New Nurse on Ventilator Unit

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    I'm a new nurse about to start on a Ventilator unit at a small hospital. Any advice? I'm nervous to death. i guess it's because i'm not sure what to expect or what i'll be dealing with on a day to day basis. I was told that i'll be working with IV's alot and that i'll be going through six weeks of training with a preceptor, the max number of patients i'll have will be 8. I really don't know what to say or ask but if you guyz have some pointers or tips i'd really appreciate it.
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    Quote from SixFtNurse2b
    I'm a new nurse about to start on a Ventilator unit at a small hospital. Any advice? I'm nervous to death. i guess it's because i'm not sure what to expect or what i'll be dealing with on a day to day basis. I was told that i'll be working with IV's alot and that i'll be going through six weeks of training with a preceptor, the max number of patients i'll have will be 8. I really don't know what to say or ask but if you guyz have some pointers or tips i'd really appreciate it.

    Don't worry---vents are not as scary as they seem. The people that are on them are sometimes hard to understand---if they try and talk to you. You'll be dealing with a lot of spit. Get used to it. Trachs are your friend. Your preceptor will make sure that you are more than prepared. Ask lots of questions.
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    We get a lot of vents on my unit too (tele & ICU stepdown) and they can be difficult when the pt is awake and is trying to talk to you. Remember to be patient and try to understand what they are saying. Also, like the above post said....you will be dealing with a ton of sputum and spit and etc. There will be a lot of suctioning too. I sometimes have a hard time dealing with this but it's part of the job. Also, remember that these vent pts always have an airway if anything happens. That's one down...then you just have to check for B & C in a code.....usually they are breathing too b/c of the vent so there's 2 down....left is circulation. It gets easier as you take care of more vent pts.
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    Ask a resp.therapist or the nurse most comfortable with vents for a one on one. Ask them to explain peep,IMV,TV etc. Write them in a notebook. Volunteer to due as much trach care and suctioning and aeresol medications.
    Ask as many questions as you can. Good Luck
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    There some VERY good tools for learning vents in the Peds forum.
    Here is the link: http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88548 (and feel free to print out the two Word documents I posted)
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    Hang in there ! You will do fine. I always make sure that my patients are suctioned by myself first rounds so that I can assess any changes in secretions and keep their airway clear.I work in a 16 bed vent unit in Northern Michigan.We are staffed with 2 nurses ,2 cena's and 1 RT.
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    I am wondering if anyone knows of a long term care facility that can accomodate a pt. that is mordidly obese and vent dependent?
  10. 0
    Quote from tjnurse90
    I am wondering if anyone knows of a long term care facility that can accomodate a pt. that is mordidly obese and vent dependent?
    I work in a nursing home that has a 36 bed vent unit. We also have several patients who are morbidly obese. It is in Belleville IL.
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    Quote from sargentlpn03
    I work in a nursing home that has a 36 bed vent unit. We also have several patients who are morbidly obese. It is in Belleville IL.
    WOW! I'd be willing to bet you've received several of our patients from where I work here in Jacksonville FL! Hope they're all doing well. May I ask you your facility can afford the cost of caring for these patients? They virtually bankrupt us (although we are an LTAC).
  12. 0
    Quote from SixFtNurse2b
    I'm a new nurse about to start on a Ventilator unit at a small hospital. Any advice? I'm nervous to death. i guess it's because i'm not sure what to expect or what i'll be dealing with on a day to day basis. I was told that i'll be working with IV's alot and that i'll be going through six weeks of training with a preceptor, the max number of patients i'll have will be 8. I really don't know what to say or ask but if you guyz have some pointers or tips i'd really appreciate it.
    [B]As the House Supervisor in a hospital with a Vent unit which employs many new grads, hope the following input helps. My new grads get overwhelmed with the various alarms. Learn what accurate vs non accurate pulse ox and tele readings are. Asks the RT's LOTS of questions about the vents. They too often alarm - most frequently for problems easily fixed such as suctioning, resetting the heat alarm, clearing the vent circut, as well as problems that resolve themselves such as the patient coughing, being turned, etc. Learn to be organized. I find that ALL my new grads do very well when they are well organized. Finally, keep in close touch with your supervisor throughout your orientation. If you don't feel you're progressing well, tell her so that she can provide you further direction and training! Wish you the best!


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