Hello! I am a senior nursing major at Kent State University. I have a few more weeks in my critical care clinical rotation and then I start my practicum with my nurse preceptor which is also in an Intensive Care Unit. I am just looking for some tips as I am looking to work on an Intensive Care Unit after graduation and passing the NCLEX, but overall I am very nervous. I feel like everyday I go to clinical and there is multiple things that are new to me that I have not learned yet and I am nervous that this feeling will never go away. I know it is impossible to know everything, but I am scared that as a new grad in an ICU I will not be able to provide the best patient care and will miss the important things. I am hoping I will be able to learn a lot and do a lot of nursing skills during my practicum, but are there any helpful tips or advice anyone can give me about starting in an ICU as a new grad?
Realize that you are a new nurse and that you are not expected to know everything on day one as a new nurse. You will have a preceptor who will carry on your training that you are about to receive in your practicum. Hopefully, there will be other experienced nurses willing to be your resource person/ mentor to get you through the first year or two. It will take 18 months to 2 yrs until you feel confident and competent in your job. Don't be afraid to ask questions. It is better to get the answer from an experienced nurse than to guess that you are doing something right.
You are in clincal, everything iin the ICU should be knew to you... Do you know how to listen to breath sounds, heart rate. Touch a patient, do a pupil assessment? You will be on orientation for a while. You will have minimal knowledge when you pass the NCLEX, it does not matter where you start, you have the nasic knowledge to pass the entrance exam. Focus on learning assessments, and just observing. During clinical you are not the nurse, you are the student. Read up on your patients, it will be the only way for you to learn more about your patients. Go home and take a look at different diseases. Re-read your patho book. It will be a fantastic experience.
The purpose of orientation is to give you the confidence and knowldege, etc.