hello fellow professional nurses! i am currently an rn working full time in a general icu. half of our census is generally related to some sort of pump "cardiac" problem. i have found myself wanting to test my critical care skills in a higher acuity theatre, and have landed an interview for a position within a cvicu in a very progressive/highly rated hospital. i am pretty versed in rhythm strip interpretation and know my way around a 12 lead. i am very familiar with most cardiac drips and drugs used. with all that being said i don't pretend to know everything and look forward to the possibility of gaining a more thorough knowledge from very skilled nurses. i know that a cardiac unit is very different from what i'm used to. any advice on questions that might be asked as well as points to study prior to the interview would be greatly appreciated. i would like to be as prepared as possible. thanks in advance for the advice and to all reading this post.'
Dec 11, '11
Good luck on the interview!
Dec 11, '11
Just to be clear, in the CardioVascularICU, the patient is supposed to be fixed. They've had their surgery and should be all better. You're dealing with more post-surgical problems then the typical cardiac/MI situation you're going to see in a CardiacICU. Typical problems can be profuse bleeding either from oozy chest walls or problems with the clotting cascade, electrolyte imbalances, kidney failure, respiratory problems due to fluid overload, third spacing of fluids which can be a real problem when they're up 20+ lbs in fluids from pre-op, mental confusion, multiple-multiple supports and inotropes. Being on bypass can really screw things up and the longer the case is taking, the harder the post-op recovery is. Add to that their chronic medical problems they had before surgery, and you've got a hand full.
(and why is it I can't get a job anywhere within 75 miles of here? I don't get it.)
Last edit by Biffbradford on Dec 11, '11
Feb 10, '12
I would like to transition into CVICU or CCU (I'm a tele nurse) but I really fear having to withdraw life support from a patient; although conceptually I know it is the right thing to do when they have advance directives specifying those wishes, my heart says otherwise. Don't get me wrong, I admire ICU nurses tremendously; it is very important to honor a patient's wishes. As a tele nurse, I have dealt with DNR's but quite frankly I've only had one DNR patient die on my shift. She really did go "naturally". I did not have to withdraw from calling a code or even removing the nasal canula.
I guess my question is, do you have to withdraw life support in CVICU or CCU? Is it very common? I really want to transition into one of these units for the reasons you have mentioned.
I sure look forward to your input or anyone lese out there reading this that works in ether of these units.
Feb 11, '12
Yes you do, at times. I had to ask "where's the 'Off' button" on a piece of gear once. I guess that's a good thing.
In the ICU you see/hear/experience things that 99% of the population never hears about. It's a real learning experience from many angles.
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