question for an experienced nurse.

Nurses New Nurse


hi there,

i am a new grad RN w/ a question re:starting out my new job. I recently applied and got a job @ a home care agency.Unfortunately,they don't offer any training :-( So, I am pretty much on my own.However, I don't have to care for more than 1 patient a day.I am w/ the same person the entire shift.

Ideally, I know it isn't the best place for a new grad like me to start my career.However, considering the market receptiveness to new grads, I feel a start is better than no start.

So, in choosing my cases, what do you suggest I look for? What to steer away from? I'm scared like any new grad of doing something so simple yet silly that I could easily lose my hard earned license.

any help?

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr.

it sounds dangerous. locally, new grads are not hired into home health because instincts and skills are required to work alone. on the other hand, i have read posts on this board where you are not alone and i understand why you are taking the risk.... by the way, just because you do not receive an orientation does not mean that you have to work without support.

if i were to start as a new grad in your situation i would ask them for a mentor. this would be someone you can call if you need back up (sometimes you will need to draw blood and may not get the stick or you need advice on a patient's condition or situation). if you are not assigned a back up, do not hesitate to find a mentor of your own. meet with the nurses prior to starting your first shift and ask one or two to help you out. also, request that you only be assigned the least complicated patients. for instance, stay away from the recent open heart sx, traumas, or gi bleeders. stick with the lowest acuity patients to start.

Specializes in Tele/cardiovascular stepdown.

Well I don't really consider myself an "experienced" nurse, but at least I have almost a year in the hospital setting now...

The best advice I can give you is: if you don't know, or aren't absolutely sure about something, ASK! Of course this means that in the beginning you'll be asking a million questions - and this may mean that in your situation you'll be making a lot of phone calls - but it will make you a safer nurse and it's also the only way you'll learn to do things correctly. The organization you're working for should have someone you can call with questions and if not, find someone! Don't be afraid of sounding stupid or making someone annoyed, it's always better to ask.

Best of luck!

many thanks to both of you.i appreciate your feedbacks.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

I agree with PP's. The lack of training by your employer is very worrisome. Home Care Nursing is a specialty, just like critical care or perioperative. Basic nursing education in the US does not prepare you to be a Home Care nurse. If anything happens (God forbid) you will be judged by national standards for Home Care nursing practice.

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