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Temporarily transferred to another unit during orientation

by Maria D Maria D (New) New Nurse

Specializes in ICU.

I recently started orientation in a neurology unit which was turned into an ICU due to the Covid19 pandemic. I am now being sent to the float pool to work at a general care unit until the pandemic is over and will then resume my orientation at the neurology floor. I am a bit nervous since I only have experience with neuro patients. Any thoughts on how to prepare myself for the general care floor?

Well, you think more broadly.

Think all body systems.

Review diagnoses on your new floor and then look those up. Neuro, GI, GU, Gyn, Integumentary, musculo-skeletal, respiratory, circulatory, Endocrine, Reproductive, whatever I left out.

With regard to those diagnoses:

think of the anatomy and physiology involved.

Labs to be aware of.

Meds to expect to see.

Review general care:

VS, LOC and orientation.

giving direct care, such as bathing, feeding, toileting, transferring, positioning,

IV starts and usage in giving fluids and electrolytes, maybe TPN and lipids, plus changing IV dressings and other dressings;

how to pass meds - all routes;

I and O


Be organized. Try to make only 1 trip to do a certain task. Have all the necessary supplies with you.

Restock for the oncoming shift.

Don't try to answer lots of call lights at first. You can do the aides' work but they can't do yours. Do your own work first, then help if there's time.

Be safety conscious. Rails up if there is an order - or just maybe 1 rail up - whatever the rule is where you work. Able to reach call bell, phone, Kleenex, anything else that will help a pt be the safest and most self-reliant;

Do not wait on visitors, who likely won't be there now anyway. You are there for the patient, not to be servant of the visitors. Be polite, just put getting your work done first. Although there is a lot to be said for gaining brownie points with visitors.

Try to round with the doctors. You will learn much and you will know what's going on with the patient. You will get to ask for orders and will be aware of new orders right away.

Help the doctors. Don't be obsequious but doctors are only human. They likely will appreciate being shown courtesy and respect.

Be pleasant to everyone.

It's a lot, just start reviewing and prepping now. Are you going to be expected to carry a full patient load or will you be in Orientation?

Will you be on the same floor or be floating to various places? Do not hesitate to remind whoever needs reminding that you did not yet get a whole orientation and you don't know yet how to do ____. Say you would love to learn and ask them to show you how to do whatever it is they are asking you to do.

Best wishes.