what to look for in a hospital?

  1. Hi everyone I have a question. I am a college graduate, taking prerequisite classes to enter a "fast-track" program at my college. No wonder there is a nursing shortage, even the prereq's are harder than all of my college years put together!!! But I love it anyway. My question is that in this "fast track" you must sign on first with a hospital for three years when you get accepted and they pay you 5,000 a year while you are in school (the only way I can afford to do it). I have a choice of 5 hospitals, what do I look for? I have no idea since I am not a nurse yet, nor have even had any nursing classes. Also, what type of job at a hospital could a person get to get them a little more experienced in nursing or just a hospital setting. My only work experience is 10 years of bartending and waitressing. Thank you all so much. I must send my application in as soon a possible so I need to know what hospital to sign on with?? THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    About pollywog

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 5


  3. by   ChristineG
    I'd like to know as well! I do know you should be aware of their typical nurse to patient ratios (the lower the better). Probably starting pay? How long is the orientation once you've graduated and been placed on a unit. While I'm in school, I'm planning to work at the hospital as a CNA or Patient Care Tech. Ask their requirements...some want one round of clinicals done before you can do that, some want the actual CNA certificate, etc.

    Can't wait to see what else we should be looking for...I'm curious!
  4. by   275Main
    As some one who signed a contract without seeing the hospital and then moved cross country (big mistake, for this and other reasons), these are my suggestions:
    1. Ratios! -(also ask about how many CNAs or PCTs work with you)
    2. Pay and benefits (some hospitals require that you pay some of you healthcare, while other do not)
    3. Where can a new grad go after graduation.
    4. Nurse retention for the hospital (possible relevant since it can be an indicator for working conditions).
    5. Training
    6. And in my opinion-computer charting-it makes life a lot easier when you do not have to try to decifer orders.

    There are probably many others, but these are the only ones I can think of right now.
  5. by   txlucky1
    6. And in my opinion-computer charting-it makes life a lot easier when you do not have to try to decifer orders.

    Clarify this by asking about computer order entry. This is rare but nice. However, it is different than computerized charting which is becoming much more prevalent. Just more nursing confusion.
    Julie in Texas
  6. by   fergus51
    Ask about the turnover rate for nurses in the unit you want to be on. If they lose a lot of staff every year, there is probably a good reason!
  7. by   Rapheal
    You have gotten some good advice about asking about ratios and conditions. I suggest you take it a step further because my employer basically lied about these things.

    Research each hospital. Do an internet search and look at the financial stability of the hospital or the network as a whole. How long has the CEO been there? How long has the DON or UM been at the facility? How much of the staffing is agency nursing? Will you be performing phlebotomy, transport, breathing treatments? Is pharmacy open 24 hours? What type of reputation does the hospital have in the community? Look into the positions that are open. Are there alot? Do they have a high turnover?

    Be suspicious of recruiters and UM's who tell you all about future changes planned to make the hospital a great place. Chances are they have been working on these plans for years and still haven't gotten them done. Interview them. Beware of big sign on bonuses. There is a reason for the incentive.

    Good luck. Let us know how it goes.