ICU nurses please respond!!!

  1. I graduate in August and just got my preceptorship placement. I am assigned to do 170 hours in the ICU. I put in a request for L&D or pediatrics but didn't get it. While I feel that ICU experience will be great for my boards...i am scared to DEATH! I have always wanted to practice nursing in the area of women's health, community health, and psych nursing...the ER and ICU scare me and I feel like it is a very stressful place to be.

    However, I do not want to feel so negative about this. I know that it will be a great experience for me..and one that will probably help me gain confidence!

    Soooo, I need suggestions. I have a couple weeks to prepare for this preceptorship. What are some things I should review? Common drugs? Skills/procedures? Anything else? I want to have a bit of a foundation before I start and I have a little time to review and learn some things on my any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Thanks! Jamie
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Silverdragon102
    Moved to the ICU forum
  4. by   labman
    I will say I know your feeling of getting placed somewhere you don't want to be for your senior internship.
    When I was a senior we had a lottery and I wanted ICU sooooo bad, but we had a lottery system and I picked the last number. I got stuck in rehab. I really wanted to be a cardiovascular ICU nurse and this experence made my change my mind and I chose Neuro ICU and love it. So keep your mind open.

    Some things that are good to learn is ventilator associated pneumonia, sepsis, septic shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome and CHF. Those are a couple of diagnosis I can think of
  5. by   jamieousn
    i are right..i am trying to keep my mind open and im sure it will turn out just fine. thank you for your help!
  6. by   athena55
    I would seriously suggest you check out Mark Hammerschmidt, RN web site
    A WONDERFUL resource....Since you have a few weeks, go through it.
    I realize you are still in school, but if you could also try to enjoy your preceptorship.
    Good Luck to you!
  7. by   jamieousn
    thank you very much for the reference. I will definitely take a look at it!

    And I am getting more and more ok with being in the ICU after talking to many other students and RN's. I know it will be a great experience for me

  8. by   suanna
    Get the ACLS text- even if it is going to be a while before you have to take the test it is a great ref. for basic cardiac and hemodynamic management, The hospital prob. has it for the nurses ref. but I would buy one for myself- they are pretty cheap. Check with the floor- do the docs use a lot of Swans? Are nurses in charge of weaning from the vent? Do most patients have a-lines? Every ICU has its' own flavor and standard level of acuity- If your hospital is a trauma center you will see a lot different patient population than if you are a smaller rural community hospital. A walk through the unit will do more to answer your question than we can in this forum.
  9. by   dorie43rn
    I bet you will love the ICU. Once most nurses get to the ICU, they seldom leave.
    I have only been in the ICU two years, and my suggestions on what to go over are Medications like pressors, heparin and cardiac drugs. Also look up ACLS protocols for codes, brady's sinus tach ect. I still read over all that info to keep it fresh in my mind.
  10. by   Chisca
    Preceptorship implies there is a preceptor. I would share with your preceptor your misgivings and fears. A good preceptor is not going to let you sink and will structure your assignment so that you are gaining valuable experience. If you aren't comfortable with a particular device/therapy/treatment tell your preceptor before you get in over your head. The worst preceptee is the one who thinks they know it all. The institution is investing alot of time and money in your training and they don't want you to fail.
  11. by   jamieousn
    thanks everyone for all of your suggestions! i appreciate it and i think it will all be helpful these few weeks before i begin. i am starting to look forward to it
  12. by   gcj95

    Relax, after you get rid of those butterflies you will love it. As an ICU nurse for many years I can't imagine working anywhere else. Go in with an open mind. Ask questions, hopefully you will have a preceptor to help you grow and see the beauty of this specialty.