Table 4 and Chart 4 gives a clear picture of the number of nursing graduates who undergo a formal education program so as to ensure that they are really prepared to practice what they have learned in school. The length of these programs however varies, as shown by both Table 5 and Chart 5. However, one must remember that although majority of the nursing graduates undergo this particular kind of orientation programs, there are still those who do not. This is because most hospitals tend to look into the previous experiences of their new nurses as nursing aids.
Hence, they feel like the new nurses are already acquainted with the processes related to nursing. This finding is supported by the following statements from the respondents of this study: (1)” I did not undergo a Formal Orientation Program because I had worked there as an LPN. ” (2) “No, because I had worked at this hospital as an LPN and I guess they thought I could just ‘jump’ in. ” (3) “No, I worked there as an aid so I guess they thought I knew what to do. ”
On the other hand, the results of the focused interview revealed that the length of a formal orientation program of a certain number of respondents had been reduced due to unforeseen problems such as short staffing. Thus, one could see that hospitals do hire nurses who may not have had enough training just because they are short staffed and they are in need of many nurses to cater to the needs of their patients. This finding is supported by the following statements from the respondents: (1) “I was supposed to receive 2 months working with an experienced RN.
It worked out that I only got a month and a half because one night, when I came in, they were short staffed so I had to function as a regular RN. ” (2) “I was supposed to receive four months working with an experienced RN. It worked out that I only got a month and a half because my preceptor got sick. So I was thrown out on my own. ” (3) “I was supposed to receive 6 months but only got 2 because of short staffing. ” In the same manner, the respondents also recognize the importance of having mentors to guide them as soon as they got off the formal orientation program.
As shown in both Table and Chart 7, only a few of the respondents had been provided with mentors upon the completion of their orientation program. It is because of this that the respondents had a hard time in coping with the challenges brought about by their transition into practice especially during their first days on the job. One respondent notes, “If I could change one thing it would be … Also, maybe a mentor for the first year you work. Someone that can help you through the hard times. ” Without a doubt, the nurses are well aware of what their job entails.
Together with the doctors, they will be handling patients and the safety of the latter is also in their hands. As a result, they are always afraid of making mistakes that would harm their patients. Thus, all of the respondents in this study recognize the importance of having a mentor who could guide them in their jobs. It is through this mentors that they will learn the experience they never learned in their nursing schools. Factors Affecting the Increase in Nursing Expertise since Starting Working
As shown in Table 10 and Chart 10, almost all the respondents said that their nursing expertise increased as soon as they started working in the hospital. These findings are supported by the statements of the different respondents: (1) “I now have a routine down much better. ” (2) “I’m much better at assessment that I was since I started. I also can recognize what an alteration in assessment means or might mean. ” (3) “I’m more confident with what I can do. ” (4) Yes, my expertise increased. It is just what you get from experience.
” (4)“I have really become much more familiar with meds and understand the risk of giving the wrong thing to a person” (5) “Practice of skills. Viewing different procedures has helped me understand them better. I also understand the connection between lab values and what is going on with the patient. ” (6) “Seeing things on the job that we talked about in school helps me understand why more than just how. Now the pieces just seem to it better. ” There are different factors which influenced the increase in nursing expertise, as reported by the twenty five respondents.
These factors include the following: their daily experience and interaction with patients as well as their colleagues in the health industry. One respondent notes, “learning things from the patient’s. That is, realizing that what you learn in a textbook is not what is out in the real world. I think seeing the body being cut open during surgery also causes a reality shock. Things look a lot different than in a text book. ” Another respondent agrees to this particular statement, “yes in everyway, every patient is a learning experience and I feel like I “store” that experience in my brain for future reference.
” Aside from learning from their everyday experiences with their patients, the nurses, as mentioned, also learn a lot of things from their colleagues in the health industry – doctors and more experienced nurses who they also interact with everyday- for these are the people who help them in dealing with the problematic situations that they face as an essential part of their jobs as nurse. One respondent mentioned: “It (nursing expertise) has and I know that is because I feel I have someone that will help me if I’m in a bind. Also, I am not afraid to ask questions. ”
The respondents also believe that nursing journals also contribute to the increase in knowledge that they are experiencing. As clearly seen in this particular part of the paper, the ways by which the new nurses aim to pursue further studies after graduation is effective as it has significantly contributed to their expansion of knowledge as they move into practice. Expanding their Knowledge: Grasping the concept of Knowing How vs. Knowing Why The acquisition of knowledge from everyday experiences – from interaction with patients and colleagues in the healthcare industry – allows the nurses to move from just knowing how to knowing why.
