1. Hi everyone. Need some encouragement. I recently started working in a busy CVSICU. I have one year prior exp on a IMC unit but have Always wanted to work in a ICU.

    Currently I've been on the unit for 6 weeks and I just take it one day at a time. It's an amazing unit and I'm learning sooo much. There are good days and bad days. I'm constantly thinking about work. Stressing about bad situations and how I would handle them. I'm worried that I won't react properly in the event **** hits the fan.

    I'm getting positive feedback from my coworkers. They say I need to build confidence in myself. I believe that will take time. I want to hear from ICU nurses out there. Does it get better??

    Thanks for listening.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Mar 31, '13
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    About Stormy8

    Joined: Feb '12; Posts: 56; Likes: 14


  3. by   Stormy8
    Just to add...I continue to have anxiety about work. Hard time sleeping at in point, I'm awake right now. I can't stop thinking about work. I enjoy reading and studying but it's hard for me to relax and shut it down. Any advice on how to deal with the anxiety? Relaxation tools? Thanks again for reading. This blog is wonderful especially if you don't have many people who can relate to you.
  4. by   LNRN11
    Sounds like you and I are a lot alike! Come May, I will have been on my CVICU for a year. That's great that you had some step-down experience under your belt. Your anxiety will improve over time when you get more accustomed to what your surgeons expect and what nurses you can count on when your patient crumps. Just remember you are truly never alone. My unit is very cohesive and when anyones's patient starts to go bed, regardless of how much experience that primary nurse has, there are at least two or three other nurses that are in that room helping. I have had fresh CABGs start to go bad and not once did I ever feel like I didn't have someone right there to help me. You will drive yourself crazy if you try to solve every bad scenario in your head. Just take it one day at a time and find those nurses you can really trust in an emergent situation and always, always, always ask advice if you're unsure. Good luck!
  5. by   Jaelle625
    It does get better. One day at a time. I've only been off orientation for a few months and I've already had a few situations where the proverbial **** has hit the fan. I was AMAZED at how fast my coworkers were in the room. As the LNRN11 posted, you are never truly alone. When other nurses' pts code (or they notice a critical change in pt status), I make it a point to ask exactly what they did. Of course, I also participate in any emergent situation that time allows for. I've also learned that when participating in a code, that being the charting rn allows me to learn the most about the situation. All of that being said, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have good days and bad days. As a whole, my days seem to be getting better. I can only assume my experience will continue on the same path. Cheers to the best specialty in nursing!
  6. by   Biffbradford
    Hang in there. It's get's better with time (years ... not weeks ).

    I did 12 years in a major CVICU (heart and lung transplants, LVADS, BiVads, total artificial hearts) and it just takes time to get the repetition. To see the same problems over and over so that you see them coming, or better yet, prevent them from even beginning to occur. No, you never really get it out of your head and what I found to help was to do something else immediately after work. Go for a walk, go to the store, anything to have that fresh in your mind instead of work. That pushes your work day one step out of your immediate consciousness and helps you relax.

    Now I work in a smaller (14 beds compared with 30+) cardiac ICU and it's a day at the beach. Sure, there are super sick patients, but it's not every other one and there hasn't been one yet with a room full of machines and a patient bed sandwiched in between there somewhere.

    Have fun and enjoy the ride!
  7. by   Stormy8
    Thank you everyone for the encouragement. I really appreciate it. I really do love this unit. It amazes me the things I get to see and learn. I'm just taking it one day at a time. I have 3 more months of orientation. Hope I'm ready by then. Will keep you posted
  8. by   Beekah20
    good luck!
  9. by   AMAC8487
    Wow... 3 Months of orientation?! I got 9 weeks of orientation!!

    Just hang in there... I recently started in a SUPER busy CVSICU, and am scared ******** everyday I walk into work to hear my assignment....

    Im in hopes it gets better as well... but I try not to stress myself out... Just do the best you can.
  10. by   Stormy8
    Thanks for the encouragement. I'm feeling alittle more comfortable day by day but yesterday I has this one preceptor who I'm not normally with constantly tell me that I'm slow and I need to speed it up.

    In all honesty, he's right. I do need to pick it up a bit but I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right and safe. Was discouraging for me to constantly hear that yesterday.

    I'm learning everyday and I know I made the right decision by moving to the CVSICU. I have really good days sometimes and then not do great days but I'm going to hang in there and give it all I got!
  11. by   marilynbaker
    hang in there! you seem to be your own worse critic. It sounds like you are doing great. Just take a minute each day to reflect on your accomplishments each day you come home from work. you are doing just fine!