This message is actually perfect timing, I just finished my very last day of precepted orientation yesterday! It was extended a little bit longer because they added a ton of additional classroom experiences in addition to my floor time. Looking back, some days were much better than others, and vice versa. It was an amazing orientation though. I am nervous about being on my own next week, but not as bad as I thought I would be, because I am never really on my own there. The next month is already mapped out with resources, how many patient I will take, etc. But if it doesnt work out, management and my preceptors have shown support in my being able to come back to them and remediate if necessary.
It is the perfect mix of nursing. I was concerned that it would be too cardiac focused (which it is) so that I would not learn ANY thing else. But we get patients on ventilators and other situations waiting for critical care beds, so I really do see a lot. The most comforting things is that I am not expected to care for these patients alone until I am much more experienced, but will definiately have the experience, if that makes sense. As I said before, it's short term acute because of the outpatient setting (which could turn inpatient), but very intense and invasive often. We titrate drips unlike most outpatient settings, and I never thought that I would be pulling femoral artery lines, etc. We get basic diagnostic cases, and we get intervents, and we have patients that we have to prep for open heart surgery. We actually also prep and recover some interventional radiology patients, peripheral angiography, carotid, pacemakers, cardioversions, ablations, etc. So, we are specialized but pretty widely. And our patients are not the same. People have their own chronic conditions that we individualize our care around, so we do care for other aspects than their hearts. I was worried that I would learn cardiac, and nothing else. Many of our patients have comorbitities (diabetic, renal, etc.)
I am lucky at the specific hospital that I work in, with how much I see. We get several transfers a day from other hospitals. Something that you may already know, that I did not before starting here is that if a hospital does not have an open heart surgery center, they often cannot intervent during a cath unless it is an extreme emergency. We have OHS so we get a lot of cases that other areas may not.
Well I can go on and on and on and on, so please please tell me about where you are going. I don't think you have started yet, but have you shadowed? I am excited for you!