Hello everyone. I have been an RN for about 7 years. In my time I have worked in ER the longest (level 1 trauma center included), also spent time in an extremely tough CTICU (managed every kind of open heart patient as well as lung and heart transplant patients), spent time in disaster medicine (FEMA), and worked ortho/med/surg when I first graduated. I work at a large university hospital, and it operates one of two full time hbo departments in the entire city. As fate would have it, the full time HBO nurse at my hospital quit after 10 years of service, and gave very little notice. All part time/casual staff have also quit over the past several months. In a panic, the emergency department offered me the job 2 days ago (clinical coordinator/full time RN for HBO). Having no knowledge of hyperbaric medicine, or knowing what I was getting myself into....I accepted. The current hbo nurse leaves 1 week from tomorrow, and then it will be up to me to run the entire department, as well as train additional casual/part time staff. Today was my second day of training with the nurse. There is no formal class or orientation to take for this job. The only person in the entire hospital who truly understands how to run the department and handle every kind of hyperbaric emergency...adult and pediatric, leaves next Friday. This is a 40hr week position as well as being on call around the clock. In the two days I have spent with her so far, I am falling in love with hyperbaric medicine. It is unlike anything I know, and the autonomy and leadership given to me blow me away. The problem is that I have absolutely nobody to turn to for help. I am overseen by an ED physician who screens all patients. He loves HBO, is a really good guy....and has been doing this for years. Unfortunately, when it comes to equipment, and how to handle patients, there will be nobody in the entire hospital system for me to turn to.......so......I arrive at my questions....
1.) What is the best publication to enroll in so I can begin learning as much about hyperbaric medicine as I can?
2.) I am writing down every single bit of knowledge I can get from the current nurse, I am drawing diagrams, I am locating and reading every policy/instruction/teaching manual I can get my hands on. Do any of you seasoned hbo nurses have any really important tips for a starting nurse?
I'm hoping that I can turn to this online community and draw from your knowledge base. At this time I am trying to arm myself with any resources I can in this field, and may post problems I encounter here.