Starting a new job is standard for any profession, and the same holds for nursing. Nurses who stay with one company for the entirety of their tenure are rare. In changing specialties, nurses must understand the various red flags to be aware of. Now, some things that appear to be red flags are not. They are more like yellow flags.
In this blog post, we will explore the following categories of red flags:
- Lack of orientation
- Drama and complaining by the preceptor
- Older nurses eating their young
- Lack of staff committee
- Work a shift you weren’t promised
- Hiring manager and director are new
- Holiday draw
- Seniority scheduling
Lack of Orientation – Red flag
As with any job, having an orientation is a critical part of getting acclimated to a profession. Though nurses should be competent when they start a new job, many things don’t overlap between the various nursing companies. Therefore, it’s a major red flag if the facility doesn’t provide ample training or orientation.
Most orientations last at least a couple of days, if not weeks. If you start a new job and realize that the orientation is literally showing you a tour of the building, then it may suggest that the operation is poorly run.
Drama and complaining by the preceptor – Red flag
Many times, when you work with the preceptor, they will put on a mask to make the job seem appealing. Many preceptors are excellent teachers and will help you advance in your career. It’s a fast-paced and traumatic profession that requires staff members to practice honesty and openness.
Preceptors that perpetuate drama and complain a lot can create real issues for the rest of the staff. You may want to believe that it is only one person, but that one person can impact the entire company. It is that simple. Pay attention to the way the preceptor handles things, and it will give you a good idea of how the company is run and the culture is.
Older nurses eating their young – Red flag
There’s a common saying in the nursing industry that “older nurses eat their young,” which means that veteran nurses often treat younger nurses with disdain and test them a bit before giving them a worthy shot.
Now, this can come with the territory; however, be alert as to how much this is going on. If you feel that it’s bordering on harassment, the work environment might not be a good facilitator for your success.
Lack of a staff committee – Red flag
Nurses need to feel like they are seen and heard and that their ideas–based on experience–are taken seriously by the administration. Suppose there’s not a staff committee dedicated to allowing nurses to introduce initiatives then you have to wonder if it’s the right place for you. Even if the company does have a committee, if it’s not active, that’s a bad sign.
Working a shift you weren’t promised – Red flag
Sometimes nurses end up working different shifts than they were promised. This can frustrate the nurse and make them feel duped when signing up for the job. Additionally, sometimes nurses end up working different roles than they were promised to work. This is a no. Full stop. Nurses need to work within their specialties and explore the skills that bring out the best in them.
The hiring manager and director are new – Red flag
If a nurse shows up to the interview and finds out that the hiring manager and director have only been in the position for about three months, that is a major red flag. It implies that there is a lot of turnovers at the facility and that you should be cautious.
Holiday draw – Yellow flag
Every new nurse is going to have to work the holiday shift. That’s just the reality of things. Now, once the nurse gains experience, they can eventually stop working holidays, but they will work the holiday shift for the beginning of their tenure. Nurses shouldn’t worry if they work that shift. It’s customary and isn’t abuse or personal.
Seniority scheduling – Yellow flag
Nurses who have held a position longer than you will often have better shifts than you. That said, it shouldn’t be considered a red flag. Allowing senior nurses to work better shifts rewards those who have worked for a while and shown loyalty.
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