CCU/CICU Interview Prep

  1. Hi there, I'm on my last semester and waiting for a call back for a CICU interview at our local hospital. They do heart transplants among other things.

    A student I talked to has already interviewed there and I guess she got some tough questions. She was asked a question about Digoxin, but she didn't remember what the question was. She was also asked a few more technical questions but she couldn't remember what - mainly because she isn't even interested in cardiac and she just applied for every job she could (she didn't even know what CICU stood for???) ... anyway, I digress... I'm just a little frustrated waiting for my callback ... so I'm calling them in the morning.

    Anyway........ I was wondering what I should brush up on to be strong in the interview. Which meds are used most in CCU/CICU? I think she was asked about complications of a thoracentesis, which isn't a tough one since we've studied it. I've also had exposure to Swans (enough to know what they're used for and how they're used I think). What else should I know before walking into an interview?

    Thanks a lot for any help, I really appreciate it!

    /dak
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   meandragonbrett
    Umm, that's an odd interview for a job. Levophed, Dopamine, Dobutamine, heparin, beta blockers, ACEIs, ARIIbs, calcium channel blockers, Nipride, Cardene, propofol, precedex, various electrolyte boluses, etc. Pretty much everything is used in the unit drug wise.

    As far as the swan....know your normals. Know your abnormals and what they mean. Know how to shoot your numbers (if you don't have CCO swans).

    You might want to review from your medsurg books the sections about recovering hearts, lungs, etc. Care of the IABP, Vents, A-lines, Swans.


    Good luck on your interview!
  4. by   Dakkon76
    Great, thanks for the info on the meds and some other specifics. I got a call this morning to schedule an interview for Wednesday and since it's spring break I should have time to know that info in and out by the time I head in!
  5. by   healingtouchRN
    best wishes! CCU is a great place to learn & spend part of your career. You can't know everything at first. I learn everyday & I've been at this 18+ years!
  6. by   Dakkon76
    Well I had my interview with the CICU supervisor and the nurse educator for the unit. Both of them were really friendly and I think the interview went well. They asked where I turned to for the answer if I didn't know something and I mentioned this forum as one of the places. Said that I asked a bunch of questions on what I should study before going into the interview and I think they were impressed that I came prepared

    I'll know by the 19th, so keep your fingers crossed!! Thanks again for all of your help!
  7. by   meandragonbrett
    Did they ask you clinical questions? If so, did what we gave you here help you to be more prepared? Good luck!
  8. by   healingtouchRN
    That is so great! Being prepared is the first step in showing the manager that you are a planner. Good planning is required to work in an ICU. this not only entails planning for the patient's care but of coordination in care & staffing. My fingers & knees & eyes are crossed for you!!
  9. by   hajer
    i had finshed my interviwe yesterday , & i can tell u the importance of being ready for this kind of intervwes. but for me there was no questions ,the nurse manger for CCU WAS IN GOOD MOOD ,so she kept talking & talking about her unit with out asking me any thing....& when ask me if i have any questions , i said to her that i am already prepared the answers but not the questions....i hope to u all the pest,,,
  10. by   CardioTrans
    Quote from Dakkon76
    Well I had my interview with the CICU supervisor and the nurse educator for the unit. Both of them were really friendly and I think the interview went well. They asked where I turned to for the answer if I didn't know something and I mentioned this forum as one of the places. Said that I asked a bunch of questions on what I should study before going into the interview and I think they were impressed that I came prepared

    I'll know by the 19th, so keep your fingers crossed!! Thanks again for all of your help!
    Great Job!!!!!!!!!!! Let us know!!!
  11. by   Dakkon76
    Ok, so I just have to vent because I'm mad as hell!! I thought my interview went great. I knew what the job was, the types of cases they handled. I told them the things I studied up on... meds, IABP's, VADs, Art lines... they didn't ask me any questions about any of the content but they looked impressed that I'd taken the initiative to prepare. I told them I was dedicated to continuing education and that I planned on having to spend at least 20 hours per week studying and that I was excited about it. Told them I planned on getting my CCRN as soon as I could sit for it, etc.

    Well, a girl in my class got the offer for the job. I'm not mad at her, because it isn't her fault... but I can't help but be really fired up at the decision. The girl that got the offer didn't even know what CICU stood for. She just applied for all the jobs she could on their web site. Now she is wondering about taking it or a med-surg job and the ONLY thing that is making her lean toward the CICU job is that it's 12 hour shifts. She was talking to me about it and asking me if I thought it was going to be a hard job. She has no idea what she's in for and I just don't get how she made such a better impression than I did.

    I just don't know if I did something wrong in the interview or what. My friends have said they probably had their mind made up by the time they interviewed me and they were just going through the motions. Every answer I gave them they looked really happy with and it's just frustrating, you know!? I know I can't get frustrated, but when something like this happens it's really hard not to...

    Thank you all for your help (and crossing your fingers, toes, etc!) though, the words of encouragement definitely helped me out!
    Last edit by Dakkon76 on Apr 21, '07
  12. by   meandragonbrett
    Dakkon,
    Sorry about not getting the job. Keep your head up....look at other ICUs, ER, Trauma, and other hospitals in the area. You will find something. Don't settle.
  13. by   healingtouchRN
    I totally understand, as I have been through similar situations (another dept.) but however in retrospect, it wasn't meant to be. Just hold out for what is meant to be & go into that interview & workplace with the same enthusiasm. Let go of those feelings, since they can only hinder you. Look at it from a learning perspective. Interviews can often be a challenge.
  14. by   ItalianRN
    I'm so sorry that you didn't get the job. Maybe once she starts, she'll realize what it's about & transfer to Med/Surg.

    I just applied for a CCU position in my hospital. Can you tell me what they asked you on your interview.

    I only have 2 years experience (1 1/2 in Cardio), so I'm not sure if I they will even give me an interview.

    Thanks for your help.

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