Practicum in PCU (progressive care unit)

  1. I just learned that I will be doing my practicum in the PCU. I just came out of OB, Peds. so i wanted to know what I should brush up on before starting.

    Thank you in advance!
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    About Cunurse2013

    Joined: May '12; Posts: 12


  3. by   turnforthenurse
    On a PCU you will see a wide variety of things. Chances are your patients will all be on telemetry, so know your cardiac rhythms and know your cardiac drugs. Know some drips, too. On my PCU, we can administer dopamine (up to 5mcg/kg/min), nitro (titrate for chest pain only, though, not BP), Lasix, Heparin, Amiodorone, Integrillin, octreotide, dobutamine (usually if they transferred from ICU and are being weaned) and cardizem.

    Admitting diagnoses/comorbidities that I see a lot on my unit: acute respiratory failure, ARDS, COPD exacerbation (we often get a lot of those patients requiring BiPAP support), status asthmaticus, pneumonia, obstructive sleep apnea, seizure disorders, ischemic stroke/TIA, renal failure (both acute, chronic and acute on chronic, ESRD), electrolyte imbalances (patients get admitted a lot for hyperkalemia/hypokalemia or hyponatremia), acute coronary syndromes, cardiac tamponade, heart failure, cardiomyopathies, hypertensive crisis, pulmonary edema, DVT, PE, DKA, HHNKS, GI bleeds, acute pancreatitis, substance abuse, sepsis/SIRS.

    Review chest tubes and how to properly manage one.

    I love working on PCU. I did my preceptorship on a similar unit that also had a vascular ICU built-in. I ended up getting hired on a PCU after graduation. You definitely learn a lot on this type of floor. Good luck and feel free to PM me with any questions you may have!
  4. by   gikg
    Hi I will start my preceptorship on PCU in 3 weeks. Do you have any tips on how to get organized? I am afraid I will forget about management and things to watch for on any of those conditions. Do you have any recommendation? What is the difference between going to clinical as a nurse student and during preceptorship?

    Any tip will be appreciated.