Staff ? on orientating a traveller

  1. Hi, I am orientating an LPN to a busy med/surg/tele floor, days. Experienced nurse but we are all computer charting/emar and she isn't familiar with computer stuff. They spent a useless week in general orientation, then give me 3 shifts to have her up and running, of course giving me a full load. So I want her to do well, she is hoping to stay on after the 13 weeks, good nurse and of course it has to be info overload and I feel like Im doing a crappy job. Can't do it all in 3 days, but what do you find to be the most important stuff she should know? Making out a cheat sheet, with codes etc for the computer, but just wondered if you all had any ideas? I had thought of trying this myself, but seeing this feed them to the sharks attitude has put me off. Any ideas welcome!
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    About annmariern

    Joined: May '04; Posts: 298; Likes: 488
    Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in vascular, med surg, home health , rehab,


  3. by   rnerin
    As a traveler, I appreciate your asking this question! Since we should know how to "nurse", I don't expect orientation in that area. What I do need to know are documentation standards, accessing the computer sytem, phone list with frequently called numbers, location of policy/standards manuals or how to access them on the computer and, of course, where to find supplies. I also appreciate knowing what the hospital standards are regarding maximum drip rates (I work in ICU and this varies from hospital to hospital.) Thanks!!
  4. by   SCGreywolf
    rnerin has it right!!! The simple fact that you are asking this question should give you a halo. The orientee already KNOWS how to be a she needs to know how to survive. I have no trouble picking up computer skills but I think most travelers need help with this.

    Assign her a couple of 'buddies' that work the same shift and ask them to be the resource when you're not around. Simple things like 'Where the heck are the washcloths" and " How to chart I really DID call the doc". BUT!! Pick and choose the buddies well. That will be the best help you can give her beside some cheat sheets.
    The Wolf
  5. by   annmariern
    Thanks for the imput; turns out it might be more of a problem with the computer stuff. Had to stand back and let her flail today, but I am hoping it will pay off in the sense she will get it together now she shes what she needs to get done, I was the safety net for the pts only. Management are pushing me to call it a day, 5 floor days orientation and still not ready; Have the buddy thing sorted. Fingers crossed.
  6. by   SCGreywolf
    5 Days orientation???? Still not ready?? Not a good sign. I'm a ICU/CVICU/ER nurse (in other words, jack of all trades) and have NEVER had more than three days to orient in 20 years and 61 contracts....and that includes several different computer systems. Usually it's one day shift with HR, one night shift with someone to get my bearings in the unit and then patients. The one time I had 4 days, I was orienting as the House Supervisor in a 400+ bed hospital.

    Yes, this nurse will 'thrash around' but it's not kind to hand hold. Tough love? Yep. You have to remember that the 'powers that be' cannot waste time/money on a travel nurse that can't/won't produce quickly. Does your hospital give daily agency nurses 5 days orientation? Of course not. So by trying to give this nurse a good and careful (and lengthy) orientation, you might well be dooming her to a broken contract.

    Travel nurses are supposed to be able to modify their attitudes, learning skills and lifestyles to most any situation. If this person can't do that, well......

    The Wolf
    Last edit by SCGreywolf on Apr 19, '07
  7. by   SCGreywolf
    Oh, yeah. Forgot to ask. Just WHAT did they cover in a WEEK of general orientation???? Should have been concentrating on computer schooling, chain of command, expectations of nurses and P&P. If not, maybe you could have some input to HR as to where they need to focus. Travel nurses do not need the same type orientation that a new hire should go through. We really don't need the hype about what a great system exists nor do we need to know the name of the cousin of the great aunt of the founder. The purpose of a new hire orientation is to establish a sense of 'belonging'. The purpose of a traveler orientation is to orient.
    The Wolf
  8. by   CRNI-ICU20
    amen greywolf....
    you have obviously been around the block a few times...
    thank you for giving me some tips on my next travel experience...
  9. by   LadyNASDAQ
    You do what you can in 3 days and stop. This is actually the responsibility of the Nurse Education Dept.after that. One thing that you can do is ask that another Nurse be assigned to that Nurse for further instruction. In other words, get out of it on day 4. This is the responsibility of the hospital to really instruct this Nurse and you're taking on more than you have to.

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