I wish I knew (blank) when I was a new CCU RN...

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    Hello everyone! I will soon be training to become a CCU nurse coming from 2 years experience on a low-acuity Med-Surg and 6 months of PACU. I am wondering if anyone has any advice or if there' s anything you wish you would have known when you started. I know it's a whole new ballgame...
    Joe V likes this.
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    When you feel uneasy about your pt and know something is just not right.. listen to it and investigate. Know your cardiac gtts inside and out, it will help when your pt needs something quick. I have had a MD order the wrong gtt before and I was like "doc, are you sure you want this one since the pts BP is already low"... Yes, MD's get confused too. With your previous experience you might have a easier transition than I did. Never be afraid to ask
    umcRN likes this.
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    Aaah scary when the MDs don't know what's going in; I guess there's new docs in ICU too. Thanks for the advice. Did you go in as a new grad?
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    No I didn't and that was a blessing.. He wasn't a new doc, he just got confused and ordered the wrong med. Many as you know have similar names. So yes, knowing your meds will be very handy. Knowing what you need before calling will help, many like say ortho for BP issues have no clue about the normal dose and frequency of giving meds so you will have to help them out sometimes. I once called the primary whom was ortho for a increased BP and I was wanting something to bring it down.. I pretty much had to tell him what we "normally" did and then got back up orders if the first didn't work
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    this is in reference to peds cicu but maybe could relate to adults too.
    The heart does NOT like to be messed with and it can just up and decided not to work anymore whenever it feels. I learned this first hand when my patient that was to transfer to the floor in a few hours coded and deployed onto ecmo within 30 minutes (5 minutes prior to code he had been sitting in moms lap chatting).

    I learned early on, even before working cicu, that the doctors do NOT always know what they are doing. I've had a doctor ask me if I thought we should start chest compression (uhh yes), what combo of antibiotics we use for certain situations, what sedation did I want to give or med for different things...and other things I can't remember now.

    I did start as a new grad (in the NICU initially) but had a great orientation, great support and another great orientation when I transferred to cardiac and my unit is really supportive
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    As a new grad going into the CCU, my opinion may not be worth much, but I've found so far that knowing your medications is a huge factor in being successful. Staying on top of education that your facility may offer or even independently studying certain recurring topics in your unit may help as well. Best of luck to you!


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