farewell to PICU

  1. I realized yesterday that I only have 2 weeks of PICU nursing left before I quit my job! I'm taking a year off to go and work with a medical mission called Mercy Ships. I'll be serving as a general peds ward nurse on board a floating hospital somewhere in western Africa, and I'm scared to death. It's so crazy- I actually think of a busy pediatric ICU at a level 1 trauma center as my comfort zone!

    Any tips from those of you ICU personalities (aka super anal and borderline OCD ) who've also done ward nursing? I have no idea how to take care of more than 2 patients!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   MA Nurse
    I don't have any advice, but wanted to say "Have a great time!" I wish I would have done things like what you're doing before getting married and having kids. Well, maybe some day!
    Good luck!
  4. by   RainDreamer
    Sorry I have no advice either, but I wanted to wish you luck!! What a great thing this will be. I'm sure it's scary right now, if you're like me the scary thing is the unknown!

    If you can, please let us know how it goes while you're there or after you get back. I wish you all the very best!
  5. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    My best advice holds for any situation... make good use of your best resources. PARENTS!! They know the child and how to "work" them. They also will probably hang around and can do a lot of basic care so that you can concentrate on the more complex.

    In terms of organization, make yourself a schedule. There are several ways you can do it. One is to divide a sheet of paper into the same number of boxes as there are hours in your shift, then write in any interventions you have for that hour and the patient's name or bed number. Check them off as you do them. If you write meds in red, let's say, then you'll be able to see at a glance that at 1200 you have four meds due for three patients. Prepare them and label them clearly, maybe put the meds in plastic bags to keep them separate. Follow the five rights. Try and chart as you go, but if you can't you can then use the back of your sheet to take notes to use as a reminder for your charting later. On that side of the paper you could divide it into the number of kids you have, write in any pertinent info (weight, allergies, diet, precautions, vital sign abnormalities etc) that you've pulled from report and the Kardex. Put your vitals in the correct boxes and you'll be able to remember other things related to the assessment.

    It will be a bit of an adjustment but I know you can do it. It's not that hard, and you'll get into a routine that works for you and your patients fairly quickly.

    And as Kim said, have fun! This kind of opportunity doesn't come around every day. Take tons of pictures, sample the local culture, try some new foods, and pick up some meaningful souvenirs. Oh, and keep in touch!!!!!!
  6. by   AliRae
    I found out today that I'll be going to Liberia, so there's one uncertainty solved!

    As far as keeping in touch, I'll have a blog (alirae.net/blog) where I'll chronicle all my adventures. Stop by!

    And you better all believe I'll be turning to some you for advice when I get stuck running the ICU all by my lonesome... =)
  7. by   SuesquatchRN
    You're doing a wonderful thing.

    And Liberia is an interesting place - founded by freed American slaves led by Marcus Garvey7 and the Back to Africa movement.

    Good luck and God speed.

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