New grad starting in NEURO ICU, please help

  1. Hi to all,
    I am a new nursing grad starting in a Neuro ICU. I am really scared. It is kind of intimidating and I don't know exactly what it will be like. If there is anyone that started as a new grad in a neuro icu or someone that can give me advice for starting , let me know. Much appreciation, MS
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Elenaster
    moninurse,

    Welcome to the wonderful world of neuroscience nursing! I started as a new grad in Neuro ICU and I'm one of those rare nurses who prefer that my patients are neurologically impaired.

    It is totally normal for you to feel intimidated by your new career. In the next few months, you are going to be overwhelmed with information, technical stuff, classes, etc. You are going to learn more in the first six weeks than you ever did in nursing school, much of which is probably going to contradict what you've already been taught.

    Please keep in mind that you will not be expected to retain every detail, nor will you be expected to recognize the signs and symptoms of every neuro condition that exists. The key to your success in these first few months is learning to organize and prioritize your patient care. You will become more and more comfortable with all the technical stuff over time, and your co-workers will expect you to be unfamiliar with it in the beginning.

    Make sure that you and your preceptor are a good fit, and if you're not, talk to management or your new-grad coordinator ASAP. Keep in mind that it cost the hospital a small fortune to orient a new nurse and they want you to be successful. I had a terrible preceptor one time and if I had not advocated for myself and changed the situation, I would have probably left my job.

    Ask lots of questions, even if you just need to clarify something. Be aware of your strengths and limitations and don't be afraid to share them with you co-workers.

    In my opinion, a good ICU nurse is one that is in tune with her/his patients and can anticipate problems and intervene before they become bigger problems. This is another acquired skill that will take some time, but before long, you'll have a patient that your gut instinct says "there's something not quite right" and you'll know what to do.

    I wish you the best of luck and if you have any specific questions, please feel free to PM me.

    Take care,
    Elena
  4. by   moninurse
    Hi Elena:
    Thanks so much for your advice. I greatly appreciate it. Knowing that what im feeling is normal is very comforting. Im just curious, what would you recommend in terms of dealing with the doctors. Ive heard in the beginning, the doctors try to control new nurses and tell them what to do. Did this happen to you??

    I will keep you posted on how things are going and if i have any questions i will not hesitate to write to you. sincerely, ms

    Quote from Elenaster
    moninurse,

    Welcome to the wonderful world of neuroscience nursing! I started as a new grad in Neuro ICU and I'm one of those rare nurses who prefer that my patients are neurologically impaired.

    It is totally normal for you to feel intimidated by your new career. In the next few months, you are going to be overwhelmed with information, technical stuff, classes, etc. You are going to learn more in the first six weeks than you ever did in nursing school, much of which is probably going to contradict what you've already been taught.

    Please keep in mind that you will not be expected to retain every detail, nor will you be expected to recognize the signs and symptoms of every neuro condition that exists. The key to your success in these first few months is learning to organize and prioritize your patient care. You will become more and more comfortable with all the technical stuff over time, and your co-workers will expect you to be unfamiliar with it in the beginning.

    Make sure that you and your preceptor are a good fit, and if you're not, talk to management or your new-grad coordinator ASAP. Keep in mind that it cost the hospital a small fortune to orient a new nurse and they want you to be successful. I had a terrible preceptor one time and if I had not advocated for myself and changed the situation, I would have probably left my job.

    Ask lots of questions, even if you just need to clarify something. Be aware of your strengths and limitations and don't be afraid to share them with you co-workers.

    In my opinion, a good ICU nurse is one that is in tune with her/his patients and can anticipate problems and intervene before they become bigger problems. This is another acquired skill that will take some time, but before long, you'll have a patient that your gut instinct says "there's something not quite right" and you'll know what to do.

    I wish you the best of luck and if you have any specific questions, please feel free to PM me.

    Take care,
    Elena
  5. by   gwenith
    I can't top Elenaster's excellent post but I will add that if you need any help - questions answered or just need a should to cry on please feel free to post here. I have started (only started) a resource thread for neuro - hopefully by the time I have finished it will be almost a "one stop shop' for neuro nursing websites'

    And remember the creed - there in no question "too silly" to ask!!!

    Welcome to the wonderful world of neuro!!
  6. by   Elenaster
    Quote from moninurse
    Hi Elena:
    Thanks so much for your advice. I greatly appreciate it. Knowing that what im feeling is normal is very comforting. Im just curious, what would you recommend in terms of dealing with the doctors. Ive heard in the beginning, the doctors try to control new nurses and tell them what to do. Did this happen to you??

    I will keep you posted on how things are going and if i have any questions i will not hesitate to write to you. sincerely, ms
    It all depends on whether or not you are working with residents. Nurses and residents are quite interdependent on one another, we need them to write orders and they need us to know which orders to write, especially if they're new or rotating from another service.

    I wish I could tell you that you will never be screamed at, but surgeons of any kind are a tempermental sort. Just try to have confidence in your abilities and don't take harsh words personally. I think sometimes they know that they should have been paying closer attention to changes in the patient's condition and end up blaming the nurses for not telling them (even though it's very likely you did tell them). Look to your experienced nurses to learn the doc's personalities and idiosyncracies. Don't be afraid of them, afterall they are only human too.

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