New to the SICU

  1. 0
    Hey all,

    I recently accepted a transfer from my floor to the SICU. My orientation is this month, and I was wondering if anyone had any tips for working in the SICU? Is there anything I can study or look over before I begin orientation? I want to prepare as best as possible. Thanks for the advice.
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    ICU FAQs is a good introductory site with some information on lab valves, mechanical ventilation, shock, PA catheters, etc.

    Things you can expect to see on a regular basis include: Swan Ganz catheters, arterial lines, central venous pressure monitoring, intra-abdominal pressure monitoring, Rotaprone beds, CRRT/SLED/Dialysis/etc, possibly Intra-aortic Balloon pumping.

    Frequent meds: Dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, phenylephrine, vasopressin, dobutamine, diltiazem, amiodarone, sodium bicarbonate, labetalol, metoprolol, hydralazine, enalipril, hydromorphone, morphine, fentanyl, midazolam, lorazepam, propofol, vecuronium, TPA, Insulin gtts, Lasix, bumex, etc.

    Types of patients: Radical head and necks, AAA repairs, lots of BIG abdominal surgeries, dead bowel, bowel obstructions, gastrectomy/esophagogastrectomy, colectomy, thoracotomy, etc. Some SICUs do vascular patients to include Fem/popliteal bypass, aorto-femoral bypass, messenteric artery bypass, etc.
    D'luxe_RN and Skeletor like this.
  5. 1
    Hey ClaRN -- I too am new to the SICU and just finished my orientation. I am not sure what type of hospital you work in, but I work in a community hospital in Southern NJ. It is really sad to say that I feel as though most of the patients admitted to our unit arent TRUE ICU patients. I have been a nurse for over a year before I transferred into the unit and got about two and a half months of orientation. In that time I only had 2 patients with A-Lines, 2 patients with swans, alot of TLCs and CVP monitoring, moderate amount of vents. I wish that the patients were sicker, but we fly most of the really bad ones out to the city. Also, most of the time we dont have true surgical patients...we see alot of sepsis for some reason. Also, something I dont like is the fact that our hospital seperates the ICUs (cardiac, medical, and surgical) so we dont see EVERYTHING...just my two cents...
    Skeletor likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from SICU_Murse
    Hey ClaRN -- I too am new to the SICU and just finished my orientation. I am not sure what type of hospital you work in, but I work in a community hospital in Southern NJ. It is really sad to say that I feel as though most of the patients admitted to our unit arent TRUE ICU patients. I have been a nurse for over a year before I transferred into the unit and got about two and a half months of orientation. In that time I only had 2 patients with A-Lines, 2 patients with swans, alot of TLCs and CVP monitoring, moderate amount of vents. I wish that the patients were sicker, but we fly most of the really bad ones out to the city. Also, most of the time we dont have true surgical patients...we see alot of sepsis for some reason. Also, something I dont like is the fact that our hospital seperates the ICUs (cardiac, medical, and surgical) so we dont see EVERYTHING...just my two cents...
    Unfortunately that is not uncommon for community hospitals in NJ. It doesn't make financial sense for them to have ICU with the really sick patient because of the abundance of large teaching hospitals in the area, there are four in center city alone. If you really want to work with the sick of the sick you'll have to make the trip across the river or over to Cooper. Possibly AC depending on where your at. However I will say that gaining that experience and honing your skills will be a great benefit if you do decide to move on to a large teaching hospital.
  7. 0
    Find out what type of surgeries it is generally based on the level. My sicu was liver txp, kidney, big thoracic sur, and traumas. Call and ask them if they have info/education material. Is there a seperate cardiac icu? Then you will have a better idea on where to focus your studies.
  8. 0
    ICU FAQs is a great site and the book that they have written is fantastic. Check it out!!


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