How was your Travelers' Orientation?

  1. Hi All,

    I am curious about your orientation at new assignments?

    This is my first Traveler experience, and I'm rather surprised that I received a 2.5 hour orientation session (mainly on operating glucometers and signing requisite paperwork). Additionally, I worked only three shifts alongside a nurse for being precepted.

    Mind you, I am working in the PCU Float Pool for all of this hospital's locations (Five in this location). Each place and each floor has a completely different operating mode. It's been daunting to climb the learning curve, to say the least. Plus, I signed up for a six month long assignment - Rookie Mistake!
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    About hgraves64, ADN, BSN

    Joined: Oct '14; Posts: 26; Likes: 13


  3. by   NedRN
    Three shifts? That should have exceeded your expectations, at least clinically. Sometimes it does take a couple days of software training to be minimally proficient, perhaps those three shifts focused heavily on charting.
  4. by   hgraves64
    Wow, working for five different hospitals and about 3-4 different floors within each one... I should've picked an initial assignment that was site based and only on one floor. All of the floors have their own unique operating mode, and it takes so much time to learn each one. I wish I could've had much longer of an orientation because it has taken months to get familiar with each one. Also, the hospital equipment here in the West is physically different than in the Sourh, so it takes time to get comfortable with it too....
  5. by   chare
    Exactly how much orientation do you think you should have been given?
  6. by   hgraves64
    But yeh nothing new to learn clinically. Just their systems are so different out here.
  7. by   hgraves64
    I would have liked a week at each of the five hospitals, in retrospect, especially since I work 4-5 different floors in each one. They are all in the same network but the amount of differences between each hospital and floor is pretty significant in reality.

    Being a Traveler in the float pool for multiple floors in multi-hospital system is pretty taxing. Before. I had always been staff on one floor of one hospital with rare occasions to float. This has been an eye-opening experience, for sure...

    Care to share any personal experiences with Traveler orientations? Good, bad, expected, or...?
  8. by   Swellz
    I just started my second contract. For my first, I had two 12 hour shifts of clinical orientation and was offered a third if I needed it. It was more about getting used to the charting system than anything; unfortunately, they had me orient on a floor I wasn't hired for, so I didn't get a chance to learn the workflow of my floor until I was on my own. I also got pulled more than 50% of my shifts, which was not what I was looking for the first time around. I didn't know my floor (ED holding) was only used during their high season and staffed with float pool nurses, so it was always the first to have a nurse pulled and I was understandably first on the list. But had I been on a regular floor, I would have been pulled less frequently and could have gotten into a rhythm quicker. It just wasn't ideal for a first assignment.
    For my second, I had one 8 hour shift. They had all the new travelers orient on the same day and didn't tell any staff ahead of time, so they had to scramble to find non-travelers to orient us. I was with a nurse who had never oriented anyone before, so between her not knowing what to demonstrate to me and me not knowing what to ask beyond my basic list, it wasn't very productive. But, I've worked a couple shifts since then and have had a lot of help from the staff.
    With both I had two days of central orientation and basic charting practice.
  9. by   NedRN
    Orientation from a traveler (who has been there at least several weeks) is far more functional than from staff in general. They can filter all the noise and prioritize what is important to know. Usually, that is not possible though.
  10. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from hgraves64
    Care to share any personal experiences with Traveler orientations? Good, bad, expected, or...?
    My first assignment, I had (if I remember correctly) 2 shifts of orientation to the floor. Then, the second week that I was there, I came in one morning to find that they expected me to be charge nurse that day - surprise! I also floated to 2 other floors - no orientation on either floor.

    Next assignment was more generous. I got 3 shifts of orientation on the floor (but my preceptor kept wandering off). I was expected to float to 3 other floors, and I got a half day orientation on 2 out of the 3 before floating for the first time.

    Thats pretty much the norm, in my experience - 2 to 3 shifts on the floor and then you are set loose. After all, they hired a traveler because they needed another nurse ASAP.

    The first travel assignment is always a learning curve - now you know more about what questions to ask before you get there, and you will get used to flying by the seat of your pants.
    Last edit by Julius Seizure on Apr 16, '17
  11. by   Swellz
    Quote from NedRN
    Orientation from a traveler (who has been there at least several weeks) is far more functional than from staff in general. They can filter all the noise and prioritize what is important to know. Usually, that is not possible though.
    I ended up getting a lot of tips on dealing with the emar from travelers on my first assignment. They definitely knew the shortcuts.
  12. by   sandysam
    I got 3 shifts of orientation but I only worked in the CTICU. I would've never recommended to do a float travel assignment to anyone! I made sure my contract said I didn't have to float to regular floors, only other ICUs. That would've been a mess!
  13. by   hgraves64
    Oh it still is quite an ongoing mess! Counting the days down until my contract is done....
  14. by   sandysam
    Hang in there! It's worth it, traveling was the best! I made a ton of money in NY because they have a really high cost of living which is where the money is at! I put the max in my tax-free housing stipend, found an airBNB and it was awesome...awesome! Definitely do not do a float pool position, pick where you want! Who do you work for? I worked for Cross Country and had the best recruiter who found me exactly what I wanted. She got me bonuses and reimbursed me for EVERYTHING (even old danskos that I had a receipt for)! It doesn't sound like you knew what you were getting into? I felt pressure from my first company to take the first job they offered me which was an ICU float in NYC rotating 3-12s one week and 4-12s the next....nights! AND they offered me $1250 a month LESS in housing! She made me feel bad about not wanting that job and I am SO happy I switched. Your recruiter is your lifeline, and once you find one that works FOR YOU, you will be in good shape.