Just got my 1st job--Cardiac unit - page 2

i just got my first job!!!! it's a day shift on a cardiac unit at mountainside hospital. it's a busy floor--but there's lots to learn and lots of experience to gain there. i tell myself that... Read More

  1. by   dedami
    I worked on a cardiac telemetry floor for 5 1/2 years. I made myself a personal notebook which I kept on the floor in my locker. In it, I kept notes and copies of protocols, telemetry strip examples, standing orders, details concerning various medications, common compatibilities, .... you get the idea. Anything I might want to remember / review / look up in a hurry later. Also, as you are introduced to new medications / concepts / heart rhythms / etc. read up on your own time, at home etc. concerning the nursing implications. For example, the first time you have a patient with A-fib, then on your own, you can look that up, and learn as much about it, medications used to treat it, causes of it, etc. just as you did when you were a student. Same with procedures, labwork, etc. Add one concept to the next, one thing at a time and before long, it will all start flowing more naturally together for you.
  2. by   metalmom
    My first day on a DOU/Tele unit is tomorrow. I started a 2 day dysrhythmia recognition class last week and will finish on Friday. Will I catch on? My brain feels fried, like there is so much to learn.
  3. by   maximaxi
    Quote from jlrose
    i just got my first job!!!! it's a day shift on a cardiac unit at mountainside hospital. it's a busy floor--but there's lots to learn and lots of experience to gain there. i tell myself that everytime i get too nervous and freak out, lol. a fellow graduate of mine got hired on the same unit in august. so, if he can survive, so can i! right? lol anyway---just wondering if any cardiac nurses have any advice to offer a newbie?
    im in the same boat.i just started this month.when i get out of my car before each shift i tell myself. you can do this. do you have a med cheat sheet yet? example-common cardiac meds & action? just wondering. organization tips?
  4. by   Indy
    Actually in the First Year of Nursing section there's a thread of advice for newbies, and much of that applies to cardiac/telemetry units just fine.

    I'm trying to think of what to do that's specific to cardiology. Hmm. My drug book's not too big, so I carried that around with me for the first 8 months or so, and never hesitated to look stuff up. We have micromedex on the computer at work but I like the drug guide's way of wording the information. Action, half life, effects, what to look for, etc.

    We had to take the basic arrythmias course as part of our orientation. So I became a bit of a monitor freak. I'm still a monitor freak, I just feel a lot more comfortable with it now than I did last year. Artifact, for example, does not freak me out but I do know to go put leads on people quickly so I'll know if they've decided to quit breathing and code while yanking leads off. (this happened, just not to my patient.)

    The other advice I'd have would be about your cardiac drips. Do not get complacent with them. Know your protocols and then ask the experienced nurses what they think is wise. One thing I found out for sure about the protocols, is... well actually two things: they assume that you know the drug inside and out, and they tell you what you can feasibly do but not what is the wisest thing to do. I have a dopamine night from heck and a dobutamine night from heck etched on my brain now as a result from finding that out the hard way. So ask, ask, read, read. I guarantee you that pharmacology which may have been boring as all get-out during school will start to come alive to you once you've seen these drips in action, especially if you're unlucky enough to see them have bad side effects.

    The other advice I'd have is, hit the floor running so you can do the task things that you're familiar with enough to do, chart as you go even if you have to break occasionally to do it. Then, find some way to relax when you get home. Good luck with that!
  5. by   sming
    I have 17 years experience in the Coronary Care Unit at St. Michael's hospital in Toronto. I have also joined a critical care respose team, will be starting my third week of orientation this Monday Dec. 11th. Am learning so many new things and a huge brain strech and I am a bit nervous myself. What I am learning which helps the most, is to be calm. I find I get most flustered when I lack a working knowledge of the situation. These past two weeks I am walking into a room which is already in a slight bit of panic, and the best way to deal with it, is to be calm. Colaborate, focus on the patient, and if something is being tried, are you getting the desired effect. Yes, No re-evaluate,,,,there are many situations, that there is more than one direction to go. So what is the patient doing when things are being attempted to break the downward spiral. There are many times no matter what you do, the patient the person you are carring for will die, and it is nobody's fault, just the way it is....life
  6. by   metalmom
    I started on a DOU/Tele unit just 2 months ago. I've worked 6 shifts on my own at the busiest time of the yeat (according to my fellow nurses) but they are awesome. They look out for me, encourage me to ask questions, make me take a lunch break and help me out when the think I'm overwhelmed. I love it. Because of them and my charge nurses as well, it gets a little bit easier everyday. Keeping a sense of humor is the best medicine for yourself, your patients and your co-workers. My pateints tell me everyday how much they appreciate it. Good luck to all us newbies.
  7. by   noelRyaN
    Hi FloridaRNtoo,

    I just got offered my job in DOU! I don't start until March/April however I was wondering if you can give me tips on what to brush up on. Specific meds/procedures etc that would be such a great help! Oh, and I ALWAYS ask questions. I find its better to ask and CONFIRM you know something as opposed to GUESSING and just hoping your doing something right.