Open Heart Recovery Training

  1. 0
    Would like to know what your best references for when you started your Open Heart Recovery training? In our unit you "heart train" after about a year. I am looking for the best information that helped you get the best grasp on this particular skill.

    All info is appreciated.

    Thank you.
  2. 11 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I would think that your open heart unit would have some sort of orientation program that will teach you all you need to get started. It certainly doesn't hurt to read the CCRN study materials though. The fine points such as higher filling pressures for valve replacements and such vary by surgeon so you'll pick that up as you go along. Open heart ICU care is pretty much a 'hands on' learning experience. As scary as it is (and rightfully so) I'm sorry to say that there's no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and simply digging in.
    Now get in there!
  4. 0
    And, don't forget icufaqs.org!! Lots of applicable info there, too.
  5. 1
    Books I found helpful were "Cardiac Surgery Essentials for Critical Care Nursing" by Hardin & Kaplow and "Manual of Perioperative Care in Adult Cardiac Surgery" by Bojar. These books are great for reference, but I agree that the best kind of training you will get is at the bedside from the nurses & doctors you work with. Keep an open mind, and ask lots of questions!
    Last edit by RNpjm on Apr 18, '11
    jelly221,RN likes this.
  6. 0
    I have been doing open heart surgery recovery nursing for 14 of my 16 years of nursing and have never read a book on how to care for them. Truly, just get in there. Use your basic knowledge, because every pt. responds differently. I have had pts. that don't do anything the text book says. Best advice is really know your drugs they are your best friends and adding, weaning, titrating of drugs what makes for a nice night for you and the pt.
  7. 4
    The main thing to remember is that left untreated all bleeding stops eventually.
  8. 1
    I have to agree hands on training is definitively important to Open Heart Recovery. Especially that wonderful 1st 12hrs.

    There’s nothing wrong with reading books. I also have “Cardiac Surgery Essentials for Critical Care Nursing” on my Nook. You’ll gain a wealth of knowledge from the CT team of
    nurses, RT, Surgeons, Anesthesia, & CNS b/c you’ll work with them every day on every case coming through & out the door.

    However there should be a protocol competency list & training program in the hospital. It’s about 1yr along were the new orientees will take classes & have a 1:1 preceptor ship with an experience CT nurse. 50-60 cases with minimal assistance & of course your preceptor feels competent enough to give you the autonomy to care for the pt independently. As a reward you’re given the CT Surgery patch on your fleece & have a hospital wide graduation. It’s hard training where we believe you should be rewarded. These pt can be very ill. I went through it 4yrs ago.

    Good Luck
    turnforthenurseRN likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from RNforYears
    The main thing to remember is that left untreated all bleeding stops eventually.
    Yeah, when there's no blood left in the body.
    turnforthenurseRN likes this.
  10. 0
    Maybe you should start reading the books that were listed.
  11. 0
    pretty much what others have said. I work in a peds CICU (open hearts, transplants, ecmo, vads & MANY open chests post op). I did a 4 month orientation with the last two months or so focusing mainly on post ops. I've been off orientation 5 months now though I did miss two of those months d/t my own medical issues but I went into work one day last week and had my first post op patient all to my self. I had resources to help me as needed but like others said before, just getting in there and doing it. We both made it through the shift fine too!


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