New CNA in ICU need Tips!!

  1. 0
    hi everyone!

    i just got a job as a nurse assistant (the hospital calls them acps) in the icu. i'm new to the industry and i'm trying to prepare myself as much as possible. i'm currently in the process of getting my pre-reqs done to apply to the nursing program, and i figured by working as a cna in the hospital can only be beneficial. well, i just got the job and will be starting in a couple of weeks.

    it would be great if everyone could give me some tips and information that you think would help me and that i need to know. i'm also working 3 (7pm-7am) shifts. what do you suggest for sleeping patterns and such...especially what to do for my first night? i think that night will freak me out the most! i was thinking about taking and ambien just to sleep the day before. good idea or bad? :uhoh21:

    just to give you and idea...my manager said that i will be doing baths at night and accuchecks. that's all that i know so far.

    thanks ahead for all of your help. i've been reading this forum for a long time now and i just want to say that all of you are great on here!
    you all rock!!
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 9,867 Views
    Find Similar Topics
  4. 15 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    first off, congrats to you! i just graduated with my BSN but i started working as a nurse tech in the PICU. it will be a great experience. the only thing i didn't like was that at first, they wouldn't let me do anything. i would sit at work for hours doing nothing but asking questions and looking at the patients. but as i got further along in school, they let me start caring for the patients. you will learn a lot. i know i did. the only advice i'd give you now is to learn as much as you can about the equipment, illnesses that you will see, and observe any bedside procedures. i used to come home with notes on stuff to google. hopefully my transition to a new nurse in icu won't be as harsh.
    need714 likes this.
  6. 1
    First important lesson I learned in the ICU:

    Make sure there is plenty of slack on the ventilator, chest tube, IV, monitor, etc. tubing before you turn the patient away from them! :-)
    need714 likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from 1jazzynurse
    first off, congrats to you! i just graduated with my bsn but i started working as a nurse tech in the picu. it will be a great experience. the only thing i didn't like was that at first, they wouldn't let me do anything. i would sit at work for hours doing nothing but asking questions and looking at the patients. but as i got further along in school, they let me start caring for the patients. you will learn a lot. i know i did. the only advice i'd give you now is to learn as much as you can about the equipment, illnesses that you will see, and observe any bedside procedures. i used to come home with notes on stuff to google. hopefully my transition to a new nurse in icu won't be as harsh.

    congratulations on getting your bsn!!! that is awesome! i can't wait until my day comes.

    thanks so much for the insight! i know...i'm pretty excited about the experience that i'll receive. to be honest i think i would much rather observe for a bit before i do anything.:uhoh21: i'm anxious to see what the training will be like.
  8. 0
    Quote from kerrigan 06
    first important lesson i learned in the icu:

    make sure there is plenty of slack on the ventilator, chest tube, iv, monitor, etc. tubing before you turn the patient away from them! :-)
    thanks so much for that tip! i actually thought about that when my manager was telling me what some of the tasks were, because he was giving me a tour of the floor when he was telling me and i was looking at the patients and everything they had connected to them and it ran through my mind how that was going to be... so, thanks again!
  9. 1
    Congratulations on your new position. I was also a CNA, also known as Patient Care Technician, during school and working 3 (7p-7a shifts). I will be graduating with my BSN in June. My advice to you would be to learn as much as you can from the nurses and other CNA's. Take initiative in asking questions and performing patient care. During night shift at times it may seem as though there may be nothing to do once the patient go to bed, so what I would do is, read on the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of my patient's diagnoses.

    Regarding sleeping.....thats another story. I worked night shift for almost 2 years and it has taken somewhat of a toll on me. But, I would recommend after coming home in the morning, try to keep your bedroom as dark as you can so you can trick your body into believing it's night time.

    All the best and good luck!
    need714 likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from ladyqt
    congratulations on your new position. i was also a cna, also known as patient care technician, during school and working 3 (7p-7a shifts). i will be graduating with my bsn in june. my advice to you would be to learn as much as you can from the nurses and other cna's. take initiative in asking questions and performing patient care. during night shift at times it may seem as though there may be nothing to do once the patient go to bed, so what i would do is, read on the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of my patient's diagnoses.

    regarding sleeping.....thats another story. i worked night shift for almost 2 years and it has taken somewhat of a toll on me. but, i would recommend after coming home in the morning, try to keep your bedroom as dark as you can so you can trick your body into believing it's night time.

    all the best and good luck!
    thanks so much! i really appreciate the tips!

    the best of luck to you in these next few months...you're sooooo close and i bet you are just chompin' at the bit!
  11. 0
    Quote from Kerrigan 06
    First important lesson I learned in the ICU:

    Make sure there is plenty of slack on the ventilator, chest tube, IV, monitor, etc. tubing before you turn the patient away from them! :-)

    And if you do accidently extubate, make sure you hit the code light and call a code!!!!
  12. 1
    Figure out what the nurses like and you will be their favorite! Do things on time, chart it as soon as you possibly can and make sure things get done right. Be willing to help with even the not fun stuff. You will learn a lot in the ICU and the more you want to learn, the more the nurses will teach you. We have a few aides in my ICU that are in nursing school and they get so excited when they learn something new, so I will take the extra time to teach them or let them help me with something.

    In the ICU at night, our aides help with baths, turns, accuchecks, vitals, emptying things such as catheters, colostomy bags, and certain drains and they help us with whatever else we need. The ICU is pretty constant in how busy we are between day shift and night shift, the big difference is the things going on.

    Sleeping is different with everyone. On a rare occasion, I will take benadryl if I have a lot of trouble sleeping. I try to keep my room dark and I usually will use something such as a movie for background noise. I always set the timer on the tv so it automatically shuts off.

    Good luck with your new job! You will see and learn a lot!
    need714 likes this.
  13. 0
    And to add to that..make sure they show you the difference between the code light and the button to turn the call light off. My first week on a unit no one showed me the difference(they were right next to each other) First time i hit the wrong button. I couldnt figure out why everyone came running when I turned off a patients call light.. lol..boy was my face red.. AND THAT WAS AFTER I GRADUATED NURSING SCHOOL..:roll:roll:roll
    Seriously though. Learn as much from the nursing staff as possible. Ask questions ALWAYS be willing to help the other aids and nurses even if its not your patient. You never know when you might be drowning in a code brown and need the extra help yourself!


Top