I do not work on a floor specifically pulmonary but I will say that the majority of my patients are on the ventilator or recently weened. The patient load roughly is 4-5 patients, with the occasional 6th patient.
Probably one of the most difficult things for me was the sputum and tracheal secretions but after spending a few weeks with it, it got easier each shift and now Im completely immune to being grossed out.
Knowing how to handle the patients on the ventilator and learning alarms and settings probably will be most beneficial to your success. Respiratory therapy will either love you or hate you. Please do not be THAT nurse who calls Respiratory therapy and walk out of the room when all the patient needed was to be suctioned.
That really is the basics. Have fun and make this an opportunity for learning and being a well rounded nurse!