Orientation Recommendations?

  1. Hi all!

    I'm an ICU nurse moving into what I thought was an unusual situation- going to be the only IR nurse in a department that doesn't have one now. I was worried about this until I read the other thread under Rad nursing- apparently this isn't so unusual- LOL.

    Any suggestions for orientation or documentation? What is it like being the only nurse in your department?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Visit ratchit profile page

    About ratchit

    Joined: May '99; Posts: 299; Likes: 35
    ICU RN


  3. by   RadRN2
    Looks like you get to "invent" your dept!

    Talk to the Rads and the techs about what they perceive as nursing needs for the dept. ESPECIALLY keep dialogue going with the techs and ask for their opinions and ideas alot. Having a nurse in the dept for the first time may be a little threatening to some of them; the last thing you want to do is alienate the techs. Also, learn alot from them. They have alot to teach.

    Assess the dept's needs as far as nursing/monitering equipment. If you are doing IR, you will obviously need (if they don't already have) moniter(s) for ECG, Sat, hr, BP, pressure line(s), temp is nice, too. Need defib. Full crash cart. If you do kids (sedations), your crash cart needs to be ped stocked, as well. Assess your dept drug needs as far as what you need to keep available in the dept. (or is your pharmacy close by?) Be sure to keep emergency meds available, especially for contrast reactions.

    Will you still be part of nursing services as far as administratively, or will you be under the radiology administration? If you are not under nursing services, make sure they don't "forget" about you in radiology! Make sure they keep you up on changes in nursing P&P's, education, etc. in your hospital.

    Make contact with ARNA (American Radiology Nurses Association). They have a great "Standards and Guidelines of Radiology Nursing" manual available, as well as other materials, and invaluable networking, too! See ARNA.net

    What types of procedures are being done in your dept? We could give you more ideas if we knew more about what you will be doing.

    Hope this helps a little. Good luck! You will love it! Let us know how you are doing....
  4. by   ratchit
    Thanks so much for the reply- very helpful!

    I haven't started the new job yet, but what they told me is that most procedures are planned. Very few emergencies. They do a lot of vascular studies, feeding tubes, abcess drainage, stents, etc. Procedures are done by the radiologists except a couple surgeons are starting to do their own vascular studies. I don't know if they have a radiologist backup or if they rely on the techs and the RN for rad expertise.

    You make an excellent point about asking the techs for their input. I was lucky to have good preceptors early in my career and they taught me that the important thing is the knowledge, not the letters after the name. The idea that they might be threatened hadn't occurred to me- I will have to watch out for that.

    The job description includes peds, but the docs told me they couldn't remember the last time they had a peds case. We're only a couple miles from an internationally known childrens hospital- they seem to end up there instead. <g> I will be getting PALS certification before touching a kid but I have already told them I need more then intermittent peds experience if I am going to do that part of the job well. They don't have a plan at the moment (that I know of, anyway- LOL) but the ICU, ER, and PACU nurses have been doing the sedation until now. My plan is to insist on backup from someone from those departments who knows kids unless I am comfortable. The crash cart looks well stocked and has good equipment but I didn't think to look for peds equipment specifically. I have no idea where pharmacy is yet, either. <g>

    You make another good point about being in touch with the nursing dept. I have been wondering what it will be like to have all MD colleagues instead of mostly nurses. The need to keep up on p/p hadn't occured to me either. I was told in my interview that my direct manager will be the OR/PACU nurse manager. But my job offer letter lists the (MD) director of radiology instead. Going to get that cleared up, but I definitely have a strong nurse to connect with, even if unofficially.

    You're giving me a great list of things to look into- thanks for your help!