CVICU NP Position

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    I have an upcoming interview for a NP/CNS position in a CVICU with 5 CT surgeons. I am wondering if anyone has any advice or questions that I can ask during the process? Any input would be appreciated!! Also, does anyone know the average salary of this type of hospital position in Chattanooga, TN? Thanks in advance.
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    I previously worked as an NP in CTSICU which I am assuming is similar to the CVICU you will be interviewing in (since you mentioned working with CT surgeons). My first question would be what the NP/CNS role means. I worked in a purely NP role which meant that we managed patients from the surgeon and intensivist stand-point. We took care of fresh heart (CABG, valves, aortic repairs, VAD, heart transplants) and lungs (thoracotomies, pneumonectomies, and lung transplants) by being first call with any post-op issues such as hemodynamic instability and need for boluses or drips, bleeding issues and calling surgeons if take back was necessary, and extubations. For as long as the patient was in the ICU, we also took care of writing PO meds, pulling chest tubes and epicardial pacing wires, consulting PT and OT, and transferring patient out of the ICU. We wrote H&P's, daily progress notes, and procedure notes.

    We did not function in the CNS role in the fact that we were not responsible for providing training to nurses who recover fresh hearts, we did not help with writing nursing related protocols, and we did not ensure that required nursing certifications are up to date with the all the staff nurses. There is a CNS in that role in that unit. We were part of a 24/7 covered service using a group of NP's in combination with General Surgery residents doing their ICU rotation working with an intensivist attending physician. We worked under the Surgical Critical Care service, not CTS, not nursing. It sounds like you will be working with the CT surgeons so I'd be interested in how that delineates with the intensivist role (if there is an intensivist in the unit). So in that sense, I would really find out what your role is and make sure that it is clearly understood by others who are also involved in the care of the patients in the ICU.
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    Thank you for your reply! I know that it will involve taking care of fresh hearts, no transplants, no VADS. There's a Thoracic NP who takes care of patients on that end. There will be no first assisting. They do utilize Intensivists there. It seems like they want someone, in addition to managing patients, to bridge the gap between the nurses, CT surgeons, Intensivists and cardiologists. I go for my interview in a week and a half.
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    Sounds like an awesome opportunity. Good luck on the interview. What I would want to know if I was eyeing this job opportunity is how the role could expand. As someone who worked strictly in the CTSICU as an NP, I often felt that it would be nice if we could also see the patients we had in the ICU on their clinic follow-up after they are discharged. That was impossible in the role I had because I was part of the critical care service, not CTS. You may have an opportunity to have that since it sounds like you will be working under the surgeons. I did learn about placing all sorts of invasive lines really well as part of the critical care service so that was a plus. I also never first assisted but that was not something I was interested in.


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