How do I become a critical care nurse? How do I become a critical care nurse? - pg.2 | allnurses

How do I become a critical care nurse? - page 2

I would appreciate feedback from anybody working in critical care. My questions are: -What does a critical care nurse do? -Can you get a job working as a critical care nurse right out of... Read More

  1. Visit  thrumylense profile page
    0
    When I read your comment, it was at the top of my page...I did not see who/what preceded it...my mistake. :0)
  2. Visit  NurseKitten profile page
    0
    My neuro/trauma ICU just hired 2 new grads and one lady who's been at it for 20 years (we used to work together in dialysis!). They're being given 12 weeks orientation and turned loose.

    Can you go shadow various nurses in different ICU's?

    Take your ACLS, PALS, TNCC...get the Dennison "Pass CCRN" book...Rhoades and Bell's "Medical Physiology"...read them all.

    You may not be hired in critical care right away...IMHO, most new grads don't belong in critical care, but some are more mature and do just fine. Don't be discouraged if it takes you a year of floor or stepdown unit work before you get in there. It's all a learning experience.

    Good luck.
  3. Visit  bodz01 profile page
    0
    i just passed nclex recently and thanks for all your advice. i was wondering, what would the interview be like with an ICU nurse manager?
  4. Visit  nursingpower profile page
    7
    -Can you get a job working as a critical care nurse right out of nursing school?

    Yes you can. Depends on how smart you are, your determination, how well you interview (presentation, professional appearance) and where you apply. Your college reputation is also a deciding factor. Do your research. Find a hospital that offers a good program for new grads and non icu nurses

    -If you can't become a critical care nursing right out of school, how do you go about getting into critical care?

    Most people enter critical care after a year on med surg, ER or stepdown units.

    -What does a critical care nurse do?
    -If you are a critical care nurse, how do you like your job?

    I love my job. I came right out of school and was hired in the CVICU before I passed the NCLEX. It's been 6 months now and I still there in the same position I've started. I had orientation for 13 weeks and was set out on my own. The type of patients I get: valve repairs and replacement, heart transplant, lung transplant/resections, aneurysm repairs, and some abdominal surgeries. Of course I have gotten re-admits from home, outside facilites or SDU. Also transfers from outside facilities.

    IV drugs that I titrate or monitor: Epi, Levo, Heparin, Vaso, Milrinone, Amio, Propofol, Precedex, Fentanyl, RHI, Lidocaine, Cardizen, and Nitroprisside. The most I have had on one pt was 8 drips at a time. Had tubing changes that night...uggghhh.

    My typical patients come from surgery with: foley caths, 1-6 chest tubes, 1 or more artlines and peripheral lines. spinal drains, PCA's, intubated (mechanical ventilation), Swan Ganz cath (or either a MAC or hands off catheter).

    A typical day...I receive pt from surgery, prep them for transfer to a SDU or maintain them in the ICU. I pull chest tubes, Swan's, central lines, monitor hemodynamic and respiratory status. I coordinate care with practitioners, wound care teams, nutritionist and doctors. I assist with weaning to extubate procedures. I act as the patient advocate in every sense.



    Just telling you all this because it's not impossible. You can do it right out of school with the right training. The larger the TEACHING hospital the better. A lot of older nurses are resistant to the idea of new grads in the ICU but I really think it depends on your education, knowledge and thirst for learning. I still have a lot to learn. I ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS from other nurses, doctors and practitioners. Soon I will be taking my ACLS. Our hospital requires you work at least 6mos before taking ACLS, that way you have a better idea of the drugs and process involved from working in the unit.

    Anyways, good luck.
  5. Visit  nursingpower profile page
    0
    Quote from mark1973
    I would appreciate feedback from anybody working in critical care.

    Mark

    My response was to you Mark..lol.
  6. Visit  nursingpower profile page
    0
    Quote from bodz01
    i just passed nclex recently and thanks for all your advice. i was wondering, what would the interview be like with an ICU nurse manager?
    Nurse managers are people. As you know they are different, have thier own experiences and points of views. There is no way to predict how it would be like.

    What they may be more interested in hearing is your background in critical care: clinicals, experiences, knowledge and what you can do for them. Your appearance, confidence levels helps.

    Also even if you never worked in a hospital there are many other work experiences that you can carry over and use to sell yourself. Being experienced with computers, equipment and technology shows a lot. Leadership also is a good characteristic.
  7. Visit  redbull68w profile page
    3
    a lot of places don't hire new grads into critical care. I did get a critical care job as a new grad (graduated in december). My school offered a preceptorship program our last semester where we could work on the floor with a nurse in an area we were interested in. I chose either ER or critical care. Got critical care and worked my butt off during my shifts. Asked questions, showed a genuine interest, and was willing to do anything they asked and apparently impressed the staff and the unit director cuz on my last shift there, she offered me job! Will start in Feb.

