Thursday, July 6, 2017

Precepting/Orienting Nurses

A couple of years ago, I was asked to orient a new hire on my floor and was excited as she was a grad from my alma mater, so we had the same frame of reference. She was excited because she had always wanted to work in psych. I felt great knowing she was going to be on a somewhat quiet unit, instead of an acute one, like I did.

So, I began to orient her to the unit, citing procedures, treatments, and daily practices at nauseam. She caught on very quickly, and was doing so well. On our last day together, I turned her loose to do it on her own, and she was excellent!

However.....(you knew there would be something) two days off of orientation, she gets pulled to another unit. Not only does she get pulled, they require her to be a nurse's aid. Not only does she have to be a nurse's aid, they place her with a very psychotic patient. Not good. She begins to cry. They place her with another patient, it does not make her happy.

I guess my spidey-sense went off, even though I had not seen her since orientation. My co-workers began to tell me some troubling things: she is not on the floor very much,  and is seen constantly on her phone. She won't take off orders, help with treatments, or basic patient care. "Hmmmmm," I thought, "maybe she's quitting?" In my typical fashion, I just asked her, "Are you going to keep working here?"  She mumbled an answer about not being a psych nurse the rest of her life, and averted my eyes. Yep, she's a goner. The next day I had asked someone who knows everything at the facility and they confirmed my suspicion that she had turned in her notice.  I took it kind of personally. "Maybe I didn't give her enough training or support?". I found out later that she went to another job and stayed there only 3 weeks before she turned in her notice, too. I felt a lot better after knowing that.

After that experience, I took a precepting course offered by my facility so I would get a little more per hour for training new hires. Over the course of two years, I've probably oriented 10 different people. Some were straight out of school, others just picking up for extra money. I've had a few that were lazy, and some that were very ambitious, wanting to try their hand at every skill, gross or not. My alma mater also has brought me some about to be grads who need to precept their 120 hours with a nurse before taking NCLEX. Those are my favorites! I just love seeing a new nurse with all that positivity in their eyes. And they think you know EVERYTHING! Ha!

This may inspire me to go on with my schooling after I get the RN. Who knows? Maybe teaching would suit me. I don't know. But if you ever get the chance to precept/orient, take it! I used to think that having a student would be an awful burden and experience, but you learn things from them, too! (I had an orientee that showed me a trick changing ostomies that has keep me from making a horrible mess that I'm forever grateful for.)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Let's make it as painful as possible.....

So, if you haven't been tuned in, this is the ongoing saga of "Will She or Won't She Return to Nursing school?" Last November, I withdrew from my Med-Surg 2 class. I just couldn't get past a 73 on the exams. After a month of consideration, I decided to try to go back.
There had been 6 of us, from a class of 19, who did not make it. One had decided he was done, and did not want to go back. Another had not completed a prerequisite that she had agreed to, so they said she could not apply.
Then there were four. I started studying with another classmate kind of "online", meaning we lived too far apart to meet up so we Facetime-d, a lot. Not sure if I told you: basically, to get back in, we had to take the final from the PREVIOUS semester that we had already passed. The exact final we had taken a year prior.
It wasn't going in to take the test that was hard, it was facing the class I should have graduated with. I was hoping we wouldn't have to see them, but we had wait outside the door that was across from their classroom. We were invited in one particularly sweet classmate who encouraged us to come in and say hi. Other than 1 classmate, nobody said anything. No eye contact, no looking in my direction. Even the teacher that had encouraged me to come back was a little aloof. I am not sure what I expected, but some I spoke to, (that I had felt we were pretty good friends before) wouldn't even speak.
The four of us went in to take the test. I was surprised that I remembered so much. Ended up with an 84. My friend who studied with me got an 80, but our other two friends didn't make it.
So, now we have a check off. We will draw a skill out of a hat and have to perform it on demand. BUT, before we can do that, we must be voted on by committee to be able to return.  Committee meets tomorrow, (Tuesday), I work Thursday and Friday, and the email I received from the Dean indicated my check off must be done this week prior to faculty going on Summer vacation. I figured they'd make it as painful as possible to return, but they wouldn't even let me tentatively schedule the check off for Wednesday. Sigh......I'll let you know how it turns out.