Starting a new nursing assignment can be stressful and overwhelming. Even for the most experienced nurses. Policies and procedures can vary wildly from one nursing unit to the next. Learning essential patient care resources can be challenging.
Seek out tasks and skills in your new nursing assignment.
It’s important that you get as much hands-on experience during orientation time so you no longer have a preceptor. You will be able to independently perform the duties of your role. There’s a great way to ensure you get maximum exposure to skills and tasks. You can then help nurses on the unit as well as your preceptor. The more you do during your orientation the better you will perform on your own.
Ask questions that go beyond the call of duty.
Seeking out clarification when you do not fully understand something is one of the most important things you can do. Have a preceptor to help guide you to the answers you seek. We recommend asking questions that go beyond daily responsibilities. Search for a deeper understanding of the big picture. Understanding the rationales behind why certain wound care supplies are used versus others that you may be more familiar with. This allows you to learn and grow your expertise. When in doubt, seek it out!
Establish a feedback schedule with your preceptor and manager.
It is important for you to receive regular and structured feedback regarding your performance during your orientation. Generally, this is done with both your preceptor as well as your direct supervisor or nurse manager. Ask questions to clarify your role or area of work and be ready for them to share observations regarding your performance level, strengths, and areas for improvement.
Don’t be afraid to provide constructive feedback to your preceptor and manager about their performance as well. If you’re not getting what you need from your assignment, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Find a method of staying organized.
Good organization is key to keeping everything in order during orientation and beyond.
There will be new information in a short period of time as you start your new nursing assignment making it necessary to stay organized.
- Create folders to keep important documents safe and readily available.
- Use electronic calendars for scheduling and create step-by-step guides to facilitate your learning.
- Keep essential nursing equipment and tools in a designated bag or your facility provided locker. This includes stethoscope, scissors, pens, markers, etc.
Staying organized will help you learn more efficiently and will help to reduce the stress of an overwhelming orientation.
Remain professional and positive on the job at all times.
You must remain positive and professional at all times. Your first few days in your new assignment are critical in making a good impression. Be sure to smile, introduce yourself, and get to know other nurses and doctors you’ll be working with. Forming strong working relationships early on will help you ease into your new role. Then you’ll establish a good team you can depend on when needing help.