Friday, January 12, 2018

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!

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.)

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