new student with q's

  1. Hi, all. Hope you can help me out. I am hoping to get to work in an adult ICU as soon as I get my RN license. I am wondering what sort of things I need to be concerned about when looking for a job. What questions are important to ask when comparing one ICU to another? The last thing I want to do is get hired into a poor quality facility where I get thrown out in the lions' den, having to fend for myself. Don't get me wrong, I am a very motivated person I don't expect to be spoon fed, but I also have enough sense to know that a new grad can't possibly be equipped well enough to survive on their own in this setting. I have heard that making sure you get good training is the most important thing but I wonder what else I need to consider. Any advice out there??
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   frann
    As a new grad you should be in a preceptor program. I can't really remember how long they should last maybe 3-6 months.

    As anurse in micu-ratios should be no more than 1 to 2 patients sometimes on evenings or nights they might have to triple up but this should be the exception. I'm not so sure of the ratios in sicu or cicu. ratios might be more like 1 to 1.

    Before your interview. visit the hospital. Can't really visit the icu's.
    but visit the floors. talk to the nurses. There will be times you will be floated out to the floors. Ask about the ratios. Days 1 to 4-6 is ok. Even. 1 to 6 is norm. Nights no more than 1 to 8. Ask the nurses how long they have been there. That will tell you a lot right there. Good luck.
  4. by   HLopez
    In my opinion...You should try a Medical Intensive Care Unit you will have a variety of patient problems and you will hopefully become more well rounded. Later, you can see what really interests you i.e. Heart (CVICU,CCU,ACCU, Cath Lab) etc..
  5. by   nowplayingEDRN
    Originally posted by frann
    As a new grad you should be in a preceptor program. I can't really remember how long they should last maybe 3-6 months.

    As anurse in micu-ratios should be no more than 1 to 2 patients sometimes on evenings or nights they might have to triple up but this should be the exception. I'm not so sure of the ratios in sicu or cicu. ratios might be more like 1 to 1.

    Before your interview. visit the hospital. Can't really visit the icu's.
    but visit the floors. talk to the nurses. There will be times you will be floated out to the floors. Ask about the ratios. Days 1 to 4-6 is ok. Even. 1 to 6 is norm. Nights no more than 1 to 8. Ask the nurses how long they have been there. That will tell you a lot right there. Good luck.
    I agree. If you want adult ICU right out of school you definitely want a place that offers a preceptor program. That way you will be ensured of a good orientation and you will not be like a floundering fish out of water. You also want to inquire about nurseatient ratios.........I also think that MICU might be the best place to start out as you will get a bit more broad knowledge base exposure and that will help ground all the knowledge you just aquired in school. Good luck in your venture and in school. Please keep us posted.
  6. by   mady
    One/two year of nursing experience will help you to establish your nursing skills and knowledge. Then it will be a good time to start your ICU career.

    I did that and went into ICU nursing. At the start, i had 2 week of preceptorship progam and worked for another 2 months before starting my ICU grad dip course.

    I started in a surgical ICU (cardiathoracic/trauma), and i loved it, especially the cardaithoracic side of it. Luckily, i didn't started in general ICU (trauma/general medicine) because i found that i didn't like trauma and general medicine at all ... so

    By the way, I thought the ratio is always 1:1 for all ventilated/high intropic requirement/IABP/hameofiltration/serve burn patients or 1:2 for other paitents in ICU... anyway, this is the case in Australia
  7. by   mattsmom81
    Our hearts are 1:1 until extubated...and at that time if they are relatively stable they become 1:2. Same with IABP's...if they're relatively stable ON it, and cooperative. So I see nurses tending to avoid the word 'stable' word in charge report or automatically they buy next admit. I've even noticed some some nurses obtain a written doctors order..."keep patient 1:1" to fend off administration.

    Rarely do we have 1:1's on a regular basis unless we fight for it. It's like pulling teeth in my area.
  8. by   MIS
    To echo what others have said, it is important to research the units you are interested in. A intership program is very important in my opinion. I only applied to hospitals that had such programs for new grads. I worked as an LPN for a year while I finished my ADN. It was a level I trauma facility and provided me with the basic experience I needed to make the transition. I also did a 6 week preceptorship in nursing school in the ICU. It's also important to research the specific units. The unit I work in is a CCU but takes on medical and surgical ICU patients when the neuro/trauma ICU gets full. It's provided me with a well rounded experience but still affords me the opportunity to take care of the cardiac patients which I really like. It's all about doing the leg work with the specific units you have in mind and going for what works best for you.

    Good Luck,
    Blake
  9. by   suetje
    AACN has a standardized ICU orientation program that has just come out called ECCO, I believe. They do very well with this stuff, and I am sure it would cover all the primary learning bases. The good thing about working in a general care unit before you go to ICU is to get good, basic nursing knowledge and learn to be able to make nursing judgements. But if you DO choose to go to an ICU right off, make sure they are staff champions ( I am so lucky to have these folks as mangement in my unit!) and then you are more likely to be able to discuss issues/ problems with them. Also, insist on a 6 - 8 week orientation, and ask for a mentor who can buddy you after orientation. If it is done with care and consideration for you, you will love ICU!!

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new student with q's