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new grad needs advice

Posted

I'm a new grad working in the ICU on days. I love it. I'm learning so much and my coworkers are great. However, I'm about to be pulled off orientation and I'm scared. I'm not scared because I think I'm not ready-im sure nobody ever feels "ready" but I feel okay about coming off orientation in a month. I'll have about a month of night orientation then I'll be on my own working nights. And this is what scares me-staffing. It's mainly travel nurses and new grads. There's maybe 2 full time regular staff that work nights. I just don't really feel comfortable with this, paired with 3 patient assignments bc we are still short staffed. I see my experienced coworkers struggling with these assignments, and I just can't help but worry about how it's gonna be on nights with new grads and travelers. I don't want to compromise patient safety along with my newly acquired nursing license. So I'm considering finding a new job. I know staffing is not great anywhere-but it has to be better than this. I know it looks bad also to

leave a job with less than a year experience. But will potential new employers understand my concerns? Just looking for some feedback to see if anyone else has been in a similar situation

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

Lots of people have been in similar situations, and i'm sure they'll all give you different advice. My advice is to stay where you are and give nights a try. The senior nurses will be good resources, but don't count out the travelers. Many travelers have even more experience than those senior nurses and can help you by answering questions, acting as a sounding board or sharing tidbits they've picked up from other places that will smooth your transition from novice to expert wheverever you work. After 40 years, my husband is retired and wants to travel . . . I'm considering getting a travel contract somewhere that seems interesting to him and doing our traveling that way, at least for a while. My 40 years of nursing experience isn't going to evaporate when I sign a travel contract. I can still mentor a newbie. You just have to pick your traveler carefully. Chat with a senior nurse you trust about which travelers might make good mentors and which ones to avoid. Pay attention to the interactions between travel nurses and physicians, management, ancillary services. I'm sure you'll be able to identify a traveler who can. Help you continue your professional development for the next 13 weeks . . . And then maybe you'll meet another traveler who can teach you a few different things.

RNNPICU, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU. Has 13 years experience.

Travel nurses typically do have experience and may be a good resource, you can always look up all of your policies and procedures for specifics about things you are unsure of. Everyone is scared coming off orientation It will take time to work out your own time management and your routine. the only way for that confidence to to actually be off orientation. Congratulations on getting to this point. Give yourself a good 6 months to figure out a schedule, a year to establish a good base routine, 2 years to have seen a thing or two.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

Wow, 3 in the icu? That's a lot and I understand your fears. I'm also a new grad in icu and off orientation.

Know nights are easier. It's just calmer. Don't get me wrong lots of stuff can still happen, and does, but generally, the night flow is not as crazy as days. I for the most part can get all my charting done, and I love that!!!

Find out who your resources will be during nights and seek them out. Do this ahead of time!!! Will you have a strong charge nurse around? Any mentors work nights? Find this out ahead as I doubt they will let you drown.

Its scary, but you can do this. You have the knowledge, I promise.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

How long was your orientation on day shift? Is 3:1 always going to be your ratio? 3:1 is not safe even for experienced nurses.

I would stick it out for the year, while searching for a better position. It will take you that long to find another job.

In the meantime, take note of who you can count on. The ICU resident, house supervisor, and especially travelers. I was a traveler, I had 30 years of experience and would share that with any nurse/ patient that needed it.

Best of luck, let us know how it's going.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Wow, 3 in the icu? That's a lot and I understand your fears. I'm also a new grad in icu and off orientation.

Know nights are easier. It's just calmer. Don't get me wrong lots of stuff can still happen, and does, but generally, the night flow is not as crazy as days. I for the most part can get all my charting done, and I love that!!!

Find out who your resources will be during nights and seek them out. Do this ahead of time!!! Will you have a strong charge nurse around? Any mentors work nights? Find this out ahead as I doubt they will let you drown.

Its scary, but you can do this. You have the knowledge, I promise.

Nights are NOT easier.Patient care is 24/7..patients crash around the clock.There is much less ancillary staff available on nights. Fewer doctors,transporters,lab techs, and pharmacy support,to name a few.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

How long was your orientation on day shift? Is 3:1 always going to be your ratio? 3:1 is not safe even for experienced nurses.

I would stick it out for the year, while searching for a better position. It will take you that long to find another job.

In the meantime, take note of who you can count on. The ICU resident, house supervisor, and especially travelers. I was a traveler, I had 30 years of experience and would share that with any nurse/ patient that needed it.

Best of luck, let us know how it's going.

There are ICUs and there are ICUs. Three may indeed be an acceptable ratio in a community hospital where they ship their sickest patients to the tertiary medical center in the city. It's not acceptable at that tertiary medical center.