Friday, May 25, 2012

Orientation of a New Nurse Hire

I oriented a new hire today.  She was great.  She is many years my senior and has been working in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) for the last 15 years.  She was hired part-time (no full-time nurse has been hired since I was last year) and she will see how she likes psychiatry in contemplation of leaving the ICU.  She said that the ICU is very demanding and she would like to take it easy.  I assured her that psychiatric nursing is not physically demanding, but some nurses are put off by the clientele and the fighting.  She was very professional and thanked me genuinely for my insight.  I didn't overburden her with rote facts, figuring that she won't remember an onslaught of information.  I didn't lecture her on basics of nursing, which nurses (and non-nurses) love to do to me.  I made her aware of what I call "pitfalls" unique to the facility, such as patients getting back into the medication line and insisting that you did not give them medication, while you frantically try to recall which other patient received the wrong medication.

Another nurse told me a while back that I would enjoy the ICU.  I told her that it seemed like too much work and too much responsibility.  She said that I would excel because the amount of skill and knowledge required to stay in the ICU means that I would not be working with nurses who ask me gems such as, "What are electrolytes and why do you pick on patients who haven't balanced them?"

I hope that they hire more professionally-minded nurses (and weed out the others).

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