Just off the top of my head, (just having finished the ICU semester.)
Things to read up on:
*Common Lab values ranges and meanings - ie. what does a low/high potassium mean and how does it manifest in the body?
*read up on mechanical ventilation: Common terms include: PEEP, Fi02, Tidal Volume, Bundle [UP]
*ETT or trach care, respiratory rate
*hemodynamic monitoring via Swan and A lines. What all the numbers (pressures) mean and what and how they affect the body.
*feeding tubes, NG tubes
*all kinds of drains, chest tubes
*Drugs used to treat typical medical conditions (diabetes, stroke, heart disease)
* Drugs used for things like medically induced comas, analgesics, induced sedation, reduce pain, and secondary infections prevention
Seems like a LOT, I realize..there was NEVER a bigger sign of relief than when I was done with ICU..but I enjoyed the experience SO much. You learn alot. Keep your eyes and ears open. Always offer yourself to any staff member when you can, and dont be afraid to do what they allow you to do (always keeping safety in mind of course.)