Need Advice & Insight about a New Position I just started

by madwells13 madwells13 (New) New

Hi all,

I am wondering if I can get a little insight. I worked as a surgical nurse for almost 18 years, and in that time, became highly specialized in pretty much every area. I did the travel nursing thing for about 10 years, and have had no issues with starting new jobs regardless of the size of the hospital or number of staff. Changing hospitals is no big issue for me, as short of the logistical procedures, I have no problem being thrown in and adapting to what comes my way.

Here's my dilemma. I stopped nursing about 2 years ago as I finished my PhD and am happily employed full time in a position that aligns with my new degree (statistics). I wanted to get back into the hospital setting because I really do like working with patients and I love surgery. Trying to find the perfect job (weekends only) was tough, but I found a position in December, had my interview, and was immediately hired for a January start data.

Now, I received one email from HR to show up for my orientation (mid January), which I did. No problems there. that being said, short of my interview, no one contacted me about where I should go my first day, what time to be there, etc..

During my orientation, I was pulled out by the nurse educator, who was surprised that I wasn't able to be at work the next day to orient for two weeks during the weekdays. Note, that I interviewed with the director of nursing, who said with my experience, and due to my shift (weekends), I would only need a couple days during the week to train, and that all other orientation could be done on the weekend---this would allow me to only take a most, a week of vacation from my full time job.

In essence, the nurse educator gave me grief (serious grief), and I (being one to always try to make others happy), said I would work as best I could to come in as many days as she needed me---taking more vacation time from my primary job. I also suggested that we go talk to the director, and if there were scheduling problems, I would happily let them fill a position with someone that may meet their needs better if a two week training period (weekdays only) was the only way to get me up and running. Note that if I wouldn't have had in depth conversations with the director of nursing about my scheduling, I wouldn't have been surprised by this. Being that this was a condition of me taking the position however, the attitude I got from the nurse educator was a shock.

Well, I took some more vacation from my primary job, and went to work promptly at 7am this morning. When I got there, I was told to go home because the charge nurse called in sick---also, that I should call in the following day instead of coming in because the charge nurse might not come in tomorrow either.

Long story short, I am feeling a little hesitant on continuing my employment at this place because things seem really disorganized, and if I keep getting sent home because someone isn't there to train me, I can only put up with that so long because I don't want to be taking all my vacation for my primary job just 'in case' I get trained.

What is anyone's feelings on this? If you get really bad vibes from a place before you even start, is it worth staying in the position? The last thing I want to do is be a problem employee, but like I said, I am seeing signs already that things may not work out.

I appreciate anyone's insight on this. I've never been in this situation before and it is stressing my out.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

1. I would put "protecting your primary job" as your highest priority. Make sure they are truly OK with the fact that you have taken another job before asking them to cooperate with any addition requests for schedule accommodations. Keep your priorities in order.

2. While the educator should not have been rude to you or anything ... as someone in Staff Development, I can understand her frustration. The Director of Nursing probably didn't know what she was talking about when she told you that you could do your orientation all on the weekends, etc. There are federal, state, Joint Commission, etc. requirements for new employees that cannot be omitted from a hospital orientation and it sounds like this facility has no system in place to meet those requirements on the weekends. They may also not have the preceptors and other educational staff available then to provide some necessary elements of orientation on the weekends. The Director of Nursing is probably ignorant of the details of the orientation program and should not have made promises her staff is unable to keep.

Unfortunately, people in management/administration are often uninformed about the processes of education that go on in their own facilities. They hire educators to take care of those things and then ignore them. They shouldn't be making decisions, promises, and assumptions about educational process without first checking with the educators ... but they do ... and then situations like yours are dumped into the lap of some staff educator who is told to fulfill the promise, but not given the resources do to so.

3. So ... assess whether or not this is a one-time mistake by the Director of Nursing in an otherwise good job fit ... or whether the unit itself is run badly and you will have consistent problems. Combine that with #1 and make your decision whether or not pursuing this job is worth the hassle right now. But understand that any good hospital will require you to invest some orientation time -- probably during the week. With so many nurses out there looking for work, few education departments have the resources to custom-tailor an orientation on the weekends just for you. You're going to run into that problem wherever you go these days -- unless you go to a place that does not provide a good orientation to its employees. But do you really want to work for a place that doesn't do a good job of orienting the colleagues you will be working with?

llg, PhD, RN-BC (Nursing Professional Development specialist)

Thank you so much for your insight. I agree on all of your points, and appreciate all of the thorough comments to keep things in perspective for me.

I jumped on this job specifically because it was so accommodating, and in retrospect, should have required that I meet one on one with the head management team in the department in addition to the director. I do understand the orientation process, and fully expected to meet the obligations that were discussed. These arrangements however, as you put it, might not meet the agendas of those staff that I am directly working with.

I guess I am going to have to take all of this into serious consideration over the next few days. My biggest fear is that this is a bad reflection on my professional conduct. Although I feel it is my responsibility to make things work, but I also feel like I've been put in a position where my best option may be to stand down and let the position be filled by someone else.

Don't get me wrong, the job would be nice, and I truly respect the orientation process. I don't however want to be taking days off to be 'on call' to train.

So much to think about. Thanks again for your insight.