Calling all new grads/new to the ICU starting Feb. 2013!!!! - page 13

by C H I C A G O_RN 26,927 Views | 152 Comments

Hello everyone! I'm starting this topic for any new grads or new to the ICU. I think it will be good to come here to compare notes, encourage, vent and support each other. I am extremely nervous and excited at the same time.... Read More


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    Hey everyone, it's great to hear such positive feedback on starting in the ICU. I'm curious where y'all are working (cities/metro areas)?
  2. 1
    In reply to the above poster, I'm in a "city" of about 80,000 people, but our hospital covers a large area outside of the city as well, so we get lots of transfers via flight and such. I'm in a rather more remote location, with my hospital being the largest/most advanced for hundreds of miles around.

    Update on orienting to ICU... I'm about 8 weeks along now, just switched to day shifts about a week or so ago. So far my biggest challenge is that my ICU covers so many different pathologies, whereas my entire background has just been in neuro. My hospital has a CICU and the general ICU that I work in. So, I can see anything from severe head traumas, to GI bleeds, to respiratory failure, to drug overdose, to multisystem trauma, etc and it encompasses both peds and adults. It's impossible to see everything in 10-12 weeks of orientation, so I'm nervous for when I do see a patient with a diagnosis I haven't dealt with since nursing school. Not to mention, I never had a peds rotation so I've never worked with them ever!

    That being said, I can see a huge improvement in just the 8 weeks I've been there. Just yesterday I was taking a student nurse under my wing and showing him how to take care of our trauma patient. Never could've done that 8 weeks ago! It looks like I'll be getting off the orientation bandwagon in 3 weeks or so. I feel ready to spread my wings, but I'm scared crap will hit the fan afterwards. I've never had a patient code on me (or even seen a code), or had a patient totally dump on me either- although we've had some close calls. I'm hoping it happens before I cut the cord so I can see how that all goes down.

    My advice to other people starting is to definitely do some research in advance! Look up common ICU meds, vent settings, labs (especially ABGs, chemistries, cbcs). Don't be afraid to ask questions of others, and let your coworkers know that you're wanting to learn about anything interesting going down on the unit. Lots of my learning has been done by going and seeing other patients on the unit, even if they're not assigned to me at the time.
    FlorenceNtheMachine likes this.
  3. 0
    I don't love nights! I feel sick to my stomach a lot, normal?
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    Hi i'm new here I am currently licensed as an LPN and will be getting my RN license this summer after I graduate next month. I just got a volunteer LPN position in the step down ICU and i'm very excited. We are in Hawaii and getting a paid job as a new grad nurse here is next to impossible. I start on the 30th so I am trying to read up on as much information as I can before then. My critical care rotation as a student nurse ends next week so I will at least have some base. Is there a list of the most common meds used in ICU/PCU anywhere?
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    Quote from Rose2013
    Hi i'm new here I am currently licensed as an LPN and will be getting my RN license this summer after I graduate next month. I just got a volunteer LPN position in the step down ICU and i'm very excited. We are in Hawaii and getting a paid job as a new grad nurse here is next to impossible. I start on the 30th so I am trying to read up on as much information as I can before then. My critical care rotation as a student nurse ends next week so I will at least have some base. Is there a list of the most common meds used in ICU/PCU anywhere?
    Just curious. How do you get a volunteer position in a step down ICU? I am an LPN and graduate with my BSN in December so I'm interested. Thanks! :-)
  6. 0
    As we are all new to ICU...I am curious to how everyone's orientation is setup? How is your progress being measured/evaluated? Have you worked with several different preceptors or basically just one? Are you establishing goals each week? Are you working right along side your preceptor or does he/she just let you off to figure things out? Basically what has the structure of your orientation been like and do you feel prepared to be on your own (if your near the end of your preceptorship)?
  7. 0
    Hi everyone! Ahhhhhh. I love work so much . There are times that it's overwhelming and I feel completely clueless, but there are so many times I can see how I'm progressing. We don't get goals, but I always ask for feedback from preceptors and ask how I can improve. I've had several preceptors and all of them have been fantastic. We just started the aacn essentials of critical care program, so it's honestly like we are back in school...but the concepts all make so much more sense now that I'm applying what I learn every day at work.

    Hope everyone else is doing well
  8. 1
    RNnur... my orientation was 6 months. We had class and computer time built into our schedule, 1 or 2 days a week. Toward the beginning those days were mostly class/workshops/SIM and toward the end it was mostly online at home through AACN's ECCO course. We were assigned a new preceptor each month. There were some guidelines for our preceptorship, e.g. start giving meds in week x, start taking 2 patients in week y. We oriented on days and only switched to nights for the last month. The last 2 weeks we had "mentorship" which meant our preceptor had his our her own assignment. Around month 4 I felt like i would never be ready, but when the time came, it was a seamless transition. I've been on my own for 2 months now and Iook forward to going to work everyday. This job is everything I dreamed it would be.
    rntob2013 likes this.
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    As far as goals, I kept a private journal in the beginning. I wrote down things that went well that day, things I learned, things I wanted to look up, and of course, goals for the next shift! Our preceptors were supposed to fill out forms at least weekly on our progress, but that was often forgotten. They were all great about giving us verbal feedback. The forms were mostly for the unit educator's benefit and for our file.
  10. 0
    Quote from CrazyGoonLPN
    Just curious. How do you get a volunteer position in a step down ICU? I am an LPN and graduate with my BSN in December so I'm interested. Thanks! :-)
    I am completing my BSN right now so I did a rotation there and the Red Cross accepts nurse volunteers as staff nurses. There is a huge hiring freeze because I will be working at a military hospital so there are no paid positions right now but the hope is to move into a paid position in the future I'm extremely excited to start. I just completed the 4 day orientation to the hospital yesterday. If you are looking to volunteer as a nurse to get your foot in the door the Red Cross is definitely the way to go IMO. I am also in the process of signing up for the disaster response team to respond to disasters on island and in the Continental US


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