New in the ICU

  1. 1
    I'm starting in the cardiac ICU soon and I'm terrified. Any advice?
    OnlybyHisgraceRN likes this.
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  4. 13 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    I'm right there with you! I just started in a CVICU as a new grad and I am very nervous too!!!! These upcoming months are going to be very exciting but I would definitely welcome any advice as well!!!!
  6. 0
    Good Luck, Keep in touch and let me know how everything goes when you start.
  7. 0
    1. Read! A lot! Buy all of those critical care nursing books and just read them all! Since you'll be in CV, memorize ALL of the vasoactive gtts and also be able to interpret hemodynamic profiles! You are expected to know this, even as a new grad.

    2. Confidence. Even if its an act! Other nurses will respect this, and the fact is that you DO know what you are doing, you are just going to doubt yourself for a very long time. But don't let other nurses doubt your abilities too.

    I started out in a pretty busy ICU as a new grad and the first 6 months were the most challenging and difficult times I've ever had, but also quite
    rewarding and inspiring! You will exceed if you believe you can.

    Good luck.
  8. 0
    Quote from tsicuRN1
    1. Read! A lot! Buy all of those critical care nursing books and just read them all! Since you'll be in CV, memorize ALL of the vasoactive gtts and also be able to interpret hemodynamic profiles! You are expected to know this, even as a new grad.

    2. Confidence. Even if its an act! Other nurses will respect this, and the fact is that you DO know what you are doing, you are just going to doubt yourself for a very long time. But don't let other nurses doubt your abilities too.

    I started out in a pretty busy ICU as a new grad and the first 6 months were the most challenging and difficult times I've ever had, but also quite
    rewarding and inspiring! You will exceed if you believe you can.

    Good luck.
    Thanks, guess I better start reading!
  9. 1
    Good luck on your new adventure...I hope things go well. As for advice...1. Never be afraid to ask questions. I am a seasoned preceptor, and the scariest orientees are those that think they know it all. None of us knows it all, especially not a newbie. 2. Take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat right. These things will make the stress of the transition much easier to deal with. 3. Do read. Just as one of the other contributors advised. It is extremely helpful to read up on things specific to a patient you are taking care of, or have just taken care of. A good preceptor will also let you just decompress and read up on something for a while during a shift. Of eight or twelve hours, one hour of reading is negligible...and can pay dividends in the long run. 4. If you run into frequent personality conflicts with a preceptor, or have one that is condescending or belittling, request a new preceptor. Grasping ICU concepts is difficult enough, you should not have to deal with an inept preceptor. Certainly involve your Nurse Manager, CNS, or Nurse Educator early on if you start to notice conflict in your preceptor/orientee relationship.
    badtz_maru likes this.
  10. 0
    As a nurse who has worked in both critical care and ER the best advice I can give you is to be confident, so that the old birds don't eat you, but also be humbled and know when to ask for help. Before you know it the environment will be like second nature to you. Always do what's best for the patient and nobody will ever get on you for that!

    Good luck
  11. 0
    Thank you all for the advice. I try to exude confidence although I'm trembling on the inside. I'm trying to ask more questions. Never asked many in school, I just did the research on my own to figure things out. Work in progress.
  12. 0
    I started in an ICU almost a year ago right out of school. My orientation was about 4 months. I had not had any prior work or clinical experience in an ICU. I will be honest that it was very hard and overwhelming. I had moments where I was not sure if I was going to "survive" orientation. You have to have tough skin and come to terms with the fact that you may feel stupid on a regular basis until you get the groove. Other nurses may give you an attitude and that can be just as difficult as learning the job, but you have to stay sure of yourself. They hired YOU for a reason! Check out icufaqs.org. They also sell a book. It is clutch.
  13. 0
    Be a sponge - absorb everything you can.

    Try not to stress out (easy for me to say). Stay cool and don't take things personally when it gets hot in the kitchen.

    Double check your work so you don't make any stupid mistakes (like grabbing Dopamine instead of Dobutamine).

    Don't be afraid to ask questions or bring someone else in for a second opinion. "Got a sec? Tell me what you think about this situation."

    Enjoy the ride!


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