New Grads in the ICU - Summer 2013 - page 4

by blueorchid981 22,275 Views | 61 Comments

Hey everyone! I am a new grad that will be starting my first nursing job in the ICU! I precepted in an ICU as well. This thread is for all new grads starting in an ICU this summer! We can compare notes, support and vent with one... Read More


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    Hey all! I thought I'd pop back in! I've been working in the general med/surg floors at my hospital for a while so I could learn the charting system and the resources available during my shift. I just started my ICU orientation this past week. My preceptor is awesome. Seriously though, I haven't met a bad preceptor yet at this place. So far I have almost all positive feelings about it compared to my previous place of employment (nothing bad about that one, I left on great terms, but it ratios were much higher and resources were fewer). I have a mix of traditional classes, online modules and my paired preceptor shifts. I have about 8 weeks in our MICU before I move onto SICU and then potentially CVICU.

    Not to say that it's been all sunshine and rainbows, because after all, this is ICU. But I'm learning and my clinical educator made it really clear that I'm not expected to know anything yet. They know that I'm going to be completely dependent on my preceptor and have a lot of questions. It's great to feel so well supported this time around! I don't know if it's growing after my first year or if it's just how well organized this orientation is, but man, I actually feel like I'll eventually be able to do this Critical Care Float thing!

    On a side note, I took my critical care didactic pretest this week, 70%! I even tested out of endocrinology, orthopedic and GI (100% on that section!). I was one shocked and happy RN.
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    I m currently in a BSN program at UNLV and would eventually like to become a Nurse Anesthetist. This requires at least one year experience as a critical care nurse. If I am reading the posts in this thread correctly...are you telling me it is possible to go straight from BSN with no experience (other than program clinicals) and become a critical care nurse???? If so what states, hospitals, etc are you all in. My anticipated graduation is December 2014.
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    Quote from MISSUNIQUE99
    I m currently in a BSN program at UNLV and would eventually like to become a Nurse Anesthetist. This requires at least one year experience as a critical care nurse. If I am reading the posts in this thread correctly...are you telling me it is possible to go straight from BSN with no experience (other than program clinicals) and become a critical care nurse???? If so what states, hospitals, etc are you all in. My anticipated graduation is December 2014.
    It's possible. Get a preceptorship in the ICU. Get an internship in critical care in the summer after your junior year. Find a part time job now in a hospital because it'll help your chances as well. Good luck!
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    Quote from JeanOfAllTraits
    Hey all! I thought I'd pop back in! I've been working in the general med/surg floors at my hospital for a while so I could learn the charting system and the resources available during my shift. I just started my ICU orientation this past week. My preceptor is awesome. Seriously though, I haven't met a bad preceptor yet at this place. So far I have almost all positive feelings about it compared to my previous place of employment (nothing bad about that one, I left on great terms, but it ratios were much higher and resources were fewer). I have a mix of traditional classes, online modules and my paired preceptor shifts. I have about 8 weeks in our MICU before I move onto SICU and then potentially CVICU.

    Not to say that it's been all sunshine and rainbows, because after all, this is ICU. But I'm learning and my clinical educator made it really clear that I'm not expected to know anything yet. They know that I'm going to be completely dependent on my preceptor and have a lot of questions. It's great to feel so well supported this time around! I don't know if it's growing after my first year or if it's just how well organized this orientation is, but man, I actually feel like I'll eventually be able to do this Critical Care Float thing!

    On a side note, I took my critical care didactic pretest this week, 70%! I even tested out of endocrinology, orthopedic and GI (100% on that section!). I was one shocked and happy RN.
    Great job! Sounds like you're doing well. It really helps to have helpful people on your team.

    I've been doing basic orientation and worked one shift on the floor so far. I had a crazy busy first day! But I definitely learned a lot. I'm starting on days but will eventually work nights. My orientation is 10 weeks.

    How is everyone doing??
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    Thank you @blueorchid for the advice. Wishing everyone the best.
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    Hey everyone! I'm a little late but I am a new grad and started in the ICU 3 weeks ago. I was really happy to find this thread. How is everyone doing in there orientations/training?
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    So far I've had 2 weeks on the floor! I'm loving it! I have an awesome preceptor and have learned a ton already! My orientation is 12 weeks.. How is everyone else's going?
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    Almost done with my first week of orientation! Not on the unit yet though, that will start on tuesday. Everyone in my cohort is a little nervous about the BKAT that we have to take next week. I don't care if my manager said it's just an "assessment" and not a test, I still consider it a test. Makes me want to study all weekend on everything in life, even though they told us specifically not to. Otherwise I'm excited! We are going to be oriented to the classroom part of orientation on monday and learn how to use ECCO. Besides the test I'm looking forward to being able to move around the floor. My cohort is all experienced nurses (2 with step down experience and 1 with med/surg experience) I'm the only new grad between the two critical care units! Eeekk.

    Hope everyone's orientation is going well! Any recommendations on study material? I know there is a lot of info in the forums, based on that I rented the ICU book and have the Critical Care made Incredibly easy books
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    Quote from annie.z
    Almost done with my first week of orientation! Not on the unit yet though, that will start on tuesday. Everyone in my cohort is a little nervous about the BKAT that we have to take next week. I don't care if my manager said it's just an "assessment" and not a test, I still consider it a test. Makes me want to study all weekend on everything in life, even though they told us specifically not to. Otherwise I'm excited! We are going to be oriented to the classroom part of orientation on monday and learn how to use ECCO. Besides the test I'm looking forward to being able to move around the floor. My cohort is all experienced nurses (2 with step down experience and 1 with med/surg experience) I'm the only new grad between the two critical care units! Eeekk.

    Hope everyone's orientation is going well! Any recommendations on study material? I know there is a lot of info in the forums, based on that I rented the ICU book and have the Critical Care made Incredibly easy books

    Hello! This is my first time quoting someone on my app, so hopefully it doesn't look like a mess lol. I apologize in advance!

    I'm newbie that recently started as well. Wecolme to the ICU! I wouldn't worry to much about the BKAT because you'll most likely take it twice to see how much knowledge you've acquired through clinical and ECCO. They say the average new grad BKAT score is between 72-74%. I got an 80% woot woot lol. You sound a lot like myself. Two weeks before my start date, I was preparing myself (patho,hemodynamics, vasoactive gtts, etc). Not because of BKAT because I've never heard of it til orientation. Rather, I like to be prepared and review any cardiothoracic related material.


    As a new grad we have a steep learning curve. I'm doing whatever I can to lessen that curve by preparing. I did my senior practicum in my unit which has help tremendously with decreasing the curve! Also, I worked as a nurse and monitor tech during school in our other ICU and know my rhythm like no other lol. In addition, having early exposure to the critical care world.


    In terms of ECCO course, it is a fantasic tool to help us out! It's pretty lengthy, but provides useful information. Just remember to be thankful for the opportunity. We recently started using ECCO courses. Former nurses are not allowed to take the course. It's only offered to new grads/transferring nurses to the unit.
    my_purpose likes this.
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    I love this thread also! I start orientation for the ICU on Monday the 12th. So nervous, yet so very excited. I have always wanted the CC/ED units but was always told that new grads don't start there. Feeling really blessed. Will get those books so that I can feel comfortable in my own mind on Monday.


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