I recently was hired into the cardiac SICU as a new grad. Although I am very excited (I turned down another job for this one), I am also very nervous. I graduated in Apr and this will be my first RN job. I have been an LPN for almost 9 years and I am comfortable caring for patients in a hospital setting but med-surg is a far cry from the icu. Are there any ICU nurses with advice or recommendations for resources? I am aware that I will have to read on my own and put in the work on and off the floor to adjust to the pace of the unit but any advice is welcome.
Jul 7, '14
My suggestion: Keep your mouth shut and absorb as much as possible. Unfortunately a lot of ICU nurses have extreme ego - which only seems to increase the more acute/critical the patient population - that is best assuaged by pretending you've never taken care of patients before and are a sponge to their unit and culture. Fortunately, once you're part of the club things get a lot easier.
I would suggest reading up on pathophysiology of the patient population you're taking care of. I'd also suggest - since you're on a CV SICU - to review chest tubes and PA catheters. Try to find out what type of products the unit uses and visit the website of the manufacturer for instructions on use. Review your basics - Foleys, peripheral IV cannulation etc. - because there won't be time to bring you up to speed on those in the ICU if you have deficiencies. Youtube is a good source for general information and procedures.
Jul 7, '14
I agree with the Previous poster. Keep your mouth shut and head low. What do I mean by mouth shut? Don't participate in the units' gossip, don't complain about the job and just keep your 2 cents to yourself. These nurses may appear to be your friends or active listeners but they are not and will throw you under the bus in the heartbeat.
Ask lots of questions. Don't ever be afraid to ask a question because if you don't, it can kill a patient.
Get a good Critical Care pocket manual. This will help you to look up things quickly.
Do a search on all nurses for report sheets or "brains" as we call them in ICU. I put mine on colored paper so that I can locate it easily. I also had a timeline on the back to help me with time management. I'm sure ESME12 will post the examples here soon.
I would also try arriving to the unit 15 minutes before report. Get your self settled and if possible look at your assignment. Look up labs, H/P, medications and etc. before report if possible. This will help get an idea of what your patient looks like and your interventions for the day.
Good luck and hope you'll love it!!!