MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. Experienced nurses who have been hired to work in the OR or ED and are new to the specialties arent left to flounder at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y. Instead, they are invited to participate in an OR or ED Fellowship Program that offers theory and clinical with preceptor and administrator support. Its an ideal way to orient RNs because they learn without being asked to perform in stressful situations, said Cathy Cioffi, RN, ED manager and coordinator of the ED Fellowship Program,
Both programs provide a clinical component, preceded by a didactic portion, which includes a series of computer-based modules, ongoing testing, classroom presentations on specific module topics as they relate to the OR or ED at Northern Westchester, and clinical observation experiences. In the clinical component, nurses work directly with a preceptor and receive preceptor/administrator feedback daily. The two programs have streamlined their requirements to meet the needs and demands of the specialties.From left, Cathy Cioffi, RN, ED manager, collaborates with Michael Zerbo, RN, and Sara LaDuca, RN, recent graduates of the ED Fellowship program at NWH.
About a year ago, Cioffi and Tracey Boyd, RN, critical care instructor, created the first 134-hour ED Fellowship program, based on ENA guidelines and Mosbys Emergency Nursing. Five fellows graduated from the five-month program, and clinical preceptors and supervisors have nothing but positive feedback, Cioffi said. Its a real success story because everyone is learning from one another. The program also includes a day for fellows to remediate, re-test, and review hospital procedures and equipment, and nurses are required to have at least one year of clinical experience before starting.
In February, administrators Dianne Grim, RN, BSN, CNOR, ophthalmology service manager, and Eunice Serton, RN, CNOR, initiated a Periop 101 Program, developed through AORN. After three months, five RNs completed the didactic portion and are rotating through eight specialties in the OR. Our RNs will be competent because they have been given the time to learn, Grim says. Every experience they have builds on another one. Service rotations vary in length, depending on the requirements of the specialty, and students complete the rotations within about eight months.