Balloon pump blues

  1. Please don't laugh. Have attended the balloon pump class twice, the first time months before I switched to the CICU from the cardiac stepdown unit. The second time was while I was on orientation, 3 months ago. I had several pt's on balloon pumps during orientation. However, since being off orientation, I have not had one pt on a balloon pump. (Actually, it's feast or famine around the unit--sure this happens everywhere--we run in cycles of EVERYONE [it seems] being on a balloon pump or SwanGanz, then zilch for weeks.) Now I feel I have forgotten everything (don't use it, lose it), even though I have my notes, my handy reference booklet, and a 5 by 8 notecard I carry around at all times. I swear, all I seem to remember is "fiddle to the middle."! Please help!!! Guess it's just the machinery that frightens me. Understand the basics, just afraid to touch the machine!!!! Please don't get me wrong, LOVE to learn new things (this is why I transferred to the unit) and love challenges. Just lacking confidence right now.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan
    You'll be fine!! Just keep the timing on auto to start Remember there is always that 1-800 number on the back of the machine, for your rep, someone is available 24/7 for assistance. We used to have the pt come out from OHS w/iabp, and it was always frustrating to have to do so many things at once, so many cooks in the pot, docs, anesthesia, etc, all playing with my timing. All I can say is that the hemodynamic effects of iabp changes in timing are seen immediately if something is not right, and if a pt is very unstable, you can see improvement in CO and SVO2 almost immediately also.

    I have experienced 2 balloon ruptures, that was the most dramatic thing that ever happened. IN both cases we shut off the balloon stat , clamped the helium line, and got an MD Stat!! In that month we had 7 balloon ruptures, the balloons were eventually recalled. Lots of cardiac arrests while on balloon, the new balloons keep timing right along with your cpr, so not a problem.

    Haven't touched a balloon in about six months myself, but we did sooooo many, I feel like I could walk in a manage it now if needed. You will get there too.

    One of my cardiac nurse friends refers to CT ICU nursing as "cookbook" nursing, you need only follow the recipe. So keep your timing card available, and follow that recipe!!
  4. by   VickyRN
    Thanks, Hoolahan! Your wisdom and expertise just amaze me. Thank you for all you've shared in this and other forums--haven't told you so, but your posts have been an enormous help. !!
  5. by   tlmagraw2
    healing touch: some things i learned during my orientation to icu
    A. don't panic
    B. there is always someone there who can help you because they have a lot more experience than you.
    C. don't be afraid to ask for help
    teri
  6. by   tlmagraw2
    healing touch: some things i learned during my orientation to icu
    A. don't panic
    B. there is always someone there who can help you because they have a lot more experience than you.
    teri

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