Need help transitioning from mixed ICU to Heart Transplant ICU

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    Hello Everyone,

    I don't know if any of you out there are working in Heart Transplant, but I have decided to up my game and have started working on the Heart Transplant unit. I've worked in a mixed, medical/surgical ICU for 4 years. I thought I had it down pat! I had great time management skills, knew when and which doctor to call, patient care was a breeze, etc. Well, I have been totally thrown off my wagon! I feel like a brand new nurse again! My time management skills have flown out the window and do not apply to this unit. I can't even keep up with the patient care and the hourly numbers, etc. I never know who to call. Too many residents, fellows, and they change every month. I've been here a month and I'm still struggling. Any suggestions, helpful hints, nursing brains that work. We have many LVADs, balloon pumps, ECMO, CRRT and they are usually all on one patient. I feel like I'm drowning!
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    One month? That ain't squat ... give yourself some time. I did 12 years in a CVICU with LVADS, BiVADS, heart/lung transplants, blah blah blah. Just take it step by step and you'll be fine. I went into that kind of ICU right out of school. What was I thinking? The first month I wanted to quit every day. Next 6 months it was once a week. By 5 years it's smooth sailing. At 10 years I hardly listened to report. "Just hit the high points." Even after 10 years you will learn something new every day, so give yourself some slack. The amount of things to learn IS overwhelming, that's normal, but you will get it. I always called it organized chaos, even at 3am.

    From there I went into a 'normal' ICU and it was a breeeeeze!

    I finally got tired of the extreme high acuity on a daily basis.

    Have faith in your skills and GOOD LUCK!


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