More strategies to support new employees
WILLMAR -- In the complex, fast-paced environment of a hospital, it's important for new employees to receive training and support at the outset. Rice Memorial Hospital is trying to meet this need through a variety of approaches. Berdelle Ingeman ...
WILLMAR -- In the complex, fast-paced environment of a hospital, it's important for new employees to receive training and support at the outset.
Rice Memorial Hospital is trying to meet this need through a variety of approaches.
Berdelle Ingeman and Karmen Roberg of the hospital's education department said a general orientation is provided for all new employees so that they can be trained in critical issues ranging from confidentiality to infection control.
All newly hired nurses, regardless of whether they're novices or have several years of experience, undergo orientation that's designed specifically for nurses. They're also assigned a preceptor who can work closely with them during their first few weeks on the job at Rice. The length of the preceptorship can be anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on the new nurse's level of previous experience, Ingeman said.
Recognizing that rookie nurses often require additional support and coaching, the hospital has developed a special orientation program for them as well, aimed at helping them integrate clinical skills and theory.
Rice's new mentorship program, which was launched this year, pairs novice nurses with an experienced nurse and mentor. Hospital officials hope to eventually have a hospital-wide mentorship program to support new employees and develop future leaders.
Roberg and Ingeman said a similar approach is taken with student interns who are hired each summer. Each intern -- typically there are five of them -- is assigned a preceptor who rotates shifts with them.
It's a chance for interns to better prepare themselves for the job market. Many of them are eventually hired at Rice when they finish college, Ingeman said.
In 2006, the most recent year for which complete statistics are available, Rice had 878 employees on the payroll. Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses made up just under one-third of the total labor force.
The turnover rate last year for registered nurses was 7.8 percent, while the turnover rate for hospital employees as a whole was 14 percent.