- 0Aug 13, '10 by gothmog08Hi!
I'm a critical care nurse with 2 years of experience, one in a tele/stepdown unit, and another in a CCU/CVR unit and an MICU, each at a different hospital (I worked full time at two places this past year. I know, I'm crazy. Hehe).
I'm just wondering if anybody here works, or worked in the past, at the TCVPO (Thoracic Cardiovascular Postoperative Unit) at the University of Virginia Medical Center. I applied a couple of weeks ago and I'm having an interview with the director this month.
What kind of patients do you usually handle? Beyond the run-of-the-mill CABGs, valve repairs, do you guys handle transplant cases as well? How's the patient load? Do you have enough ancillary staff, like CNAs or ICU techs? How's the salary? Do they offer any differentials, like a weekend or night differential?
Thanks for reading!
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- 1Aug 21, '10 by Toady4I have worked in the PO for just over six years now. I left a fulltime position there in March and merged into a wage position d/t living about an hour away and work about once a week there now.
Our case load includes heart transplants, CABG's, valves, both LVADs and RVADs, any aortic reconstructive surgeries/ dissections, TAAs with lumbar drains, thoracic surgeries mostly consist of esophagectomies, pneumonectomies, lung transplants, vascular surgeries consist of open AAA/ ruptured AAA and bypasses gone bad. I'm sleepy and there are a million more to name I"m sure.. . . .
The PO is a 12 bed unit and acuity levels vary. We get the sickest of the sick at times, and are opening chests two doors down from the patient on ECMO. When it rains, it pours. Our nurses are some of the strongest and most helpful I've ever worked with. If a patient needs to be singled, they're singled. Sometimes patients that don't need singled are singled. Generally speaking we have no more than 2 pts a piece. Right now the ancillary staff (PCTs at UVA) is scarce on nights, mostly 2/2 RN students graduating and what not. Staffing has seen better days, but such is life, right??? Shift diff (I think) is 3.50 weekday nights and 5 for weekend -- ? Might be off on that. The salary could be more competitive, but it's a great place to work and an experience you can't gain in too many other places. Do you work in a level one now? Lemme know if you have any more questions!
- 0Aug 22, '10 by gothmog08Thanks for the reply!
Wow, it sure seems like a wonderful place to work in. Do you guys get floated to the other intensive care units? I don't mind getting pulled myself, the variety makes life much more interesting. :-)
I work in a small specialty cardiovascular hospital with 40 tele beds, 14 CCU/CVICU beds and 8 PACU/recovery beds. we have two cath labs and three ORs. My coworkers said that when the facility first opened, they used to do 5-7 open hearts a day. Now it's much slower, though. There's only two heart surgeons who do maybe one to two a day each. How many surgical cases per day do you usually see over there at UVA?
They also do hearts at the other hospital where I work, but I chose to work in the MICU there because I don't want to miss out on taking care of patients with medical critical illness, i.e., sepsis, respiratory failure, GI bleeding, etc.
I'm just curious, do you see a lot of staff turnover there due to CRNA school? I've read in other forums that the ICUs at major medical centers often get openings around fall because of people leaving for school.
- 0Sep 10, '10 by meggiepie24i don't work in the PO, but I do work at UVA hospital. we do get diff-it's 3.5 for weekday nights and 6 for weekend nights. Salary with 2 years of experience will be around 46/yr. and we're still getting yearly raises (almost everyone on my unit got 3%). Just like others have said-if you work one year at this hospital, you can go anywhere in the country.
- 0Sep 5, '11 by tcvnurseLong time ago for this thread, but I wanted to chime in that the PO nurses are awesome. I am a 4 west-er, and our unit deals with the TCVPO almost exclusively. As far as I am concerned they take the sickest people in the hospital. If I didn't love my unit so much, I would transfer there in a heartbeat.
No pun intended.