OK, so which cardiac meds are you having trouble with? The best way to try and understand them is to first understand hemodynamics and of course, for antiarrhythmics or for the number of drugs that can be proarrthythmic, to know your dysrhythmias and basic EKG interp. I mean did they give you a critical care course with any of this information? Seems like a lot of places are forgoing this with people anymore.
You need to know what effects what and where and how. You need to be secure w/lab interpretations and how labs can affect rhythms and dynamics. Same thing with fluids and electrolytes.
You need to be a zip at ABG interpretation. And like anything else, the more you work with it, the better you become.
This guy has a decent site for new nurses in the ICU.
Of course it's adult ICU information.
When you move into dealing with a lot of different types of direct post-op/SICU patients, you have to throw a lot of other stuff into your knowledge base, b/c the management can be very different.
Same thing goes with PICU and NICU. A good understanding of basic critical is good for these areas as well, but management is much more specialized with the kids. Certain things are monitored and approaches to treatment can be quite different.
In fact, if there is a pediatric hospital, see if they are hiring nurses on their step down or ICU/s. Usually it's more of a "mother, may I approach" b/c you are dealing with kids, and they don't give you a lot of room for error. Thus, for most of these children's hospitals, orientation/precepting is usually 12 full weeks, and you usually aren't thrown right into the fire. It's a liability thing. Good for newer nurses, but for adult ICU nurses, it can be an adjustment; b/c you become used to working more autonomously. But if you are interested in taking care of critically ill babies and children, you easily accept the change, b/c there's like zero lead time for crumping with babies and kids. Adults you can mark a downward trend earlier on in many cases.
But what I am trying to say is in most children's hospitals I've worked or been in, they don't throw new nurses to the wolves. They may watch every tiny thing you do and be on your back, that's the nature of critical care areas; but most aren't going let a kid get into trouble for a second. Now I do think if you have experience in critical care, you can get dumped on, even in a children's hospital, but the fear factor is a bit greater in terms of liability. Just MHO>