We provide a comprehensive orientation program, including supernumery time on your unit. The program includes an overview of St Vincent’s, the GNP, personnel and departments, as well as tutorials and practical sessions on: medication administration, documentation, move smart training, basic life support, venepuncture and how to use our pumps and equipment.
Orientation manuals/worksheets and learning packages
Prior to the commencement of the GNP you will receive a comprehensive orientation manual specific to your first rotation incorporating information such as common patient conditions and procedures, ward routines, local protocols, admission checklists, common abbreviations, 10 most frequent medications, and handover guidelines. Many areas also provide additional worksheets or learning packages to further assist new Graduates orientate to the unit.
Each Graduate is assigned a Preceptor for both rotations. Many Preceptors are Grade 2 nurses whose experience of being a Graduate is still fresh in their memories and who have attended training to consolidate their learning in the roles and responsibilities of preceptorship. Your Preceptor will assist in your orientation to the health service and clinical area, support your development as a nurse, and provide feedback on your progress. We encourage you to roster yourself with your Preceptor as often as possible.
Graduate Rostering Guidelines
These guidelines facilitate the transition of newly graduated nurses into the role of a practicing Registered Nurse. It is recognised that for most Graduates this will be the first time they have worked full time with rotating shifts. The guidelines aim to reduce the potential for stress and associated sick leave, and ensure that Graduates receive fair and equitable rosters. The recommended guidelines cover issues such as minimum number of shifts to work with a Preceptor, maximum number of days to work in a row and maximum number of weeks of night duty per rotation.
Graduate Nurse Coordinator (GNC)
The GNC is responsible for the overall running of the GNP, including recruitment and selection for the GNP, allocation of rotations, facilitation of study days, ensuring completion of competencies and performance development discussions tools, providing support and being a resource for all Graduates.
Practice Development Nurse (PDN) - Graduates
The Practice Development Nurses are dedicated to providing clinical support to Graduate Nurses. There are few undergraduate nurses who would have had the opportunity to complete every clinical task. Consequently, our PDN’s are available to assist you with many clinical skills. For example ECGs, venepuncture, wound dressings, management of drains and access devices to admission and discharge planning. There is no need to worry if you are receiving a patient from ICU or theatre; the PDN’s are there to support you. If you ever need to talk about your day just contact the PDN who will keep your discussions confidential. The PDN is never far away. All you need to do is call.
The nursing teams are made up of Graduate Nurses, junior and senior Grade 2 Registered Nurses, Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS), Associate Nurse Unit Managers (ANUM) and a Nurse Unit Manager (NUM). Due to the culture and nature of St Vincent’s all members of the nursing team are expected to provide support to one another and work interdependently. On days when you are not working with your Preceptor, many other members of staff are available if you require assistance.
Graduates prove to be one of the most valuable support networks for other Graduates and with over 100 Graduates across St Vincent’s, one is never very far away! Most clinical areas have more than one Graduate and we also provide opportunities for you to catch up with one another both professionally and socially.
Practice Development Nurse/Clinical Nurse Educators
There are a number of Practice Development Nurses and Clinical Nurse Educators working within the many clinical environments across the Health Service. They are available to assist with professional development, provide support and act as a local resource for all levels of nursing staff.
Graduate Support Meetings
We encourage graduates to attend these regular, informal and confidential meetings. It is an opportunity for graduates to catch up, debrief and support one another. Graduate Support Meetings are facilitated by the Practice Development Nurse or GNC who can assist to resolve any issues if they arise and allows for information to be disseminated.
STAR – Support Team Action Response
STAR is our critical incident stress management peer support program where trained colleagues can help staff deal with reactions to stressful events. They are available 24 hours a day to assist staff to deal with stress in the workplace. STAR can provide information and referrals, support on a one-to-one basis and facilitate team debriefing sessions e.g. post the death of a patient. The STAR Coordinator facilitates sessions for the GNP throughout the year in which Graduates attend.
Employee Assistance Program
The EAP (Access Counselling) is a confidential service free to all staff and their immediate families who may require assistance dealing with personal, family or work issues. Qualified counsellors can assist staff and family members to identify problems and find ways to resolve them.
Nurse Education Coordinators (NEC) /Clinical Nurse Educators (CNE)
There are 25 local Nurse Education Coordinators / Clinical Nurse Educators across the 2 clinical areas at St Vincent's who assist with professional development, provide support and are a resource for all levels of nursing staff. They have a special focus in providing support, guidance, and education to graduate nurses. Each of the NECs/Clinical Educators have allocated departments they are responsible for, and every graduate has a contact NEC/CNE as well as the Graduate Nurse Coordinator.
You will work closely with many members of the multidisciplinary team during the year including medical staff, physiotherapists, dieticians, pharmacists, occupational and speech therapists. They will be conscious of the stressful nature of beginning employment in a new workplace and aware that you will be unfamiliar with some of their roles and how to make referrals. You will find all staff, not just the nurses, friendly and willing to help you ‘learn the ropes’.
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