Hints/Tips for a Student on a Cardiac Floor

  1. I have my first med/surg rotation coming up (I have done assessments in LTC and Mother/Infant) and I got placed on a cardiac floor (not an ICU or step-down). I was just wondering what types of conditions/patients I should expect? I would like to do some research on them. What types of procedures are typically done by nurses on these type floors? What common meds are given? I would just like to be extra-prepared since our course portion will be focused on med/surg and we don't get to cardiac until later in the quarter. Thanks! :redpinkhe
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    About foreverLaur

    Joined: Oct '07; Posts: 1,327; Likes: 425
    Clinical Research Coordinator, Oncology; from US


  3. by   nursej22
    Many of our patients have co-morbidities in addition to their cardiac issues, so I would advise you to be up on diabetes, COPD, GI as well care of the elderly.
    But as to cardiac conditions, expect to see CAD, CHF, dysrrythmia problems and valvular disease. I would suggest you review cardiac A&P and chest sounds (lungs & heart).
    My floor doesn't see a lot of actual procedures on the floor except for the occasional cardioversion. But, we do lots of teaching: diet, activity, meds, smoking cessation.
    And what meds do we give? Don't want to be too specific here, but main classes include anti-hypertensives, anti-arrythmics, anti-coagulants, lipid-lowering drugs and diuretics.
    Best wishes,
  4. by   anh06005
    I agree with the above. I work on a cardiac/stepdown (not sure if everything will overlap) but we deal a lot with MI (possible or diagnosed), CHF, a-fib and/or flutter -- these are the more common reasons someone would be on our floor vs. others. We do cardioversions, get post heart cath and/or stent, and post pacemaker placements. We even get outpatients coming in who will be discharged the same day for a pacemaker generator change or a cardioversion. As far as meds go we give lovenox like it's candy but also other anticoagulants (coumadin, pradaxa). Anti-hypertensives, beta blockers, anti-dysrrhythmics, anti-lipidemics, anti-anginals (nitro, imdur, ranexa), plavix(!!).

    All of that stuff is off the top of my head. Since we are also a stepdown we also get post-thoracic surgeries (wedge resections, lobectomies, VATS, etc) unless they go to our CCU.

    And (again) as the previous poster said they usually are not strictly cardiac patients. We get patients from other floors who came in with pneumonia, UTI, or mental status change when they go into a-fib and need a drip. We also get a lot of the insulin drips too and COPD exacerbations.
  5. by   This Jenn RN
    Be familiar with your cardiac rhythms like A-fib, A-flutter, V-tach, etc. Know the signs and symptoms of an MI or a pt. that is symptomatic from a rhythm other than SR. Take BP and HR BEFORE giving any cardiac or BP meds.
  6. by   on eagles wings
    bump... i'm in the same place right now. any more advice would be great! especially on pacemakers. i find this topic very difficult and would like to know it enough to teach it to my classmates. thanks!!

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