Realistic orientation time for ER?

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by MountainMama MountainMama (New) New

I had 2 interviews this week at a local hospital, OB/L&D floor and ER. I just want to work prn. It is totally my choice as to which position I take. I have been mulling this over for days. They both are willing to work with me to get me past my orientation in order to bump down to the prn status. I have a strong interest in both areas, for various reasons. Ok.... at this moment (3am) I am leaning toward ER. My question is, how long did it take full time in order to feel comfortable, just comfortable. Not super confident, I know that can take years..... I am willing to put in the time initally to do this.. I really have to work around my kids and family and they said if I am working steady, if not technically FULL time, they'll work with me. Ex- 2 12hr shifts a week instead of 3, which will stretch out the orientation, of course. Any thoughts on how long it will take? I am just trying to plan my life a little bit, after not working for past 2 yrs and not in a FT capacity for many many more! I do have a decent med-surg and telemetry background.

needsmore$

needsmore$

Specializes in emergency nursing-ENPC, CATN, CEN. 237 Posts

It took me a year FT to feel comfortable -I train, mentor all our new ED staff and most agree with me. In fact, ENA recommends that a nurse has at least 2 years ED experience before sitting for the BCEN exam. Our ED does not hire PRNs unless they are experienced-if they want to be PRN and are new to the ED setting, they have to work at least 1 yr FT before we will consider letting them change to "casual" or PRN status. PRN nurses should be able to come in, get report and keep up, and for new nurses that may not be that experienced w/ ECG interpretations, complicated IV drips, critically ill children, and any new treatment modalities; it may be difficult to jump in and manage an assignment. When we have casual staff who come in and the other staff have to remind them how to adjust the monitors, help them titrate drips, or take the higher acuity patients because the PRN staff isn't comfortable, then resentment can breed. I would recommend at least 1 yr FT, and when you go PRN, make sure you maintain a monthly commitment of a certain amt of hours so you can keep up with new policies, departmental changes. Make sure you attend all ED staff meetings so you are informed. Attend seminars regarding ED nursing so you are updated on new trends that are being implemented and you know the current standard of practice. Good luck. ED is fun-every day is a different day!!

andyman1216

andyman1216

26 Posts

When I Applied To My Er, I Had Worked M/s, Peds, Psych (which Comes In Handy Often In Alaska), And Home Health. They Didnt Want To Hire Me, But Im Very Convincing. A Few Of The Docs Complained Before I Even Started, But After 1 Week Of Orientation I Was On My Own. The Thing Is, You're Never Alone. After 1 Yr I Was Very Comfortable To Work Alone (at The Time, There Was One Nurse, One Doc, And A Tech On Nights). We See Between 30-70 A 24 Hours Shift. But I Always Had Someone I Could Rely On For The Things I Didn't Know. No One Will Ever Know Everything. So, I Accepted The Fact That I Didnt Know Chit And Rolled With The Punches. As Long As You Admit Your Weakness, And Ask Questions Often, It All Works Out.

But None Of This Can Happen Without Confidence And A Hunger For Bettering(?) Your Skills.

MountainMama

MountainMama

13 Posts

Thanks for the advice. I have a lot to think about!!

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