Advice for new grad applying to telemetry

  1. 0
    Hey all,

    I just recently graduated with my BSN, and I also am happy to say I have passed my NCLEX. I am currently now in the search for a job. My "dream job" is to work in critical care or an ICU, but I know it's hard to get a job in those areas as a new grad. So, I've been realistic about applying for another position. I just discovered a telemetry position in a city I'm just dyiing to live in. However, I do have some concerns/questions.

    1) My biggest concern is how do I answer the question: Why do you (i.e. me) want to be a telemetry nurse? The honest answer is so I can get my "foot in the door" to transfer to the ICU? I wouldn't say that in an interview right? How could I answer that question appropriately/professionally?

    2) Do telemetry nurses have direct patient contact or is it simply just watching monitors (forgive me for my lack of knowledge of telemetry)?

    I know telemetry would be a GREAT learning experience, and it would help prepare me well for an ICU. I love to learn, and I really want to become an expert with EKGs. I'm also really wanting to become ACLS certified.

    Thanks in advance for any responses!

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  2. 4
    I can only speak about my personal experience and it's been pretty atypical in regard to our facility. It may or may not represent the telemetry world at-large.

    1) I don't know that you'll face the "why" question -- that seems to happen in <30% of interviews in my experience. That said, I strongly discourage people from looking at any position as simply a stepping stone from which they're looking to leave ASAP.

    The reasons for that discouragement include:

    1. you sometimes burn your bridges
    2. it can look really bad on a resume
    3. it can sour the environment for those who come behind you
    4. most significantly - it can leave you bitter and resentful if you're not able to "get out" as quickly as you'd expected.

    That said, we all need to get a start somewhere and our career ambitions frequently change as we become experienced.

    It's really a matter of perspective, I suppose, but I suggest the attitude of "this is the job I'm after and I'm going to throw myself into it full-tilt and not worry about what comes next until this role has run its course."

    To the question of "why," I'd consider responses along the lines of:

    • I'm really interested in cardiac nursing because...
    • Telemetry patients often have so much else going on that I feel like it will be a great learning experience and a role in which I can grow for a long time...
    • I've heard such great things about ___ hospital...
    • There's a lot that goes into the decision but it includes my very strong desire to live in...


    2) The telemetry nurses are not the ones watching the monitor; that's generally the role of the telemetry tech. The nurses are the ones doing the direct patient care (assessment, wound care, meds, ADL assist), rounding with the docs, and charting.

    3) Beginning today, I'd start busting my butt to learn as much about EKGs, rhythm strips, cardiac conditions, and cardiac meds as I could. That knowledge could make/break you in an interview.

    4) No reason to wait on your ACLS cert... I'm sure many of your competitors already have it.
  3. 0
    The advice in the first post is excellent. Telemetry was not my first choice but I was transferred there when my med/surg unit closed and it has been a great learning experience. Most pt.'s have a multitude of other problems in addition to cardiac so you will be connecting all of the dots. It's busy and stressful at times. Learn the common meds and cardiac disorders. Practice reading strips and what they might represent. Good luck with whatever you choose. You might be pleasantly surprised.
  4. 0
    Like you, cardiac was certainly not my first choice, but I ended up accepting a job on a cardiac floor. It was overwhelming at first and I had no idea what I was getting into, but as time goes on you'll be surprised at the things you've learned. We tend to call our unit a "cardiac plus" unit because the patients there very rarely only have cardiac issues. So you not only get the opportunity to care for cardiac patients but you see a lot of other conditions and disease processes as well. And I definitely agree about brushing up on cardiac rhythms, disorders, and drugs. Good luck!
  5. 0
    I work on a cardiac floor as well with hopes to one day move up to ICU. The telemetry part is an excellent to have because in ICU most everyone is on cardiac monitors and you learn a lot about drips and medications. Plus you'll become more familiar with codes. It is a great learning experience for you and will be a great stepping stone to more critical care.
  6. 0
    question to everyone here: so...for a new grad which job would be a good transition out of nursing school?
    1. cardiac telemtry unit
    2. Ortho unit
    3. neur /tele step down unit

    any input is appreciated !! I am willing to learn...although don't want to take too much of a load...just b/c im nervous !
  7. 0
    Quote from bumblebee2010
    question to everyone here: so...for a new grad which job would be a good transition out of nursing school?
    1. cardiac telemtry unit
    2. Ortho unit
    3. neur /tele step down unit

    any input is appreciated !! I am willing to learn...although don't want to take too much of a load...just b/c im nervous !
    These days, pretty much any acute-care job is a great transition out of nursing school (depending on the specifics of any given work environment).

    That said, I'd go in the order of 1 - 3 - 2 though straight med/surg can't be disregarded in any discussion about how best to launch one's clinical career.
  8. 0
    Just a thought. The tele floor you are talking about may float nurses to ICU... Great way to have a taste and make yourself known and may present an opportunity to pick up shifts in the Unit.
  9. 0
    awesome i'll keep it in mind...well i was thinking family nurse practitioner as a future career ........so with taht said i'm thinking cardiac is the best choice to prepare for that?


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