time management. That is key.

    Its one of those things that you figure out as you go. I wish you all the luck and I know that you can do it! So think positive and focus on the end goal!
  5. by   AOx1
    My fault for not clarifying. I'm actually a nurse educator and am wanting to make orientation less scary/horrible/overwhelming. I love all the posts so far. Does anyone else have tips that would have made orientation less...yucky? I would like to have a skit with students in correct vs incorrect uniform and make it somewhat funny (ex-big hoop earrings, white scrubs with colored underwear underneath, etc). I would also like the current students to tell some of their favorite clinical experiences (without violating HIPAA of course), and anything else that would break the tradition of "here are the rules, violate them and we will string you up by your thumbs. Don't mess up our we'll pounce on you. The next two years you will have no life."

    Nursing school is busy, but can be a positive experience despite the stress. Any ideas to promote student bonding and also student/faculty bonding would be great also. What do wish you had a chance to do/discuss/ask/see in orientation?
  6. by   cagumbo
    I would tell them that it's a lot of work, a lot of effort, but it is the best ride of their life. Yes, they are going to have to read more than they ever thought possible. They are going to have to decline a lot of invitations while in school. Their lives as they knew it are over. They are going to have to wipe up every type of liquids imaginable from all sorts of bodily functions. They are going to see people at their best and at their worst and all in between.

    But, it's going to be one of the best experiences of their lives. And, in the end, they will see what ever it took to get them through, on their graduation day, they will fondly recall all the horrors and joys. Orientation is the beginning of a brand new world for them. Nursing school is a privilege and a blessing. It's short. It's hard. It's so cool to be there and help folks get better. To watch them leave the hospital, to watch someone finally get pain relieved or to even zip up the body bag is an honor. It brings about feelings where you know you are in the right place and you are starting the career of a life time.

    It's a blast. Getting an IV started for the first time! Getting the NG tube placed right the first time! As I graduate in less than a week, there have been many highlights for doing the procedures properly, but most of it is having a connection to the patients.

    I'll never forget my first patient ever. She was this elderly African American woman. I took care of her all day. We only had one patient. I washed her feet, put lotion on them. I helped her pay her light bill over the phone. I took her calls and spoke to her sons. She had a husband and 5 boys. I saw some of the boys while taking care of her. As I was leaving for the night, I finally told her that she was my first patient ever. I didn't want her to know how scared I was doing her vitals and all the rest with a real live patient. So, I said, "Mrs. R, I want you to know that you were my first patient. I want to thank you for letting me work with you. It was an honor." She looked at me and she said, "Oh my gosh, what did you say? I heard you say that I was your first? Honey, I have never, ever been first my whole life."

    Needless to say, she gave me goosebumps and I was crying when I left. I couldn't say anything else to her for the big lump in my throat. I'm not one to cry at anything and this fine woman just broke me.

    It truly was something that touched me so deep down since I know that woman did everything for her husband and her boys. And, she was right, she probably had never, ever been first at anything. Mentally, I saw her making dinner and saw that the boys had probably finished it before she even got to sit down. I saw her working so hard for her family that her own needs were last down a long list of things to do for others before her self. So, that one time where I could help her be first meant a lot to me.

    Nursing school isn't brimming over with moments like that, but for the few moments where you sit back and say, hey, you know what, for all the late nights, for all the crap I have to wipe, learn and put up with from the school, the nurses on the floor who don't want us, the teachers, the long papers filled with asinine nursing diagnoses and all the rest, yeah, I would not have given this up for anything.

    So, find a story, find something that makes all the scary stuff go away. Make them find their heart and the reason that they applied in the first place. Give them a part of you that shows why you do what you do. Inspire them.

    Good luck. You'll rock it!
    b
  7. by   pinkiepie_RN
    Quote from LiveToLearn
    My fault for not clarifying. I'm actually a nurse educator and am wanting to make orientation less scary/horrible/overwhelming. I love all the posts so far. Does anyone else have tips that would have made orientation less...yucky? I would like to have a skit with students in correct vs incorrect uniform and make it somewhat funny (ex-big hoop earrings, white scrubs with colored underwear underneath, etc). I would also like the current students to tell some of their favorite clinical experiences (without violating HIPAA of course), and anything else that would break the tradition of "here are the rules, violate them and we will string you up by your thumbs. Don't mess up our we'll pounce on you. The next two years you will have no life."

    Nursing school is busy, but can be a positive experience despite the stress. Any ideas to promote student bonding and also student/faculty bonding would be great also. What do wish you had a chance to do/discuss/ask/see in orientation?
    I think your ideas are great. I think it's awesome that you're interested in making it a more welcoming experience too.

    I like the idea of a skit, and also maybe some role-playing too. Honest to Gods, I had never touched a patient before clinicals started and it would have been nice in orientation to know what to expect as far as that goes.

    We also didn't have any icebreakers or anything to get to know our classmates. The instructors were all introduced but I could have cared less about who would be teaching me senior year and a first semester junior.

    Another thing we did at orientation was uniforms. It would have been nice to know for us at least that our uniforms were polo tops with the school patch and royal blue scrubs pants. The pants could have been bought anywhere. I know someone out there gets more money if they're bought through the uniform company but it would have been financially re-assuring to know that they were *just* scrub pants.

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