I work on a pediatric cardiac stepdown. Our hospital also has a CICU, as well as a PICU. I really love my job.
About 70% of our patients are infants who have had or need to have heart surgery. The other 30% or so are kids covering the rest of the age range, some of whom are having repeat surgeries, others are new diagnosis cardiomyopathy, or new diagnosis arrhythmias in the older kids.
We get to know our patients in many cases because we see the same kids more than once. Heart transplant patients we see for years and years.
We do alot of teaching with the parents, because many times the baby has gone straight from a C section to the CICU and the parents have to learn to care for the baby after surgery, learn to place an NG tube, and learn to administer alot of medications. We also do alot of teaching for heart transplant patients and their families.
Patient assessment skills are very important because many of these patients are very fragile and will quickly deteriorate.
On our floor we have up to two drips. The patients requiring more than 2 drips are in the CICU. We occasionally have LVAD patients on the floor. Every patient is on a cardiac monitor or telemetry.