How to get a good start?


I'm a May 06 grad (yay!) who will be working in the ED. I already work there as a tech. Most everyone says I will do well, they wanted me to start there, too. A few are probably waiting to see if I can really do it, as am I :lol2:.

Anyway, what are some tips to make sure I get a good start. I've seen new grads come through really well and some with rocky starts. Some still rocky. I know I have what it takes. I know I have an advantage with being familiar with some things. Yet I can't quite put my finger on what I need to focus on.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

153 Articles; 21,229 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

I work in a busy level one trauma center and at least for where I work, it is a big plus just to know where things are! lol Anyway, some hints:

1. You are a known quantity on the unit. This can work to your advantage because you will continue to build on your good reputation.

2. There is a world of difference between being a good tech/extern and having the responsibility of total care for very ill patients. Be patient with yourself.

3. Ensure that you get the full new-grad orientation. Don't let anyone toss you out early "because she was a tech here." You will appreciate the time later on.

4. Ask questions. No one is going to think "she should already know that."

5. Have fun and don't take everything too seriously.


335 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Great suggestions already. I'll add a few more that I hope to focus on when I graduate (I'm a tech in my ER already).

1. Take advantage of the fact that you already personally know who is most knowledgeable about certain things and who is good at explaining things to new people. Ask tons of questions!!

2. Don't "just wing it" because you're afraid people will think you're a bad nurse if you ask even a simple question.

3. Focus on learning each new task until you can do it practically in your sleep. But don't go to sleep while doing it! :lol2:

4. Ask your charge nurse to help you get experience with things that you feel uncomfortable with. I know as I went through tech orientation, I asked the charge nurse to help me get experience with catheters and phlebotomy because I felt uncertain of these procedures. She is in the perfect spot to know when patients who may not even be your own patients need something, and can get you into that situation (provided you're not busy with your own patient at the moment) to use it as a learning tool.

5. Go on all the codes you can even if you just watch, so that you can get the feel for how they flow, and think through what to do if that is your patient and you are the primary nurse!

6. Relax and have fun, and know that the ER is usually a very tight unit, and we all work together as a team. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and it's up to us how to work together and give our patients the very best care possible!

Specializes in ICU, CCU, Trauma, neuro, Geriatrics. Has 16 years experience.

Enthusiasm, interest, willing to learn, open to suggestions...these are attributes a new hire needs to have.

Orienting in a unit you are familar with in another role is difficult so take it as that. Become the new person and don't let others drag you back to your old role.

FOCUS on being the nurse. For the first few weeks, don't be a tech at all and ask others not to ask you to do "their" stuff as you did as a tech. I am sure you are an awesome tech but let em all go "cold turkey" on that for at least two weeks as you need to learn to be a nurse and to delegate to the techs and aids.... not be delegated to.

You are to be commended for becoming a nurse....and also to work in a different role in the same department.

Good luck and I am sure you will be just wonderful in your new role.

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