Basically, it is through this that the new nurses starts to learn how to address their patients’ needs based on the necessary treatment for their condition rather than just adhering to what the books say. In the same way, the nurses now know why a patient needs something rather than simply doing what the doctors or more experienced nurses tell them. These findings are supported by the following statements from this study’s respondents: (1) “I understand more of why a person needs to be watched so closely after surgery. I also know that if I don’t keep an eye on someone’s urinary output, they are headed for trouble.
And not just little trouble. ”(2) “When I was admitting a lady and I just knew that she would be in surgery before the shift was over. It was like I could see in her eyes that she wasn’t really telling me everything. As it turned out, she ended up changing her story and from there I knew that she would need to go to the OR. There was just something about her look. ” (3) “Where I work I have had to learn to predict the course of action the doctor will take. I have had to anticipate what he might need. So, I started reading charts more before the patient came so I had an idea of what was going on.
It has really helped me learn. ” (4) “I at least understand more of what the doctors are talking about. ”(5) “It happened one night when I had a surgical patient that kept on complaining about pain in her stomach. She had had a knee replaced and I though that it just didn’t make any sense. When I listed to her belly, I couldn’t hear anything when I had earlier. I just had a feeling she had an obstruction. She did. I don’t know how I knew…I just did. ” (6) “One night I was taking care of a lady that just didn’t “look” good. I don’t know what it was but I remember one of my nursing instructions saying…”Look at the patient”.
The lady was pale, which wasn’t unusual for her, but she just was the right kind of pale. I took vital signs and nothing was off. So, I just stood there for a while and realized that when she was breathing, her nares were flaring. It dawned on me…listen to her lungs. When I did she was just full of fluid. I called the doc right away and got an order for Lasix. I was really proud of myself that night. ”(7) “I know that for every action there is a reaction. I had a patient that I gave Demerol too and they stopped shivering which meant to me that their metabolic rate would go down.
Yeah, there is a why and a how. ” Age, Gender and Ethnicity: Factors Affecting Professional Competency? This study also aims to discover whether or not one’s age, gender and ethnicity affect the professional competency of a nursing graduate especially in their transition into practice and as they begin to know why instead of knowing just how by merely focusing on tasks. After an extensive analysis of the responses of the participants of the focused interviews, the researcher found out that there is no connection whatsoever between these factors and professional competency.
The age of the respondents do not have anything to do with their professional competency. True enough, the ages of the respondents vary, as clearly seen in Table 14 and Chart 14, with the youngest being twenty-five years old and the oldest, fifty-one. It is in the same manner that their professional competency also varies. Nonetheless, this does not mean that those who are older are more competent than the younger ones and vice-versa. This is clearly illustrated by the experiences of two respondents; one is forty-five years old while the other is forty-four years old.
The forty-five year old respondent, when asked whether or not there was a point in her career wherein she felt that her knowledge expanded to understand the concept of how to do something and why to do something, said: “I don’t know. I mean, like I said before I think I still do a lot of ‘tasks. ” On the other hand, the forty-four year old respondent replied: “Yes. One night I was taking care of a lady that just didn’t “look” good. I don’t know what it was but I remember one of my nursing instructions saying…”Look at the patient”. The lady was pale, which wasn’t unusual for her, but she just was the right kind of pale.
I took vital signs and nothing was off. So, I just stood there for a while and realized that when she was breathing, her nares were flaring. It dawned on me…listen to her lungs. When I did she was just full of fluid. I called the doc right away and got an order for Lasix. I was really proud of myself that night. ” This only shows that even though both of them are in their forties, they both have a different experience when it comes to nursing. On the other hand, another respondent in her forties, (forty eight years old to be exact) replied: “I feel I am must starting to develop in this area.
I feel that I understand some things and can’t figure other things out no matter what. I think I need more time. ” The same goes for the ethnicity factor as all the respondents of this study were Caucasians yet had their own views with regard to their professional competency. There are some who feel like they are already well versed with their job as nurses yet there are some who are still adjusting. In the same manner, there are also still some who are thinking twice on whether nursing is really for them.
The respondents of this study were all females yet all of them also had their own share of experiences in the field of nursing that could be use in concluding whether or not they are professionally competent. As a result, one could say that the gender of a nurse does not really affect his or her professional competency and his or her ability to function as a nurse. Just like the examples mentioned above, although there are respondents who claim that they are now more competent that they were before, there are still some who are not and some who are still adjusting.