New Grad CVU/ICU advice!

  1. 2
    Hello all! I just got my first nursing job in the CVU/ICU! Any words of wisdom from experienced ICU nurses out there?
    AliceTrout and tcvnurse like this.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 0
    Advice ? Use the search button in the at the top of your screen. This topic has been beat to death a million times over.
  4. 1
    that wasn't nice......everyone is entitled to ask a question.

    OP as a new grad expect to be overwhelmed. This will take time...a lot of time. You are trying to acclimate to basic nursing and adding complex patients to the mix.

    Here is a great website to start with....ICU FAQs

    Congratulations on the Job!!!
    krisiepoo likes this.
  5. 4
    I'll be nice:

    Be a sponge- use your orientation wisely by jumping into the "deep end". It's better to do it now with your preceptor then if your on your own after orientation and freaking out.

    As it's a CCU familiarize yourself with the anatomy and physiology of the heart.

    Take an ECG class.

    Take ACLS

    Find out what the most common surgeries etc are that happen on your unit and study up.

    Participate in codes- don't stand back and watch.

    At the start of your shift check your lines with OCD tendencies and label them- you'll thank yourself when your not accidentally pushing something you shouldn't through a line running neo!

    Adding to the above- know which line is KVO at all times for when you need to push an emergency drug.

    Another thing that may seem tedious- make sure you check all your emergency wall equipment eg: your wall suction at the start of every shift.

    When your not sure ask- it's a huge learning curve.

    There's heaps more but that's all I've got right now

    Good luck
  6. 3
    I'm also a new grad in the ICU since August.

    Here's an lol: Never shhh the nurses, no matter how inappropriate they are being. It, on my unit, is a huge no no!

    Study, like you are still in school. Ask questions, never shake your head as if you know (even if you do), because there is always something else to be added to what you think you know. Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions. For me the most difficult thing is report, only because I'm so busy throughout my shift that I don't have time to prepare. Find time to look at your H&P, your labs (treat what you can before the next shift) and be kind to yourself, while you are progressing in knowledge.

    My voice is soft, so my preceptor suggested that I put base in my voice while giving report. Be assertive, borderline aggressive. Don't take things personal, it will drive you crazy!! Smile every day, even when you get your ass handed to you because the shift was so unpredictable.

    Share your thoughts and feeling with those whom you can trust only! (that being family, no one on your unit or in the hospital or keep it to yourself, which I don't recommend!)

    Have tough skin, you'll need it.
    dandelion9, SingingBird, and Esme12 like this.
  7. 0
    Da_Milk_of_Amnesia , I wasn't looking for anyone to be rude and I can obviously use the website. I was looking for what I said "words of wisdom" and things that you wish you knew when you started. Everyone started somewhere, you were also a new grad and a new ICU nurse at one time so remember that. And everyone else thanks for the support and advice I really appreciate it
  8. 2
    It's going to be tough.....ICU nurses can be.....abrasive. They are strong willed intelligent professional and used to being pushy to get what they need for their patients.

    You will do fine.....when you have questions come here and can PM me as well. You are going to feel very over whelmed at's a TON of information. ((HUGS))
    SingingBird and my_purpose like this.
  9. 1
    Thanks so much!!!
    Esme12 likes this.
  10. 0
    You're welcome....
  11. 1
    I got hired into an ICU 3 months ago and tons. A few key advice points I wish I had known:

    Always know your pt's code status

    Always know which doctor/team of doctors is the primary doctor/team for your patient so you know who to call if something starts to go wrong

    Pay really close attention to your patient's labs

    Don't just chart anything abnormal, ask yourself why it is abnormal and what you are going to do about it.

    Check your alarms first thing in the morning.

    Study a lot in your free time so you can begin to get a better grasp on everything you are dealing with at work

    Never be afraid to ask questions

    Think critically: ask yourself 'why is the patient in the hospital today?', what is the best possible outcome for this patient?, what can I do to work towards that?, What is the worst possible outcome for this patient?, What can I do to prevent that?

    It takes time to feel comfortable (at least I hope it gets better with time), so be patient with yourself. I leave work almost everyday feeling stupid and useless and like a very needy coworker. My patients really like me though and I know I'm learning a lot and getting better, so I keep going back. 90% of success is just showing up (no matter how nauseated with nervousness you may be).
    SingingBird likes this.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.