New to Cardiac Nursing...pep talk needed :)

  1. I graduated in December and took a job in LTC...loved the elderly, hated all of the lazy nurses and staff around me. About 3 weeks ago I accepted a job working in in Progressive Care Unit in a Heart Hospital and have began training on the floor with a preceptor. It is a CRAZY unit with very sick people...a bit overwhelming. I have begun to question whether or not I am going to make it I have always been an over achiever, graduated in the top of my class in school, married, kids to take care (one has epilepsy and autism)...I have always managed well. I know that if I put my mind to it I can do it, but I am completely overwhelmed by everything right now. I will get 12 weeks of orientation (with a preceptor by my side). Any advice or pep talks would be greatly appreciated!!!
  2. Visit skyandsydneysmom profile page

    About skyandsydneysmom

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 59; Likes: 35
    Cardiac Nurse; from US
    Specialty: LTC, Alzheimer's patients,Cardiac


  3. by   chebre62
    Everyone is overwhelmed in the beginning. Take a deep breath. It's nice that you have a long orientation (at my hospital it's two weeks, even for new grads).

    During your orientation, find out who else is a good resource. Knowing who your resources are is the best advice I can give.

    Forgive yourself for not knowing everything, but continue to study. I used to jot down notes at the end of the shift of the things that I needed to look up and would before going in the next shift. Ask the docs questions when the MD's look like they have the time.

    Good luck!
  4. by   groovy jeff
    it gets easier and don't expect to get comfortable for several months; there is just to much to learn in 12 weeks. if you do not feel comfortable about going on your own after 12 weeks, talk to your director of the unit and see if you can get a couple more weeks. listen to the others around you; if you trust your preceptor and they tell you that you are ready, go with it.
  5. by   skyandsydneysmom
    Thank you for your words of encouragement...I appreciate your thoughts!
  6. by   BSN 2 B
    Take a deep breath and relax. You will feel more competent as time goes on. And when it finally clicks...and it will be comfortable. But remember you cannot know everything and do not act like you do. Stay humble and absorb as much as you can from your preceptor.
  7. by   Carefreeliving
    Look around on your unit. There should be tons of resources available at your finger tips. If you have a smart phone, you can download tons of nurse resources and have that at your disposal as well. I agree with the above post; look for those nurses who are so willing to help/teach and seek those out in your times of need. I always have a go-to person for times that I want a second opinion.

    Give it some time. Soon enough you'll develop the confidence and skills that will make you a great nurse.
  8. by   ukgingernut
    I too am a new nurse (just over a year), I have found that my co workers are my best resource. If you make a point of being their to help them out when they need it, you will soon become a part of the team. It doesn't take long to figure out which ones like to teach, listen, observe and show them that you value their experience and knowledge. You will soon be teaching others.
  9. by   CraftyStarr
    I, too, took my first job out of school on a very busy PCU. We have cardiac folks (mostly post-CABG) but we also get the lungs as well (mostly thoracotomy). Since we are the only PCU in the hospital, we also get the semi-critical neuro pts, respiratory pts (only long-term vents), and any other appropriate PCU pts in the hospital. They have also determined that, d/t our nurse/pt ratios, the very difficult med/surg pts are somehow appropriate for our floor...bring on the sundowners that pull at everything!!

    Stick with it! I am only a few weeks away from my 1-year anniversary, and things are so different now than when I started. The amount that you will learn in your job is astounding!! The PCU is a great place for a new grad who is excited to learn and to work hard. Here are my tips for being a new grad PCU nurse:

    -Learn how to manage the emotional aspects of stress. I have done a terrible job with this and have gained 10 lbs from stress eating.
    -Learn to ask for help...your co-workers are your best resources.
    -Never be afraid to call doctors. I would rather have a doctor yell at me for waking him up at 3 am for nothing than have a doctor call me for not notifying him of something that was serious.
    -Learn to prioritize and learn to say "I will take care of it as soon as I can, but I have a critical situation right now."
    -Take advantage of learning moments. I always try to take the time to listen to those that are willing to teach me, especially our cardiologists.
    -Try to learn short cuts from your fellow nurses, but make sure that those short cuts don't place your pts in danger.
    -Learn to laugh (or cry) to try to release stress (instead of yelling at your coworkers, I mean). You are not super-woman and we all lose it sometimes.

    Good luck! You're going to do great!!
  10. by   chebre62
    This is a great line
    -Learn to prioritize and learn to say "I will take care of it as soon as I can, but I have a critical situation right now."
    My version is "The good news is that you are stable. The bad news is that you are stable and that means that you will have to wait while I (or MD) work with those that are unstable."
  11. by   JisforJanet
    give yourself 6 mos after you are off orientation. It takes that long to start to feel comfortable especially since this is a new area of nursing for you. Keep educating yourself, keep notes, and line up nurses you trust on the shifts u will be working that you can ask questions or have them be sounding boards for you. Good luck. I am sure you are going to be a great asset to that team
  12. by   lth1481
    I am not a cardic nurse. I am not a new nurse. I have always worked in labor and delivery or antepartum but lately have been loaned out to postpartum some. I learned years ago from a girl who had been in a cardiac nurse for about ten years and them moved to labor and delivery....The hell I know is ALWAYS better than the Hell I don't know. She swore cardiac was easier than L&D. I knew she had to be wrong but then she said I only felt that way because I had worked L&D so long I knew it all. I assure you we all continue to learn. Some of us are better at acting cool and less bothered by our surroundings. You will get the hang of it and it won't be totally overwhelming after a few months. In the mean time take up meditation. I find yoga and meditation does wonders.
    good luck.
  13. by   pchs052010
    I work at cardiac PCU too. It is important for you to be forgiving and patient to yourself. It will take time to learn some things. Persistence is a must in our field. Good luck!
  14. by   skyandsydneysmom
    Thanks to everyone for your advice! This has been a very stressful experience and all the advice is very helpful