HELP Orientation On The Job. Feedback On Your Experience

Nurses General Nursing


  1. Should nurses combine efforts to regulate orientation to make shadowing mandatory?

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9 members have participated

I recently came out of many years of Physciatric Nursing to a busy combined medical unit. OBS, Peads, surgery, telemetry, mental health, and acute medicine! Plus LTC! It seems rather unusual but it is becoming the norm in smaller rural areas. The ratio is 1: 6 d. 1:8 n and 1:1 in the case room. Ltc is 1: 7 (8) d and 1: 10 n. ( crazy numbers for speciality services)

orientation is 6 weeks of " mentorship" there is no shadowing day 1 you hit the floor, and your briefed on documentation, med carts, routines, and the floor in general.

Is this the new norm for nurses coming out of school or changing jobs? Is this the new cardinal code of orientation because its rather unsettling that a Nurse should be thrown into the fire and expected to come out without faulting and getting burnt. And just walking away from a profession that values education, sharing, and compassion for humans.

Have other nurses experienced such a situation like this. If so how did you cope, adjust and get through it while having little or no time to shadow another nurse for one or two days to allow time for questions and establish a familiarity with the floors routines and responsibilities.

(Its already overwhelming starting a new job our responsibility is surmount and I just have to wonder where our voices went to see this happening )

I voted no, as I would go out of my mind on a long orientation as an experienced nurse. At my new psych job which was a new specialty for me, I got one day of orientation and a full load of patients. On day two, they "forgot" I was on orientation and I ended up on my own. It was fine.

Some transitions may require more time, but I think that's up to each individual nurse to negotiate when considering a job offer. If I ever transitioned to NICU, for example, I'd make damn sure I was guaranteed a long, supportive orientation.

Have you tried asking for what you need? Maybe there's some room for negotiation.

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

How on earth do you regulate orientation? Too many variables. I had only one job with a decent orientation. Most other jobs I was pulled off orientation early because they were short-staffed. ("Sorry, we almost never do this." Yeah, right.) One job I was on orientation without any actual preceptor; I had to be very assertive and self-directed. Agency nursing for LTC had no orientation ("There's your hallway; here's your keys. You're getting three admits. Bye.")

And did you mean psychiatric nursing? I think your spell-check let you down.

Sometimes regulating things can have unintended consequences, and they are much better off being fluid and adaptable. OP if I were you I'd buy or borrow some nursing books PRN and study yourself into a coma for the 5 week orientation. Open your mind and apply yourself and I know you'll do great!!!

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years).

I started at Wrongway Regional Medical Center on a Monday, worked two shifts on the adult psych unit during the week, and was the RN that weekend.

Nowadays, new employees get six weeks of orientation. Granted, I had over 20 years of nursing experience when I started at Wrongway.

But I hadn't worked in a hospital for 10 years, having worked home health and community mental health in various positions and working adult psych ain't rocket science or emergency brain surgery.

Oh- and welcome to, Jollynursy!

Specializes in UR/PA, Hematology/Oncology, Med Surg, Psych.

What the h*** kind of unit is that? I'd leave it immediately. I've been nursing for years and years, but I certainly couldn't jump in and do Tele or Peds on the 1st day by myself without training

Specializes in Hematology-oncology.

I haven't seen universal shadowing for new hires on the floors I've worked on, but I do see universal orientation. When you say you have 6 weeks of "mentorship", does that mean there is a preceptor sharing your assignment with you, or just another nurse with her own set of patients who can answer question you have? If you have a solo assignment from day 1, that is concerning to me and is definitely NOT the norm at the two medical centers that I have worked for.

My current employer has this general rule of thumb: 1 week of orientation for travel nurses, 4-6 weeks of orientation for experienced nurses changing specialties, and 12-16 weeks of orientation for new grads.

Thanks for all your answers. Very helpful. It is a learning curve and getting input is great. Yes there is someone assigned to the same patients but only to ask for help that seemed to be the surprise as I had recalled when a nurse would have a day or two to work along side a new nurse to allow them to get what that floor works like to ease the human side of being a new nurse. í ½í¸Š

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