I have six years of experience as an OR nurse. I work at a 7 room OR in a major city. We had 2 heart nurses and both of them left for varies reasons. I am good at what I do and enjoy it. I can do any kind of cases that we have at our hospital. I am a strong nurse and that is the main reason my boss has chosen me and another employee to be the new heart nurses. The truth is that I never had any desire to be a heart nurse. I have not been properly trained and it is all on the job training. My boss is trying to have us shadow at an another facility but they have been slow with their own heart case load. So far it's been us two during the cases which average one a week for the last month. I want to hear from any nurses who are or have been heart nurses. I am learning fast but would like some tips to make my transition go smoother than it is. I have done research on line but would that doesn't compare to real life experiences. I am willing to accept the challenge and to grow as a nurse. Thanks for any advice.
May 24, '13
Really, circulating a heart isn't that much different than circulating any other surgery. Yes, there's new surgeon idiosyncrasies to learn, some new equipment, positioning tips, etc. but the fact that you have 6 years experience already gives you a head start. What we tell nurses new to our heart team is that they should make themselves a little cheat book: surgeon preferences (we have one surgeon who likes his bovie settings changed when taking down the mammary), what sutures get used for which grafts (most of our guys use 7-0 prolene for all grafts, one uses 8-0 for grafting the mammary), where commonly used supplies are located, and things along that line. Also, the STs who do hearts can be a great resource- don't be afraid to use them as such. The biggest thing I had to get used to was seeing v. fib on the monitor, thinking oh crap!, but then realizing that oh yeah, we did that on purpose.
Jun 17, '13
I am a heart nurse since I graduated.In our facility no one likes to join the heart team because of number of calls.The patients are sick compared to other surgeries,so it gives some stress.I do enjoy working in the heart room because we are saving life,I have received thank you cards through hospitals from patients.We need to act fast,once you familiar with everything you will be fine.Good luck