Where's my orientation? (Whiney vent)

  1. I am a fairly new nurse, graduated in May, licensed in September. Since I was a GPN I have been working at one facility with tons of back up support. I received a six week orientation which was sufficient, and I still was not really on my own because I was unlicensed personnel.

    I was recently hired as a part time nurse at the facility of my choice. During the interview with the NM I specifically told her my concerns about being a new nurse and getting adequate orientation. She was very understanding and promised I would get the amount of orientation I needed to feel comfortable. Or nearly comfortable.

    Long story short, I started work last week and got two days orientation. I was scheduled for tonight but was told that I would get two more days orientation this week so I would actually be working my two off days like I did last week. When I called to verify that I wasn't on the schedule (I am responsible and wouldn't NOT show up) I find out that I am on the schedule for tonight. Alone. Last week I did the floor my second day, my first day was spent shadowing. It was painfully obvious at 7AM that I needed one or two more days to get my job down. My preceptor told me not to feel bad, that she would need another day herself, that two days really isn't sufficient. I know she called the NM to arrange the days so I don't know how I got into this dilemma. I feel uncomfortable, and now I feel even worse because my mom who is also a nurse is saying that I am being a spoiled brat about this. However, this is my license and there is vital paperwork that needs to be done and I am not sure how to do it. I don't know the residents, and what the MAR says (their preferences, etc.) is not really accurate. I know I will get through this but I feel so alone and kinda betrayed. Where is my orientation?????? Is this a natural occurance in LTC?
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    About HisTreasure, ADN, RN

    Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 821; Likes: 441
    BSN student; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Pediatrics


  3. by   SFCardiacRN
    The nursing shortage has forced many new grads into responsibilities they are not ready for. There are 100k unfilled LTC RN positions in the USA. It is the unit manager and DON that need to take the time to precept you correctly. That said, take confidence in your schooling. You know more than you think you do. Take it a day at a time and I'm sure you will be fine. Good luck!
  4. by   suzanne4
    Run, do not walk away from there. If they have no concern for your lciense, then you shoud not be there. A proper orientation is extremely important.
  5. by   Harleygirl
    Sad to say, but this practice is all too common in LTC. Usually the faster they can get someone oriented and on the floor, the better for them. I speak from experience, I have worked at all levels in LTC, CNA, CMA, LPN, RN, and DON. I would have to say that the only level I received proper training was when I was an LPN, I switched from nights to days (different facility) and I think they gave me 2-3 weeks. It was nice but I got the feeling that the faster they got me trained the better so they could go and do thier jobs.
    When I hired as DON, I tried to give the CNA's 2-3 weeks of orientation and the nurses a full month. Usually we could only get a good week or two because the person you were replacing with new staff usually left after two weeks (if you were lucky).
    I work in a hospital as a staff nurse right now and I don't worry about the hiring or firing anymore. Much less stress!
  6. by   BigB
    I have seen lpn's go through 1 or 2 day oreintations, then be sent out alone on the floor as charge nurse. This is insane.
  7. by   Cute_CNA
    By not properly orienting staff, I believe the business/company/bureaucracy is shooting themselves in the foot, b/c it's not exactly an incentive to stay working there. Sometimes I wonder if "the nursing shortage" is just an excuse for people to not do their jobs instead of properly TRAINING PEOPLE, or allowing others to be trained.

    The reason there's a nursing shortage is b/c of stuff like not getting proper training! DUH! When will management see this?
    Last edit by Cute_CNA on Jan 3, '06
  8. by   TeleRN44
    Quote from BigB
    I have seen lpn's go through 1 or 2 day oreintations, then be sent out alone on the floor as charge nurse. This is insane.
    I totally agree! This is exactly what happened to me when I started and I've watched it happen to the nurses who have started after me. I was assured during my initial interview and subsequent meetings with the DON and Staff Development Nurse that I would remain on orientation until I felt comfortable being on my own.


    I oriented one day on the first station. I oriented for half a day on the second station and was then thrown to the wolves. I got one more day of orientation, completely by accident and that was it for me. I tried to talk to management, but my concerns were met with comments like "You shouldn't worry, we've been hearing such wonderful things about you from the other nurses!"

    Yeah, whatever. The only nice thing I can say about this system is that to this day...if any of us get into a jam we can always rely on the other nurses to come and help us out. Nurse's will come over and help you with admissions, transfers out, if you have a resident who is looking iffy or if someone has a fall and you're already swamped. I know that doesn't happen everywhere.

    I was there on my own for a week when one of my resident's blood sugar bottomed out on a double shift. I knew what to do, but I was terrified of screwing up because I was new. So, I called for backup and the calvary came to my rescue. I still have nightmares about it!
  9. by   Harleygirl
    Yes, 1-2 days of orientation IS insane. Especially for someone who just got out of school. Baptism by fire is not the way to get a new nurse accustomed to a facility. It is UNSAFE.
  10. by   suzanne4
    And a sure fire way to lose your license an dhave to appear in court. Where are they going to be then.

    Two days and on your own, as a fairly new grad, as I said above, run as fast as you can from there. You worked too hard to get that license, and no amount of money that they are paying you is worth the greater chance that you have of losing it.
  11. by   BigB
    as a new grad i would ask for a minimum of 3 weeks orentation after shadowing other nurses.
  12. by   Nurse Ratched
    Last edit by Nurse Ratched on Jan 4, '06