Sunday, January 13, 2008

Orientation Day

I think I will finally start having some interesting posts in my blog!

Wednesday was the orientation. I was correct in suggesting that my placement hospital is a tiny hospital, but I am so far happy to say it's busier then I thought it was going to be.

I am the ONLY student who is full time in the ER. THE ONLY ONE. There is only one RPN student who is doing the ER clinic (sort of like the ambulatory care area.. walky talky belly ache's, scraped knee etc), and that's it. Of the RN students.. there are only 3 of us. THREE. I'm used to seeing students everywhere, because my school is a fairly big teaching area. The rest of the students doing their final placement are RPN consolidating students, of which there are maybe 5. I dont' know a soul (RN's or RPN's) because I wasn't in their classes and none of my classmates are consolidating there, but meh, I'm ok with that.

The average age of the nurses on staff is 48. I didn't see a single young nurse there. (although I do happen to know there is one younger then me that works in OB/Labour&Delivery, but I digress...). In all my other clinical placements there were tons of younger RN's. Perhaps the older ones were in management, or have left practice. I have no idea, but having an RN to work with who has 20+ years experience gives me confidence in the profession, as well as their skill. That being said, I'll have to make sure that what they are teaching me is best practice- it has been a long time since they have been in school, and hopefully they have kept up to date!

I love how my clinical placement organizers did not tell us RN students that we were supposed to arrive at 0830h to get an ID badge, that I needed to bring paper proof of all my immunizations including 2-step TB, AND that orientation was until 1700. So I felt like an idiot showing up for 0900 and not having the paperwork. How am I supposed to impress these people enough to get a job if they are setting me up with a bad first impression?

My orientation book was approx 5 inches thick, for which I was supposed to know most of it by my next shift, which was, conveniently, Thursday at 0700. (I'll post more on that shift later!)

I will *almost* never have to do straight blood draws because the lab does it. I will, however, get to do IV starts once my preceptor feels I am capable with the general nursing stuff. I will also be able to draw blood from the IV when I start it. That I am ok with, and am looking forward to learning this new skill! It's interesting that they waited this long for us to start it. Yes, starting IV's and using IV's for meds etc is a more complicated skill, but honestly, in the end, it is a physical skill. Working on assessment is more important, and yet they didn't emphasize that nearly as much as they did IV's. (or perhaps in our minds it was a bigger deal then it actually is!)

I do a DDNN schedule starting Thursday. HOWEVER I also have a random Wednesday during the month. Conveniently it happens to be next week on Wednesday.. which means I will have worked for 5 days straight, have 1 day off, and then work a 8-8 in the middle of my 5 days off. Grr.

One final thing is that when I applied for this placement, I wanted to go into an area that I would like to work in later. I'm happy to say that they have essentially stated that they would like to hire us to work there post-graduation. They demonstrated that by giving us the same orientation as 5 new staff (4 RPN's and 1 RN) that started this week also.

It'll be weird working with RPN's, as except in Long term care, I have never worked with them. What can they do? Apparently everything but the patient has to be predictable. What does that mean? No clue.

Overall, I'm thinking this will probably be a good experience. First, I dont' have to share the cool stuff with other students. There aren't even any residents or med students or RT students etc, so nurses there get to make more of the decisions. That I find awesome, and forward thinking. Second, they are also going to be implementing a full version of the computer system for computer charting, not just the some-paper and some-computer method they use now.

I'll post more about my first few days later. For now, I need to get ready for another shift!

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