    It can be done
  8. Visit  medicalma'am profile page
    0
    My hospital hires graduate nurses into ICU. We have a three month (at least) preceptorship and critical care classes once a week. Once I was on my own the stress level was high. I had loads of experienced nurses to consult and never was made to feel I was asking a dumb question. The key is the percentage of 'new' nurses there are on a shift compared to experienced nurses.
  9. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    0
    Quote from ghillbert
    Not true - many many hospitals hire new grad nurses.
    *** I work in a large 26 bed SICU and we pretty much only hire new grads. Of course we will hire experienced ICU nurses but almost never do they hire med-surg nurses. We have a 7 month nurse residency program for new grads going into the SICU. In my opinion med-surg experience is not very helpful for ICU nurses.
  10. Visit  studentinnursing profile page
    0
    "How do I become critical care nurse?" I don't want to hijack the thread. I have the same question, and I have a particular couple of questions before I register in a few weeks for my first semester of ADN.

    Right now I'm told I will probably get my pick because of my grades--really pumped, but now the decisions are hard, what if I pick the wrong site/professor; so this is the deal, we pick our professor and site, we have to number our choices of course; what do I want first? Well, I don't know! That's my question to all you ICU nurses out there. What will best prepare me: There is a great professor that everyone says is not only the best but that they were well prepared for level II. However, the professor's site is a rehab facility (I'm guessing that's considered med-surg?). Then, I know someone at a hospital who told me pick that site no matter who the professor is, and after first semester, I could probably get in as a tech, and she will help me with that/contacts/network. The professor for that site I hear is good but not as great as the other.

    My question is if I pick the "better" professor at the rehab facility, will I still be appealing after first semester when I start applying for tech positions? There are two hospitals I know will hire new grads into ICU and/or have a nurse residency program; both professors are sort of rated as "okay" as opposed to "the best." Should I try to pick a hospital I know hires new grads into ICU even though I'm just in my first semester. Do I go for the best professor no matter the site because I may learn more, or do I start now and pick the site where I'm going to want to work, meet people, see how things there run? Learn as much as possible about that hospital? Which is more important my first semester? Neither professor is "bad" -- the one professor is really supposed to be the best, though, but I'm hesitant cause the site is a rehab facility?

    What will better prepare me skills-wise and opportunity-wise for ICU (if I can get both at the same time during first semester--our first semester is med/surg is what I'm told, but I don't have orientation til the end of the month, so I'm only going on hearsay!)

    Thanks for guiding us wannabe ICU nurses!

    I do want to add, to give more information, one of the hospitals is a teaching hospital, the other hospital recruiter told me to get in as a tech too (it's level II trauma) and my school has a great reputation.
  11. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    0
    Quote from studentinnursing
    "How do I become critical care nurse?" I don't want to hijack the thread. I have the same question, and I have a particular couple of questions before I register in a few weeks for my first semester of ADN.

    Right now I'm told I will probably get my pick because of my grades--really pumped, but now the decisions are hard, what if I pick the wrong site/professor; so this is the deal, we pick our professor and site, we have to number our choices of course; what do I want first? Well, I don't know! That's my question to all you ICU nurses out there. What will best prepare me: There is a great professor that everyone says is not only the best but that they were well prepared for level II. However, the professor's site is a rehab facility (I'm guessing that's considered med-surg?). Then, I know someone at a hospital who told me pick that site no matter who the professor is, and after first semester, I could probably get in as a tech, and she will help me with that/contacts/network. The professor for that site I hear is good but not as great as the other.

    My question is if I pick the "better" professor at the rehab facility, will I still be appealing after first semester when I start applying for tech positions? There are two hospitals I know will hire new grads into ICU and/or have a nurse residency program; both professors are sort of rated as "okay" as opposed to "the best." Should I try to pick a hospital I know hires new grads into ICU even though I'm just in my first semester. Do I go for the best professor no matter the site because I may learn more, or do I start now and pick the site where I'm going to want to work, meet people, see how things there run? Learn as much as possible about that hospital? Which is more important my first semester? Neither professor is "bad" -- the one professor is really supposed to be the best, though, but I'm hesitant cause the site is a rehab facility?

    What will better prepare me skills-wise and opportunity-wise for ICU (if I can get both at the same time during first semester--our first semester is med/surg is what I'm told, but I don't have orientation til the end of the month, so I'm only going on hearsay!)

    Thanks for guiding us wannabe ICU nurses!

    I do want to add, to give more information, one of the hospitals is a teaching hospital, the other hospital recruiter told me to get in as a tech too (it's level II trauma) and my school has a great reputation.
    *** It's not about skills you will learn, it's about building relationships and networking. Decide where you want to work and do everything you can to go to that hospital. Get to know the nurses and managers at that hospital if you want to work there as a nurse. They are more likely to hire people they know and like as they will have some idea of your work ethic and "teachability".
  12. Visit  studentinnursing profile page
    0
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    *** It's not about skills you will learn, it's about building relationships and networking. Decide where you want to work and do everything you can to go to that hospital. Get to know the nurses and managers at that hospital if you want to work there as a nurse. They are more likely to hire people they know and like as they will have some idea of your work ethic and "teachability".
    Thanks so much! I'm working on that now before school so I know which sites to pick; at least I'm on the right track.

    What other floors should we be getting to know people in, in case we can't start out in ICU; what's the best to learn "on the way up" to ICU?
  13. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    0
    Quote from studentinnursing
    Thanks so much! I'm working on that now before school so I know which sites to pick; at least I'm on the right track.

    What other floors should we be getting to know people in, in case we can't start out in ICU; what's the best to learn "on the way up" to ICU?
    *** Stepdown or telementry.

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