To begin, please don’t worry if you haven’t mastered many hands-on skills. Honestly, you’ll have the opportunity to practice on the floor. Here is a small list of things someone orientating you may expect:
The current global healthcare crisis has intensified and destabilized the context within which our newest practitioners are transitioning from school to work. This rapid and dramatic shift in need and expectation is overwhelming many workplaces and placing unprecedented pressure on frontline practitioners. While new nurses willingly join the front lines to support patient care during these critical times, they face additional challenges as they are entering this unusually challenging workplace as fully responsible and accountable practitioners for the first time. The practicing nurses upon which the new nurses depend for collegial support and clinical knowledge transfer are stressed and excessively burdened by heightened workplace expectations and the daily witnessing of trauma both professionally and in their own personal lives. We want to minimize the anticipated long-term risks that can come from traumatic transitions. New graduates need to be directed to support tools. Fortunately, you are in the right place! Nursing the Future is an initiative that serves as a support network for newly graduated nurses moving into professional practice for the first time.
It takes at least 6 months to find your sea legs as a new nurse!!! Initial integration into practice TAKES practice – find a SAFE ENVIRONMENT to practice your fundamentals so that within the first few months you can ‘lift your gaze’ beyond WHAT you are doing to explaining WHY you are doing it – don’t expect yourself to be thinking too much about WHY you are doing what you are doing for at least the first 4 months, particularly if there are many new situations to which you are being exposed and expected to respond as a nurse. Your primary goal in the initial stage of transition will be to get to know the people you work with, understand the policies, procedures, understand what you have for resources and where they are, figure out what is expected of you and learn to fulfill your roles and responsibilities ‘without killing someone’
Shift differential is the extra compensation an employee receives for hours worked outside of 08:00 (8:00 am) to 17:00 (5:00 pm), Monday through Sunday. Some healthcare facilities operate 24/7, 365 days a year, and need to staff their locations beyond regular day shift hours adequately. Many hospitals pay a premium for working nights and weekends.You may also receive additional pay when taking on extra responsibility such as being a charge nurse.
Depending on the position you were hired into, you could be considered full-time equivalent (FTE) or part-time equivalent (PTE). Other types of employment are permanent, temporary, and casual. There are benefits to all types of employment depending on your life circumstances.
Professionalism in nursing is complex. Often understood as an individual’s adherence to a set of standards, code of conduct or collection of qualities that characterize ‘best’ practice (aka evidence-based) within a particular area of activity, professionalism also speaks to the behavior undertaken while enacting skills and knowledge. Being professional means you fully understand your role as a caregiver on an interprofessional health care team and that you appreciate how your actions influence the health care experience of both the client and your colleagues.
“If you didn’t chart it, it didn’t happen” - you’ve probably heard this statement many times by now. Well, it’s TRUE. If there was ever a time where the details related to specific client situations were important, it’s NOW. Your charting will most definitely be examined to help piece things together should anything related to your patient become an issue.Let’s review a few charting tips:
𝐅𝐎𝐂𝐔𝐒 - the subject/purpose of the note (e.g. acute change in LOC);
𝐃𝐀𝐓𝐀 - a narrative that contains subjective & objective information;
𝐀𝐂𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 - what did you do about the above findings? This is where you document your intervention (e.g. notified doctor, administered analgesic);
𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐏𝐎𝐍𝐒𝐄 - how did the patient respond to your action?
As a student or staff member, your orientation to the unit will include a manager or clinical coordinator that you can ask questions of prior to entering the area, including finding out which cultural communities are served by the area you are working in. Alternatively, you can speak to the staff you work with and ask questions about embedding respectful cultural knowledge (including local language) in your practice. For some areas, there will be staff orientation material created for the purpose of increasing cultural safety for communities who you are about to engage with. It is worth spending some time researching the area you are entering, noting the peoples and history whose traditional lands you are working on. As well, humbling yourself when working with Indigenous cultures (or any culture) is always appropriate – ask THEM to ‘teach’ you some words that would help you help them. Keep a book of culturally appropriate language phonetics to assist you to remember. Ask anyone with whom you are culturally unfamiliar if there are traditions or practices that you could include in their care.
This is a great question and a very difficult decision to make. At the end of the day, regardless of what you have heard about the French version of the NCLEX, it is a good idea to write it in the language you are most comfortable in. Once you decide, don’t think about ‘what if’ and continue to use available resources in the language you have chosen.
All nurses in Canada are protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act (the Act). Within the Act, harassment is defined as “improper conduct by an individual, that is directed at and offensive to another individual in the workplace.” Offensive conduct includes discriminatory acts, comments, and displays. As such, a patient/client making racialized comments towards a nurse is considered harassment.
The Act states that the conduct must be repetitive in order to be considered harassment. This means that the patient/client makes a racialized comment more than once. If you have asked a patient/client to NOT make racialized comments and they continue to do so, it is your right to refuse care. That being said, a single act of racism can be considered harassment if it is so severe that the nurse is significantly impacted for a longer period.
In addition to the Act, nurses in Canada are covered under the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations. These regulations protect workers by outlining what is considered a “work place,” further defining acts of harassment, and your employer’s obligations to ensuring a psychologically safe work place.
If you encounter a patient making racialized comments, the first step is to approach your nursing supervisor to discuss changing your patient/client assignment. Other people that you can reach out to as resources include your local nursing union and regulatory body.