Quote from jmgrn65
Not all Open Hearts are recovered in PACU ours are recovered in the CTCU (cardiothoracic care unit).
Our hospital is also a non-trauma community with about 400 beds. All open chest surgeries (open hearts and valve replacements) go to the ICU directly and they have a ICU "open heart" nurse to recover and 1:1 them. Actually they are 2:1 for a while there at times. AAA's rarely are done (I have seen about 1 a year here) and we sometimes take care of them in PACU if they are stable enough and the anesthesiologist or surgeon want us to. Others go to ICU straight. It is just as hard to take care of a bleeding C-section or a tonsillectomy as a AAA. What I mean is that once you have enough confidence in your PACU skills you will find it a challenge but not so overwhelming. Fear is a good thing here, it means you will respect the fact that you need to learn alot. I learn every day and I have done this for over 5 years.
Cardiac patients have the same needs as all PACU patients which include careful airway management. You will need ACLS and PALS(if kids done there). You should get a cardiac monitoring course under your belt(how to interpret and treat). YOu need to know how to spot arrythmias(and normals) immediately. You need to learn about Cardiac output, oxygenation, blood gas interpretation, and vasopressors. With your Neuro ICU you are farther alon than I was when I started! Neuro is a really important aspect as you know. We don't do much neuro so I would pick YOUR brain if you worked with me!
I am sure I am missing alot but this is my contribution. Good luck with the interview. Ask if they have training or how long orientation is. You should get 3 months at least(Even with ICU experience)