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Any suggestions or tips on adapting to a large ED unit that is computerized?

Thursday February 14, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I have six years of nursing experience with a year and a half in the ED. It was an emergency stroke center with 26 beds and paper documentation. I relocated and accepted a job in a 37-bed trauma ED, where it's all computerized documentation. Physicians enter orders in the computer and there is very minimal verbal communication.

I now find myself needing to re-educate myself on time management and adjust to communicating via computer. My preceptors time my assessments and documentation and say I’m taking too long. My manager says she's worried about my length of time in orientation, but I want to learn and grow as an ED nurse. I gave up a lot to take this position. I know time is money in the ED, but I want to be safe and provide proper care. Any suggestions or tips on adapting to a larger unit that's computerized?

Having Trouble Adjusting

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Having Trouble Adjusting,

There are several things you can do to shorten your learning curve. The easiest might be to approach a friendly competent co-worker — other than your preceptor — to ask for some tips, advice and support. If you find the right person, someone who might be willing to talk to you outside of work as well as during work — that could help a great deal.

Look for a mentor. This can be someone in or outside of your current place of employment and is different from a preceptor. Read “In search of the right mentor” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Right-mentor).

Also participate in your local chapter of the Emergency Nurses Association (www.ena.org ). Join if you are not already a member. Attend meetings and serve on a committee. This is a good way to find a mentor, get support from experienced nurses and have a whole network of colleagues to call on for help.

Do all of the above and you should be able to significantly increase your confidence, skills and abilities. Persistence and determination will always win.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.