Sheesh, I had a long, detailed reply to this already almost finished when my computer did an automatic Windows update and restarted without any warning! Let's see if I can recreate it...
First off, it's a bad idea to try and learn everything there is to know about such a complex subject as peds cardiac before you even get a foot through the door. There's so much to learn and a lot of it makes much more sense when you add it to stuff you already know. A well-structured orientation will give you basic information and move to the more complex as you go along, allowing you to build on a good foundation. So I suggest you start by reading the sticky How to Prepare for that First PICU Position
and all the threads it contains, except maybe the interview part, since you already have a job... I suggest this because the cardiac part is only a portion of what you're going to need to know and do.
Next, review your fetal circulation and the changes it undergoes once the baby takes its first breath. This will help you understand everything that comes later - the things we see in kids with cardiac lesions.
1. The list of cardiac anomalies is long and full of alphabet soup. They run the gamut from patent ductus arteriosus, simple atrial septal defect/patent foramen ovale, ventricular septal defect, atrioventricular septal defect, valvular atresia or stenosis, coarctation of the aorta, interrupted aortic arch, transposition of the great arteries, tetralogy of Fallot, truncus arteriosus, partial- or total-anomalous pulmonary venous drainage, double-outlet right ventricle, double-inlet left ventricle and hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
2. The list of drugs is even longer: morphine, midazolam, lorazepam, ketamine, hydromorphone, fentanyl, propofol, chloral hydtrate; epinephrine, norepinephrine, vasopressin, phenylephrine, dopamine, dobutamine, milrinone, digoxin, nitroglycerine, sodium nitroprusside, esmolol; captopril, enalapril, labetalol, carvedilol, sotalol, propranolol; furosemide, bumetanide, hydrochlorothiazide, spironolactone, ethacrynic acid; adenosine, amiodarone, lidocaine, procainamide; potassium chloride, magnesium sulfate, calcium chloride, sodium bicarbonate; cefazolin, piperacillin-tazobactam, meropenem, vancomycin; ranitidine; fish oil... and if your unit does heart transplants, you can add tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, ATGAM, RATGAM, methylprednisolone, prednisone, ganciclovir, fluconazole and a few others.
3. In addition to the lists in the other threads from the sticky, you'll need to know chest tube care, pacemaker management, JP drain care, intracardiac line care, management of the patient with an open sternum, on peritoneal dialysis, on continuous renal replacement therapy and on extracorporeal life support.
4. Pediatric dysrhythmias aren't as numerous as adults' and they're usually easier to discern. The most common ones in a PCVICU are sinus tachycardia, sinus bradycardia, junctional ectopic tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, premature atrial complexes and pulseless electrical activity. There are a number of good teach-yourself-12-lead-ECGs books out there but I think you should let your clinical educator teach you what you'll be expected to know.
5. Cardiac kids are prone to electrolyte and acid-base imbalances. Potassium, ionized calcium, magnesium, lactate, creatinine, urea, hemoglobin, hematocrit and methemoglobin are all important measures.
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