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Orientation As A Semi-Experienced Nurse is Aggravating

Nurses   (288 Views | 9 Replies)

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I worked for almost a year at my first nursing job. I changed jobs and went to a new hospital after that. I started orientation three weeks ago, and I have to admit it's kind of frustrating. I'm used to taking my own patients and working on my own. I'm definitely not used to having another nurse follow me around and having to explain myself and what I'm doing. Plus, I have a preceptor that leaves like a few hours before shift change when they send someone home early and they make me switch to following another nurse with totally different patients. Anyone else experience with orientation beyond the one with your first job?

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

1,619 Posts; 14,707 Profile Views

Bear with it; it'll be over soon. Actually, it's surprising that they didn't cut your orientation short. Think of explaining your actions as a good self-review of theory.

The switching patient assignment thing is pretty annoying, I imagine..

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BSNbeDONE has 34 years experience as a ASN, BSN, LPN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health.

2,373 Posts; 24,898 Profile Views

Orientation as an experienced nurse is a joke. Preceptors delegate the ‘dirty’ tasks that they don’t want to do, such as changing colostomy bags, trach-suctioning, anything dealing with the homeless, grimey poor souls, and of course, let’s not forget, you’ll go solo on your own patients if they’re c-diff, HIV+, TB +, etc.

They are so transparent, it’s pathetic. Oh I can go on and on. But like the previous poster said, it’ll soon pass.

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

5 Followers; 6,299 Posts; 70,174 Profile Views

You have less than a years experience, and describe yourself as :"semi-experienced".   You have much to learn grasshopper.

Learn what you can and appreciate the opportunity.

 

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

653 Posts; 8,549 Profile Views

7 minutes ago, Been there,done that said:

You have less than a years experience, and describe yourself as :"semi-experienced".   You have much to learn grasshopper.

Learn what you can and appreciate the opportunity.

 

Took the words right out of my mouth.  An experienced nurse knows what she/he doesn't know. A semi-experienced nurse might not have reached that point as of yet.

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Tait has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice.

1 Follower; 6 Articles; 2,120 Posts; 28,817 Profile Views

My first job was four years on a complex med/surg floor (non-titrated cardiac drips, insulin drips, whipples, pre-open heart, post cath etc). When I went to a new hospital after two years out with kiddos and school, and before I got my first education job, I was dropped onto day shift where I just followed the other nurse around, and then went into night shift. My first night my preceptor got pulled to charge on the cardiac PCU they planned to transfer me to later, and I got someone who did precept. She abandoned me until 6am when I was treating a hypoglycemic patient with juice and crackers and started railing on me for not using glucose gel. I was like "well I guess you should have been here to make sure I knew the appropriate protocols for this hospital."

Take the time to make sure you vet out all the kinks in what works for this hospital, but I agree the swapping teams part way through the shift is not useful.

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55 Posts; 1,676 Profile Views

2 hours ago, Been there,done that said:

You have less than a years experience, and describe yourself as :"semi-experienced".   You have much to learn grasshopper.

Learn what you can and appreciate the opportunity.

 

I definitely see what you mean. I know I have a ton more to learn, especially with this being a completely different hospital with a different way of doing things. I just meant that it's a strange adjustment to go from caring for all my own patients for so long and now I'm back to how it was when I first began nursing last year. 

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

14 Followers; 3,775 Posts; 40,505 Profile Views

I've had so many cut-short orientations and hit-and-miss orientations.  Don't waste energy feeling insulted by anyone's hovering.

  Savour every minute someone is willing to spend with you. Your job right now is to earn their trust and make them glad they hired you.

 

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Serhilda is a ADN, RN and specializes in Cardiac Telemetry.

275 Posts; 5,128 Profile Views

My orientation drove me crazy. I was coming in with experience and made that clear, but this one preceptor refused to let me even so much as start an IV without hovering. While I tried explaining how important I felt it was to allow me some autonomy, that concern wasn't mutual.

It's really difficult when you have them pressuring you to do something that's unsafe or bad practice too, such as recapping needles, which I was instructed to do (and refused). Some preceptors feel it's not your place to refuse to mimic their actions, so you end up on their poop list pretty quickly. My advice is to pick your battles with this one and weigh the pros and cons. Obviously don't endanger anyone but just keep that in mind.

I'd say the number one pet peeve I hear though has to do with preceptors trying to teach their personal habits instead of skills and appropriate interventions for a new patient population. While some tips are nice, how well you adapt to their personal habits is irrelevant.

My advice is to just nod your head and appear enlightened every day.

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13 Followers; 4,099 Posts; 32,059 Profile Views

2 hours ago, Serhilda said:

My orientation drove me crazy. I was coming in with experience and made that clear, but this one preceptor refused to let me even so much as start an IV without hovering. While I tried explaining how important I felt it was to allow me some autonomy, that concern wasn't mutual.

At least part of this is due to other factors, namely the fact that nurses are taught that they are responsible for others' actions. Responsibility is an important value in nursing but it has been applied inappropriately and taught in extremes to the advantage of various entities. Throw in a situation where a nurse is actually assigned to something such as a preceptor role (in addition to generically being "200% accountable" for everything) and you should expect all the more that nurse is going to feel a degree of responsibility to see that things are being done right/according to usual expectations.

2 hours ago, Serhilda said:

I'd say the number one pet peeve I hear though has to do with preceptors trying to teach their personal habits instead of skills and appropriate interventions for a new patient population.

 

I'd suppose the two become a little difficult to separate at some point, don't they? I think I've been guilty of this some; it's because I do things X way for Y reasons because it is how I have been successful in caring for Z condition/population, etc. 🤷🏽‍♀️ I don't think these preceptors are always just trying to hear themselves talk or bestow their superior wisdom and expertise upon the orientee. Although I can see how it could easily come off that way.

Long story short: Anyone who becomes aggravated and disgruntled with a hovering preceptor should go to the manager and advocate for their independence.

 

13 hours ago, AlmostThere19 said:

I'm used to taking my own patients and working on my own. I'm definitely not used to having another nurse follow me around and having to explain myself and what I'm doing.

 

Let your manager know that you don't need this kind of assistance and that you can/will seek out a staff member if you have any questions.

 

Edited by JKL33

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