Student Nurse Tech in CCU?

  1. 0
    Hi I just finished my 3rd semester in an ADN program and have one more semester to go. Today, I got a call back from a nurse recruiter and she said that I was not selected for the nurse tech internship on the med-surg floor, but she "may" have a tech position for me in ER or CCU. I'm very happy that she called me, but I'm intimidated by the idea of a position in ER or CCU since I haven't had clinical experience in either department and I'm afraid of getting in over my head. My actual interview isn't for another week so I'm trying to learn about each area in case I'm asked where I'd prefer to work. I was hoping to get some feedback from experienced CCU nurses to see if this would be a good place to tech in comparison to ER if given that option. I'm under the impression that CCU is generally not the place to start out because it's so specialized and requires a higher degree of knowledge and skill. On the other hand, I would think that ER would be quite chaotic and equally as difficult. I think my greatest fear is setting myself up for failure as I'm hoping to get a job offer after I become licensed. Any feedback would be appreciated such as the kind of person that thrives in various settings or the pros and cons of CCU vs ER.

    Thanks for reading,
    Su
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  3. 15 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Hi,
    I'm a student nurse graduating with my LPN in June. I have worked as the nurse tech in our thoracic ICU for the past year. Prior to that I worked ortho/neuro med/surg for three years. I think being a tech in the CCU is good experience. You can learn a lot while working there and have exposure to machines that you would not see elsewhere. I think it is really good experience and you can also learn a lot about time management and organization and managing critical patients and emergency situations, especially if you think you might like to work in critical care as a nurse. I imagine ER would be similar as far as time management and such goes. I hope that helps?
  5. 0
    Please tell me what is a nurse tech and what would be her responsibilities.
  6. 0
    I think if you want to be in Critical Care after you are licensed, then absolutely take on a tech position in CCU! It will be a great learning experience for you...and if you are lucky you will work with nurses that will take the time to teach you things.

    Our techs in our unit help with baths, ambulate patients, set up the room for a post op patient, draw labs from arterial lines, check glucometer blood sugars...

    Good luck!!
  7. 0
    Jacks76,

    Thank you for responding and for mentioning what the techs do on your unit. I'm honestly not sure as to where I want to work after graduation. I think I probably need the general med-surg experience initially, but that door hasn't opened. At the same time, I think I may like something more specialized like CCU. I will do my ICU/CCU rotation this coming semester so if I don't get this job, at least I will have some experience.

    Thank you for the encouragement! I will let you know if I do get selected.
  8. 0
    Firstlight,
    The nurse tech positions that I have applied for are generally geared towards nursing students. The scope of practice will vary. Some may have similar jobs to the CNA's while others entail much of what can be done in nursing school under the supervision of an RN. It's a great way to get additional experience and get your foot in the door. Often, students who perform well as a nurse tech will get a job offer after graduation once they become licensed. It gives managers a way to test the waters before investing in them as a new grad RN.
  9. 0
    Zombi,
    Thank you for the feedback. You made some good points.
    Su
  10. 0
    Just because you are tech in the CCU does not mean you need to accept/apply for a job in that unit upon graduation. i have worked with some wonderful techs in CCU Who I would trust my life with others not even my dog. But I could have the same opinion about some docs too!! Techs would generally set up rooms help admit patients in some instances , hook up pt to monitor replace electrodes assist pt in bathing - partial and full . Do BS checks, insert foley catheter take vitals for the nurse s other pt if a code situation was happening. Feed, ambulate and toilet pts. They would also care for and clean equipment that did not go down to central supply. Equipment purchased and maintained by the individual unit. They were responsible for some of the I & O depending on the pt. And MOST of all needed as a hand to help in lifts and transfers. Transfering a pt to and from depts for diagnostics, or when the pt moved to a floor. Sometimes there is down time for the tech you can quickly find out which nurse will help you learn up and above the scope of a tech. I let them help me with dressing changes. Stay in the room when the nurse is doing PAWP, wedge pressures or cardiac outputs , learn the abnormal rhythms and their treatments. Also most units have cheat sheets for titrating drips and drugs and conversions of all sorts that may come in handy later. In a code situation you may be called upon to do chest compressions if needed. In real life doing affective CPR you can build up a sweat in a relative short period of time and personal need to be switched. Lastly the benefit to an ICU/CCU over ER is that you get to come back the next day and find out how the pt responded to therapy (a plus for any true student) In ER they are gone to quickly.
  11. 0
    The tech experience will trump no experience at all. Like others have pointed out, you do not have to go into this unit when you graduate.. but maybe you'll want to.
  12. 0
    Quote from worked hard and long
    Just because you are tech in the CCU does not mean you need to accept/apply for a job in that unit upon graduation. i have worked with some wonderful techs in CCU Who I would trust my life with others not even my dog. But I could have the same opinion about some docs too!! Techs would generally set up rooms help admit patients in some instances , hook up pt to monitor replace electrodes assist pt in bathing - partial and full . Do BS checks, insert foley catheter take vitals for the nurse s other pt if a code situation was happening. Feed, ambulate and toilet pts. They would also care for and clean equipment that did not go down to central supply. Equipment purchased and maintained by the individual unit. They were responsible for some of the I & O depending on the pt. And MOST of all needed as a hand to help in lifts and transfers. Transfering a pt to and from depts for diagnostics, or when the pt moved to a floor. Sometimes there is down time for the tech you can quickly find out which nurse will help you learn up and above the scope of a tech. I let them help me with dressing changes. Stay in the room when the nurse is doing PAWP, wedge pressures or cardiac outputs , learn the abnormal rhythms and their treatments. Also most units have cheat sheets for titrating drips and drugs and conversions of all sorts that may come in handy later. In a code situation you may be called upon to do chest compressions if needed. In real life doing affective CPR you can build up a sweat in a relative short period of time and personal need to be switched. Lastly the benefit to an ICU/CCU over ER is that you get to come back the next day and find out how the pt responded to therapy (a plus for any true student) In ER they are gone to quickly.

    Worked Hard & Long,

    Thank you so much for all your feedback and for taking the time to share what the CCU techs do. I did get the CCU/Step Down Nurse Tech position that I had asked about. I did not even get an ER tech interview. I hope that there are nurses like you who will be willing to show me things along the way. My main goal is to learn as much as possible and have a my foot in the door so I will have a better chance of securing a full-time RN position. Thanks again for your support and feedback.

    Su


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