I am a new nurse with about a month of home health experience. Most of my clients have vents, trachs, gtubes, electrolyte imbalances, and other complicated medical problems that make my job challenging and rewarding. I love what I do! However, I am hoping to be placed in an ICU within a month or two. I have told my employers this before being hired and they were okay with me moving to PRN if I earn the spot at another facility.
Now the nitty gritty. I have applied to other hospitals in my area for Med-Surg positions and had ZERO luck. I wanted, badly, to start in Med-Surg to increase my confidence, improve/master skills and become the most efficient and organized nurse before jumping into a high acuity environment. Not so much. It turns out that I have had more luck landing feedback and responses for ICU/ER positions. It's not ideal, but I need to be in the hospital environment. This particular position comes with a six month orientation/training and a 3 month preceptorship. It's more than I received with home health!
Does anyone have any tips, advice, free knowledge they would like to share for a baby nurse possibly headed to an ICU? Tips from equipment/supplies I should always carry on me to things to "never forget;" I welcome it all!
I may as well state that I have been taking classes, working towards certifications, etc. to maximize knowledge and prepare myself for a truly arduous field. I am completely committed.
Thanks to all!
Oh, one more thing. Don't act on verbal information. What I mean is, if the lab calls you to say that your patient's result is this or that -let's say a low potassium- you, being a good, caring, diligent nurse, know your patient has a potassium protocol and you want to just run and get a bag and get it going.
Don't do it. Waaaaiiiittt.... for the printout, or the result to pop up on the computer, or some other kind of evidence that the lab told you that. They could be wrong. Mistakes can happen. They might have told you someone else's result, and if you acted on it, it's gonna be a "he said, she said" thing, and you're the one who actually did something TO the patient, so you're the one in the hot seat. If it's a superhorriblyscarybad result, tell the lab person to get it in the system stat so you can act on it.
I learned this from a friend who got that kind of call, with both her patients on heparin drips, and she swore up and down that the lab person said this and not that; she had no proof that it was the lab tech and not her making the error, and she gave a heparin bolus to the patient who actually had an elevated PTT, and the patient ultimately needed a craniotomy. I was the nurse caring for the patient that night, and it was a bad scene.
Last edit by Piglet08 on Aug 1, '12
: Reason: punctuation