EP 81: 6 Tips for Your First Day Off Orientation

6 Tips for Your First Day Off Orientation

It’s your first day off orientation! So, you’ve been oriented for at least 13 weeks now. What next? You have your first day alone. It’s going to be scary, and the fear isn’t to go away until about six months after your first day. 

How to Make it Through Your 1st Day Off orientation

  • It won’t be perfect
  • Stay organized
  • Get a good report
  • Know where the supplies are
  • Always look up your meds
  • Keep asking questions

It won’t be perfect.

It’s your first day by yourself. No one expects you to know everything and do everything. The critical thing you are responsible for is the patient’s stability. You need to recognize a change in your patient’s status; your recognition will make or break your shift. 

Stay organized.

Staying organized will keep you busy and on task. The good idea is to write out everything you need to do. Make a checklist of things that need to be completed; assessment, labs, meds, and upcoming orders. A list is also beneficial when your patient isn’t doing well because it will help you prioritize and stay on task. Make sure you have one handy.

Get a good report.

Your best resource will be the nurse that had your patient until he/she goes home. Many new nurses are afraid of asking questions because they don’t want to look dumb; you aren’t dumb; you’re just trying to get a good report. Ask what you are unsure about. In my case, I didn’t, and the nurse didn’t bring up the IV site. I didn’t want to be that nurse, so I got in trouble with a patient without an IV. It also delayed my transfer of the patient to the PCU. 

Know where the supplies are.

Knowing what is located in the supply room will save a lot of time and frustration. There have been times when it felt like I was in the supply room for hours and still hadn’t found what I needed. It also makes you more efficient during emergencies. 

Always look up the meds. 

A handful of times, I was rushed and stumped by a patient asking what a medication does. It takes up more of your time by having to go back and forth. It’s also dangerous when a med can impact a patient’s vital signs. Know what you are giving for the safety of your patient. 

Keep asking questions.

No one knows everything. Always ask questions when you aren’t sure. Adverse reactions can be avoided just by simply asking questions. 

Learn to be prepared after your orientation by watching the full episode here 👇👇👇

TIMESTAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:34 Today’s episode
02:16 Orientation as New Grad vs. as a Travel Nurse
04:03 Metabolic Age
07:00 First Day Off
08:17 Be detail-oriented about your patient
08:46 Stay organized
16:57 Get a good report
23:56 Know where the supplies are
28:09 Always know the meds that you’re giving
34:44 First Patient Death
39:39 Keep asking questions
43:17 Wrapping up the show
43:56 Updates on the merch, website, etc.
44:55 Recap
46:06 End of show

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