Rotating

I’m in this 3-month-new-RN-rotation-thing at the hospital where I work. It’s a brand new program that started September 29th and will finish on January 2nd. So far, I’ve rotated to acute inpatient psychiatry, urgent care, the spinal cord injury unit., and transitional care. I’ve attended workshops, conferences, rounded with the IV team, worked days, evenings, & nights, will spend a day in detox (as a nurse, not a patient, haha!), and go over to the palliative care unit for a bit. All in all, it’s been a good experience, but I’m kind of ready for it to be over. Just assign me to a unit, tell me where I’m going to be, and let me get settled, you know?

You see, it’s hard to really get the hang of a floor when you’re only there for 4 weeks (or in some cases, only 2 weeks). The other issue that I’ve had is that my assigned preceptor isn’t always there. For instance, on my current rotation, my preceptor will be off for 2 out of the 4 weeks that I’m here. That’s fine, but I’m kind of being shuffled around. I don’t care who I work with – just give me a schedule, and let me go.

But that complicates things, too. You work with someone, get to know them, they know your abilities, strengths + weaknesses, etc…. and then you shift to someone else and start the process anew. I constantly find myself saying “I’ll do that”, only to have the new preceptor look uncomfortable and tell me that she’d rather do it and have me watch. This just makes more work for everyone, because I’m standing around watching while the preceptor could be off doing something else. I try to offset this somewhat by telling my preceptor at the start of shift where I’ve worked, what I’m comfortable doing, and the things with which I’m proficient. However, that doesn’t always work 🙂

I understand their position, though. I really do. If I’d been working at a hospital for years and years when suddenly a new rotation program is created, and all I really knew was that the participants are newly graduated RNs, and then I got one of these brand new “Baby RNs” as an orientee, well… I’d be reluctant to trust their skills just yet, too. My preceptors don’t know me, they don’t know my abilities, and ultimately, they’re responsible for the patients I’m caring for. And let’s face it – as a new RN, there’s still a lot that I don’t know! I just have to keep being patient, keep offering over and over (and over) again to do things, till finally they trust me enough to let me go.
There’s also the whole being-grateful-for-a-job issue. I am very grateful for this job and know that there’s probably 20 RNs lined up, ready and willing to take my job in a heartbeat if I were to decide that I don’t want it. This part of the country is not a good spot for RNs, particularly new grads. Several area hospitals have cut their workforce by 10 percent, and where do you think the majority of the cuts are done? Nursing, of course. Nursing makes up the biggest budget for any hospital. So when money gets tight, Nursing is the typically the first place that gets looked at and feels the pain of an economic downturn.
I’m very happy with where I work – I like the people, enjoy getting a paycheck (who doesn’t?), like the challenge and the eustress associated with learning new skills and sharpening ones already learned. And then there’s the patients. I love working with them, and I love being a nurse! I’d just like to have things a bit more settled 🙂

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