I just started working the neuro ICU at Loyola who has a dedicated neuroscience area in the hospital. This is my first job as new RN and I was just wondering if anyone had any pointers to make my transition into the world of neuro ICU. I did my management clinical in CCU and I loved it, picked neuro because fascinated with the brain and I just love it, I have talked to other nurses who say it is the most demanding of all ICU's and I should not work there as a new grad.
Comments are very much appreciated.
I'm learning what it means to be a new grad in a neuro/trauma ICU and you may not want to hear from me but this seemed like a great opportunity to spill my guts. I just completed my second clinical week. I had great grades in school, passed my boards and am struggling from hour to hour to keep my head above water. I stay an hour late most nights with my preceptor tightening up my computer charting. I usually only take 15 minutes for lunch. I've peed...??? Heck, I don't pee and we're talking a 12.5 hour shift. I never realized the bladder could do that. I've looked at lines built up with multiple ports and wondered, oh my gosh, where to I put this connector??? Is this drug compatible with that one? Which way do I turn the stop cock? I forgot to do what??? You get the picture. Total deer in the headlights but I see potential.
It's a rough rocky road orienting to basic skills AND a unit nurse at the same time. I'm not saying it can't be done but I'm giving myself some wiggle room in the event it's just too much for me and that's the advice I give to you. Think of the worst case scenario. For me it means going to a step down unit. Knowing that frees me to let go of ego and allows me to get beyond my fears. I want to deliver excellent care. If I can't do it in a unit, there are other options. Be prepared to go home with doubts. It's not unusual and it doesn't mean you're not where you're supposed to be even though it sure doesn't feel like it. You might catch more colds and flu too. I've been sick 3 times in the last two months with colds and flu. My immune system is stressed out majorly.
My clinical orientation is 8 weeks and it is too short. I hope your is longer by at least x2. Do you feel comfortable talking with your preceptor? The better the communication is between you, the more likely you will be successful. Don't pretend to know what you don't know. Bad idea. I've done it and got caught with my pants down. Won't see me do that again.
Last edit by wonderbee on Mar 6, '06