Training new OR hires with little/no educational support

  1. I am FRUSTRATED. I'm a travel nurse at a very small community hospital (4 ORs, part of a larger healthcare system an hour away)... I've been here for a year and have seen over half the staff quit/retire and watched the management scramble to hire MORE travelers to replace what they've lost and slowly hire on New Grads and RNs with no OR experience because that's all they can find right now.
    So the travelers have been informed it is our duty to be preceptors to these new folks.
    We are being asked to take a 100% green RN, train them with no resources or guidance, NO educational support at all, oh and they're expected to be independent by 6 months.

    (pardon me while I have a RAGE STROKE)

    I have 15 years experience. Periop101 wasn't a thing when I trained but my hospital system was large and had a dedicated OR education team to administer a carefully planned out didactic program that included sterile processing, instrument handling, circulating and scrubbing. These new hires are not being granted access to sterile processing to learn instruments. There is an alexanders around here SOMEWHERE but no one has seen it in A year...I ended up buying one of eBay for my trainee. There are no teach-backs, no method of measuring progress, and basically the only direction we have been given is "just teach them what you know."

    sorry had another rage stroke.

    The other travelers and I have been railing against management trying to make them understand what a BAD PLAN this is and begging for an locum OR nurse educator to be brought on to facilitate their learning or for these new people to be sent to Big Hospital for Periop101 but the boss maintains "everyone else was taught here and they're fine." (Spoiler: theyre not fine. The boss won't even let THEM precept, preferring the travelers do it.)

    now that my vent is over:
    any advice on how to make the best of his bad situation? We are trying our hardest but everyone comes from a different background and teaches different things at different times so nobody actually knows what anyone else knows. It's horrifically unfair to the new nurses who just want to be good at their jobs and it's frustrating to the teachers who also want to do a good job training but only have a weird little "check off the surgeries you've seen and then check them off again when they've circulated them independently" competency based orientation booklet. Hell, I bought BLOW UP DOLLS on amazon with my own money so we could hold a Skin Prep Clinic for everyone, and the boss got angry with me for WASTING RESOURCES. I just... y'all. No.

    I'm worried that despite our best efforts, They will not be good OR nurses. They will not be able to work well anywhere else after being trained like this. They can be taught to task but don't seem to understand the critical thinking aspects of the job.
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    About stephwillcutyou, BSN

    Joined: Nov '17; Posts: 3; Likes: 2


  3. by   jeckrn
    There is a reason why they are losing experienced nurses and unable to recruit experienced ones. Can imagine pay is on the low side there. What does your contract say with the travel company and the hospital about being preceptors?
  4. by   stephwillcutyou
    For travelers, the pay is OUTSTANDING. Better than california rates. Since it is a union hospital, the staff nurse compensation is pretty good too (as far as i can tell, haven't been a staff nurse for a while). Company knows we are precepting and we are compensated the same as a union nurse would be compensated (originally, a bonus at the end of 12 weeks, but a new contract has been ratified and preceptor pay is now an additional hourly premium.)
    The biggest loss was an unexpected health issue hitting at the same time as two retirements. which took out 2/3 of the staff! lord. i'm the third most senior nurse in the joint as far as time at this hospital goes and second most experienced PERIOD. its a ****show
    Last edit by dianah on Jun 18 : Reason: Terms of Service