New cardiac nurse--advice?

  1. 3
    I'm a brand-new RN (yay!), and I just accepted a position on a step-down unit that is almost entirely cardiology. I did lots of clinical hours on the unit during school and I love it (great staff, good patients, etc.), but I'm scared to death about actually being a cardiac nurse! Do you have any favorite websites for reviewing cardiology nursing so I can start studying up? I checked the stickies down below, but the one that's there doesn't seem to be working.
    timmedico, Blanca R, and Joe V like this.
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  3. 19 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    CONGRATS on your new/first job as a RN!

    Sorry, but I don't have any links to cardiology nursing. That being said, it sounds like you know the unit, and are happy with what you've seen there. That should go a LONG way to making you a good nurse, versus accepting a job on a totally unknown unit with unknown staff.

    Accept that you are new and don't know things, ask for help when needed, help your coworkers ("neighbors") when you can.

    Good Luck!
  5. 0
    Congrats on your first job! I started out in CCU and bought the ICU/CCU Made Incredibly Easy pocketguide (2006). It is part of a series made for nurses which also includes Cardiology and EKG Interpretation guides. I think the cardiology one may be useful for you in your new job. I also really liked the EKG guide if you were looking for another resource. Here is the amazon link Amazon.com: Cardiovascular Care Made Incredibly Visual! (Incredibly Easy! Series) (9781608313396): Lippincott: Books
  6. 1
    I have a question for you, on your floor do you do all cardiac drips, such as, lidocaine, dopamine, cardizem, etc.? I am also a cardiac nurse on a step-down unit as well with some med-surg over flow. It can be very intense at times. Remember one important thing is these people can go into fluid over load quick depending on their EF. I've seen flash pulmonary edema and it's scary. I will add more when you answer the question. It's an intense floor the busiest in the hospital but I love the intensity.
    Pneumothorax likes this.
  7. 0
    Our floor does do cardiac drips, but not a ton of them; we're a small, local hospital, so if people have a ton of drips, they tend to go to ICU or transfer to the big, urban hospital in the nearest city. We also don't do any CABGs. However, we do have a fancy, brand-new cath lab, and it seems like the step-down nurses spend a lot of time prepping for cardiac caths and doing post-cath care. Plus there are plenty of MIs and angina/possible MIs for evaluation. I also saw several pulmonary emboli and DVTs while I was doing clinicals there.
  8. 0
    Well I work in a large teaching hospital, we do everything on my floor with the exception of Insulin drips and vents. It's much like an ICU in a small hospital. After the first post-op day or so all CABG patients come to our floor, so we do chest tubes. If I were you I'd concentrate on learning all of your cardiac meds and S&S of what can possibly go wrong. Also, ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR GUT, if you feel a patient looks different or their color is off or anything get help. Ask a lot of questions, you will never get too much info. I learn more and more everyday, fortunately in this type of business you will always be learning new things. Remember you are one person and can only do one thing at a time, if you need help always ask. I always do my own BP's when I give any cardiac meds, remember you have a license to protect. Good luck in your journey, I love my job, I hope you will too. Do you get post op PPM's too? Do they pull sheath's on your floor on some post-op cath patients?
  9. 0
    thank you! we do get post-pacemaker insertions (that's what post-op ppm means, right?), but i've never heard anyone talk about sheaths on cath patients, so i doubt we do that. what is it?
  10. 0
    You need 2 RN's when pulling a sheath in case the patient vagals, then you have to give Atropine IV push. Here is a site you can read about it, it's too complicated to get into on here, plus if I just tell you then you won't be learning.
    http://www.heartsite.com/html/cath_3.html PPM mean permanent pacemaker. Soon you will know so much your head will be spinning, you will learn a great deal working on a cardiac floor, I personally love my job. Good luck and if you should have any more questions feel free to message me.
  11. 1
    Don't over whelm your self but these are some good sites.

    Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) library

    index icufacs.org Talks about meds and ekg's caths etc.
    OnlybyHisgraceRN likes this.
  12. 0
    This is a good website that has info about the heart, ECG, ACLS.
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