I am on the ICU floor this week...

  1. I am a new RN starting in ICU, my question is-
    How should I conduct myself. I am not intimidated by doctors or attendings but by experienced nurses. I am also scared of getting sucked into politics. I listen to people and before you know it I am in the middle of a drama. How should I approach experienced ICU nurses, so that they don't think I am scared of them or hate them. Also I feel like all other new hires are my competetion, they're smart but whenever I ask a question I feel like- they're thinking oh! what a waste of time.
    How do I conduct myself so that experienced nurses and my manager thinks that I have potential.

    P.S I suck at schmoozing and joking around. I am good at learning, absorbing asking questions and taking things seriously. I have started smiling now, so that helps.

    Appreciate any kind of feedback, suggestions.
    Last edit by tryinrealhard on Sep 18, '05 : Reason: little more info
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   bellehill
    As an ICU nurse I enjoy teaching new nurses as long as they want to learn. If you walk on the unit "knowing everything" I am immediately not interested in you. Talk to the nurses, ask them questions and you will be fine. If they are turning a patient jump in and help, try IV sticks, place NGTs, make yourself available. Smile at the nurses who are abrasive and help them too. Don't look at it as a competition between you and the new nurses, look at it as a learning experience. The more you learn the better you will be!
  4. by   jetsetter
    My view on this is Help, Help, Help. And whatever happens, whatever is said, say NOTHING.
    If you help, they will see as willing to learn, eager, and a general asset. Don't EVER say, "It's not my job, patient, problem."

    Read at night on a subject that comes up during the day, but if something isn't clear, ask. They expect you to not know everything.

    Ah, politics..... It's everywhere. Just don't go there. There is a difference between discussing the unit, or policies, or problems with a patient . But it's just plain gossip when you discuss someone else's job, problems, habits, skills..whatever. Don't gossip is the only way to play the game.
  5. by   CardioTrans
    First of all........ the only dumb or stupid question is the one that is not asked. I would much rather have someone ask tons of questions than pretend that they know something that they actually dont. Dangerous things happen this way.

    ICU can be intimidating to new nurses or even experienced nurses new to ICU. You are not supposed to know everything. Jump in the middle of procedures (if appropriate), ask to start IVs, foleys, venipuncture, offer to help anyway with anything. Do what you know how to do.....VS, assessment etc. Seek out any learning opportunity, even if its not with your patient. I like to see new nurses do that, even if I have someone that I am orienting.

    As far as the gossiping....... just smile and walk off, or if you are the only one there, just tell the person you have something to do for your patient. As a new nurse in ICU, you have more on your mind than who is fighting with who, or whos dating who etc.

    Good luck to you!
  6. by   organichombre
    Just smile, talk like you know everything, and get with the redheads, whether male or female! Just kidding except for the smiling!
  7. by   zambezi
    Ditto to what everyone else said! Always be asking questions and trying to expand your knowledge. I too am much more interested in somone asking genuine questions and trying to connect all the dots and see the big picture with how everything interrelates (vs. "knowing it all"). Anyone new to the field should have questions, it is not a competition (even though I know how you feel!) Asking questions not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you want to learn more and be the best that you can be for your patient's safety and well being. It is one of the major ways that you learn in this setting.

    As for politics- just try to stay out of of it- don't make comments about other nurses or staff and be there to learn and care for your patients- this however, does not mean that you can't interact socially at work- you still need to build a relationship with those that you work with (preferably a professional one- however, friendshships are not bad either- the staff I work with is like my second family). If you are not a joker- that is fine, it is you- however, many people find that a little joking around (while keeping patients first of course) sure makes work more fun so it may behoove you to not seem standoffish to those that like to have fun at work (jmo!!!). Having fun is one of my main reasons to work- if I am not having fun in my job, I need a new one.

    ICU nursing is serious work- however it is stressful so you need to have an outlet. I think that it is great that you are good at learning and absorbing new things- this will take you a long ways. Keep up the smiling and jump in, do as many procedures, and learn as much as you can!

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