nurses don't know when they're orientating

  1. I'm having a good learning experience so far in orientation, but I just have one question that's bugging the heck out of me. Why don't my preceptors know I'm coming? I've worked with 2 nurses so far that have had no idea they're having an orientee. Not only do I feel like a goof standing there saying "hi, I'm proud nurse and I'm orientating with you today", but they have this deer in the headlight look, like "crap."

    I'm trying to make the most of it, although I feel like I'm directing my orientation and there's really no plan laid out for me. The patients are great, the staff is helpful and friendly so far. It's kind of difficult for a person like me with my OCD tendancies to have something so unstructured, but I also feel like it might be best if I go with the flow.
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    About proud nurse, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 561; Likes: 1,192


  3. by   KelRN215
    My guess is because your manager or educator (whoever is in charge of assigning these types of things on your floor) is not courteous enough to say "Jane, you will be orienting Proud on Wednesday."
  4. by   Fiona59
    Or your manager is like mine. She looks at the assignment sheet and slaps the new hires name by whoever is working that day that is the best pick. She usually tries to have full time staff do the orientations but is going to part timers more and more because one full timer has no talent for orientation and has had multiple complaints about her technique, the full time staff are too new, or they have refused to orientate more staff (my unit has had a huge turnover of new hires who use the unit to get hired and then transfer to a more permanent line)

    I swear it's like a game of chance on my unit.
  5. by   Pepper The Cat
    My manager never tells me ahead of time that I will be orienting someone. I usually find out when I look at the assignment sheet and see the person's name next to me. This changes my whole day in about 30 seconds. Suddenly, I have to figure out if the person I have with me is a new grad with limited skills, a nurse from within the hospital looking for a change, a nurse with many years experience but new to the hospital.. it goes on. How I treat them depends on me knowing their past history. Of which I know nothing because my manager has now shared with me that I am orienting someone! Thus- the dear in headlights response!
  6. by   hopefulwhoop
    Like others have said, it's probably due to the managers/coordinators not informing the nurse that he/she will be orienting someone. I had the same experience when I was new on my floor, so I know exactly how you feel.
  7. by   TheCommuter
    I'm selected to orient and train new grads without being aware of it up until a few minutes before the shift begins. Management at my workplace is a bit unorganized and they staff as each new day comes, often scrambling to find nurses at the last minute to work shifts.

    Staffing is disorganized. New hire orientation is disorganized. Everything about the place lacks any type of cohesive organization.
  8. by   dah doh
    How your unit orients new grads is a good question to ask during your interview, but very few people actually ask it. That is unfortunate that you don't have a designated preceptor because this makes it difficult for you to learn a consistent routine. However, the positive is than you get different nurses' perspectives that you can take with you. In our unit, new grads get assigned a main preceptor and a back up preceptor. Occasionally, the new grad gets someone else if the preceptor is ill or gets cancelled. We found new grads do better if taught by fewer instructors.
  9. by   anotherone
    a orientee is just assigned to the most experienced or better suited rn. it depends on who is working that day. it may be pre determined but the preceptor has no clue as we are not told and it is not on our schedule. sometimes people refuse to do it ( high turnover) or call off so that has left some interesting preceptor choices.
  10. by   turnforthenurse
    When I was was new, the nurses I oriented with didn't know they were going to have an orientee. I didn't follow a particular preceptor's schedule; I had my own and I was just placed with the most experienced RN on the unit that night.
  11. by   Altra
    Just so the OP and others reading know ... it doesn't have to be this way. Some places do have organized orientations planned with forethought.
  12. by   ChristineN
    Quote from Altra
    Just so the OP and others reading know ... it doesn't have to be this way. Some places do have organized orientations planned with forethought.
    Exactly. I have just started a new job as an experienced RN. I was given a schedule for my orientation of who I will be with what days. This schedule has also been placed in our charge nurse resource book and e-mailed to staff so there is no confusion.
  13. by   monkeybug
    Poor management. Happened in my last unit all the time. Neither orientee or the orientator would have any idea, half of the time. Sometimes an experiences nurse would just have to step up and volunteer. Occasionally our "treasure" of a manger would assign to new hires to the same experienced nurse. And we had turnover like crazy, so there was ALWAYS someone in orientation.
  14. by   NurseLatteDNP
    That is a pet-peeve of mine. When I was a bedside nurse, stuff like that happened all the time. There seemed to be no planning at all.
    When I started working as an educator, that was the first thing I changed. My preceptors are matched with the new nurses based on compatability if possible. They also receive a schedule when they will be orienting and an outline what they need to be teaching (new grad vs experienced).