Rethinking Perianesthesia Orientation

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Purpose:To discover the best orientation method for perianesthesia nurses.Design:Pilot study comparing two approaches to orientation.Methods:Nurses in one group were each assigned to a single preceptor, whom they followed regardless of which of the three distinct areas—the preoperative unit, postanesthesia recovery unit, or Phase II discharge unit—the preceptor was scheduled to work. In the second group, trainees remained in one area, with various preceptors, until proficiency was achieved. All trainees (n = 25) were surveyed.Findings:New registered nurses in the perianesthesia department prefer to remain in a single area until competency is achieved.Conclusions:Perianesthesia nursing has a distinct body of knowledge. Although conventional wisdom suggests that using a single preceptor for nursing orientation leads to better outcomes, our study indicates that allowing orientees to remain in one area until a level of competency is achieved may be more effective.

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