New Grad in ICU

  1. 0
    Hi All!

    Okay, I just graduated in May 2012. I start working next week and this is my first job as a RN out of nursing school so I have no previous RN experience.
    I want to know if anyone can recommend a brief list of:
    1.)commonly given medications in the ICU
    2.)common need to know nursing skills (ie: trach suction)
    3.)Any other ICU advice or anything that I should brush up on?


    I have looked over ICUfaqs.org but it seems like WAY too many attachments and it seems like it is more written towards the authors own hospital and experience.
    I just need a simple breakdown of top, essential, need to know information without having to read through a million attachments like the icufaqs.org website has.

    I will be learning a lot in my 3 month orientation so I do not need to read ALOT of information, just some essential advice that I should know before my first day so I don't look like a complete idiot when I don't know some things that I should know through nursing school.
    Thank you!
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  3. 16 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    ICUfaqs is a GREAT source. I know it seems like a lot of is tailored towards the author's own place of employment, but it is a goldmine of information if you take the time to read through it.

    For medications, know your vasoactive medications - levophed, epinephrine, dopamine, dobutamine, neosynephrine, sodium nitroprusside, nitro. Other drips to know - cardizem, amiodorone, integrillin, heparin, lasix, bumex, octreotide, propofol, versed, fentanyl. All other meds are fair game, but those drips are typically the ones you encounter in ICU (some in step down) and not anywhere else in the hospital.

    Nursing skills - excellent assessment skills (and that develops over time), managing chest tubes and other drains, managing mechanical ventilators, hemodynamic monitoring, arrhythmia interpretation, ICP monitoring, assisting with central line/chest tube insertion, management of NG tubes/Dobhoffs/G-tubes, tube feeding, TPN, IABPs (if your unit has those types of patients), pacemakers, transcutaneous pacing/DC cardioversion/defibrillation...the list goes on an on.
    WhiffOfGas likes this.
  5. 0
    To add to the great list above ABG's and lab work.
  6. 0
    I just started (2 weeks ago!) in the ICU after 2 years in long term care/rehab nursing. Take it day by day once you start. If there is something you don't understand, write it down; go home, and look it up. ABG's are important. Knowing the normal range for all vitals is essential. You need to know the normals to be able to differentiate them from the abnormals. Knowing the differences between the different types of shock is a good skill to have (s/s of cardiogenic, septic, etc.) Pay attention when they go over the different types of lines. Learn the normal ranges for Swans, a-lines, etc. Attend any class that your hospital offers. EKG classes are important. The main medications I have seen used so far are neo-synephrine, dopamine, epinephrine, levophed, nitro, heparin, propofol, albumin, blood products, and a few others. Know the concentrations, and your facility's protocols. And if you are ever, EVER unsure of something; don't touch/do anything until you ask your preceptor! Good luck. I am enjoying myself learning and relearning all of these new things.
  7. 0
    I do not have advice, I just want to say congrats and good luck! I will be graduating next May and hope to get into an ICU sooner than later! Youll learn so much so fast! Im jealous haha! again good luck and congrats!
  8. 0
    Hello everyone,

    I graduated nursing school last june, nad I would love some advice.
    I have an interview for icu fellowsihip., does any of you know how this work. How should I prepare for interview?
    The email I received for interview says to be preapred for a basic med test, does anyone knows how is the test. Thank you guys
  9. 0
    Congrats! Tonight I begin week 16 of my 16 week ICU internship. We had structured courses for each body system, and had focused patients (whenever possible) assigned to us during those units.

    You will get to know your facility's soft stops and hard stops for gtt titration, vents, labs, abgs, etc. It also kind of depends on where you are working in the ICU. I spent a majority of my time in MSICU (mostly Neuro & Trauma) but am finishing my training in the CCU. Needless to say there was a learning curve

    Just relax, be ready to learn, volunteer to help with everything, and ask lots and lots of questions!
  10. 0
    Thank u!!!
  11. 0
    Help!!! I interviewed yesterday for icu fellowship and the interview last 15-20 min. I was interviewed by 2 nurses manager from icu. They were extremely nice, but they only asked me 3 questions, and asked me to ask them questions. I asked them about 7 questions, and I asked for a tour they were really happy that I asked for it. They showed me everything and introduced me to the staff. My concern is that in the end she told me to email her next week and ask about the process. She also told me to put on the email things we discuss do she knows who I'm. Is it a bad sign. She said to email her so she can tell the DON about me. I asked how many openings she said 6 and is interviewing 20 people. I'm really anxious about it. This is a dream opportunity. I'm a new-grad no experience. Thank u!!!
  12. 0
    Quote from Lali1118RN
    Help!!! I interviewed yesterday for icu fellowship and the interview last 15-20 min. I was interviewed by 2 nurses manager from icu. They were extremely nice, but they only asked me 3 questions, and asked me to ask them questions. I asked them about 7 questions, and I asked for a tour they were really happy that I asked for it. They showed me everything and introduced me to the staff. My concern is that in the end she told me to email her next week and ask about the process. She also told me to put on the email things we discuss do she knows who I'm. Is it a bad sign. She said to email her so she can tell the DON about me. I asked how many openings she said 6 and is interviewing 20 people. I'm really anxious about it. This is a dream opportunity. I'm a new-grad no experience. Thank u!!!
    It's really hard to tell...but I think her wanting to tell the DON about you is a good sign. Best of luck to you!


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