question about orientation


  • Specializes in oncology, transplant, OB. Has 5 years experience.

I just started out in the ICU and wow is it hard!! I don't feel comfortable with my skills or my assessment at all. So far my preceptor has been great and really understanding, but I'm just not a quick learner and I don't know how much longer she's going to be nice about it. I wish I was the kind of person that if I saw something once I would remember it, but I'm not.

I feel like I waste so much time looking for something little like the SCD machine when I have real work to do (I realize SCDs are important, but I spent over a half hour just looking for one today- total waste of time.) My preceptor will explain stuff to me but I just feel like I'm not retaining any of it. I feel so dumb. My preceptor tells me what certain things mean one day and then the very next day I'll look at it and think to myself "umm..I know that I was told what this is but I can't remember it for the life of me."

I'm just wondering when you all were on orientation, how exactly did you and your preceptor split it up? Like did you have one patient and your preceptor have the other? Or did you share patients? Did your preceptor come in w/you to give your meds?

I wish more than anything that I can just fast forward through this first year so I feel comfortable talking to the docs and family, documenting stuff, learning where everything is kept and the combos to get into each room. I don't even remember what level of the parking garage I park on everyday!

This is just sooooooooooo stressful!!! ahhh!!!!:wtosts:

Pediatric Critical Care Columnist

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

16 Articles; 7,358 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

How many days are you into your orientation? And how much previous experience do you have? If you're in your first couple of weeks of your orientation and have very limited previous experience, then you're probably where you should be! There is so much to learn when you first start out in ICU even if you have years of experience behind you. And believe it or not, looking for things is all part of the process. While you're looking you're thinking about what it is that you're trying to find, why you need it and what you're going to do with it when you find it. When I have an orientee, near the end of our partnership I make a list of things that I've had trouble finding and send my buddy on a scavenger hunt. they don't have to physically bring it to me but they do have to write down where it is. They all take it very seriously and really enjoy it. The last new nurse I worked with sent away the CNA who offered to help her, saying that I would be disappointed if she cheated. You should be concentrating on learning your new skills so that you can perform them without thinking about them and then moving to new things. Write things down if you think you'll have trouble remembering them. That works for me.


262 Posts

Specializes in oncology, transplant, OB. Has 5 years experience.

It was only my second day on the unit, but I'm starting out with 2 other new grads who both seem to be doing much better than myself. They just seem to be way more independant and confident. I guess I'm just a major worrier, but it is so easy to make a "little" mistake that could easily be deadly to the patient.

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