Student in ICU -- what should I look for?

  1. Hi guys,

    I'm still a year from my RN, but this fall I plan to begin interning on a PRN basis at a local hospital's ICU. The hospital is or is trying to be a Level 1 trauma center, so I'm sure I'll learn a lot, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to particular things or procedures I should be extra alert to watch or participate in if they come up...both from the perspective that I will be working ICU when I graduate, and that I plan to go to CRNA school down the road. So, is there anything in particular I should keep my eyes open for?

    Thanks,
    Chris C.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Hemodynamic monitoring, such as Swan-Ganz catheters, arterial lines and being able to trouble shoot them, IABPs (intra-aortic balloon pumps). As an intern or nurse tech you won't be able to get hands on experience with these but a definite help to your learning curve.

    Good luck................
  4. by   gaspassah
    acls protocol, emergency drugs, drips, and pay careful attention to how people operate under stress. try to find the ones who are cool and collected and learn from them. pick their brains.
    being able to think and process under heavy stress can benefit you as much as anything else, especially if you plan on going into anesthesia.
    d
  5. by   pinkisnoopi
    Definitely be present when central lines & a-lines are being inserted. Get to know what items you'll need to set up, etc.
    If a patient has a pacemaker, get acquainted with it too & learn the different modes & underlying rhythms.
    Get familiar with vasoactive drips, their rationale, side effects, etc.
    Ask the nurse & respiratory therapist modes of ventilation & why, weaning from the vent, etc.
    Try to be present when intubations occur.
    And definitely if there's a code, soak it all in!
    And if you have any questions about anything (which you will!) ask, ask, ask!
    Hope this helps!!
  6. by   sonessrna
    Quote from lostdruid
    Hi guys,

    I'm still a year from my RN, but this fall I plan to begin interning on a PRN basis at a local hospital's ICU. The hospital is or is trying to be a Level 1 trauma center, so I'm sure I'll learn a lot, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to particular things or procedures I should be extra alert to watch or participate in if they come up...both from the perspective that I will be working ICU when I graduate, and that I plan to go to CRNA school down the road. So, is there anything in particular I should keep my eyes open for?

    Thanks,
    Chris C.
    The experience I found to be the most helpful was open heart recovery. You get experience with VADs, IABPs, vasoactive drips, dialysis, and any kind of monitoring line you could possibly want. In addition, tying it all together and making some decisions about the ventilator weaning, gtt titration, and fluid management is extremely helpful in anesthesia. In addition, i would concentrate on an adult ICU setting vs. a pediatric or neonatal. Both of those will also give you great experience...but you will be working mostly with adults when you get out. :imbar

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