New Grad on Cardiac/Stepdown Floor

  1. I am so excited. I just started my first nursing job on a Cardiac/Stepdown floor in a regional medical center. I am currently in my second week of orientation and next week will start working with a preceptor. So far I have spent a total of 10 hours on the floor. I am very disheartened by the fact that I will have somewhere between 8-10 different preceptors while I am being trained. I have found so far that it is necessary to ask a lot of questions because the nurses don't seem too interested in training. I would like to go through training with a good idea of how to treat the patients that we see. Common patients are post cardiac-cath, post MI, CHF, and arrhythmias. Does anyone have any suggestions on books to read and how to get the most from my variety of preceptors? I would greatly appreciate it.
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    About BrayaRN

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 78; Likes: 40
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Cardiac, NICU, ED


  3. by   purple_rose_3
    Having several different preceptors will be able to show you many different ways of doing the same job. Sometimes this is a good thing, so please don't be discouraged by the numbers. I know it stinks not having the consistancy, but you have to think positive!
  4. by   SEOBowhntr
    Quote from purple_rose_3
    having several different preceptors will be able to show you many different ways of doing the same job. sometimes this is a good thing, so please don't be discouraged by the numbers. i know it stinks not having the consistancy, but you have to think positive!
    this is a very valid point....

    i agree that it is nice to have set preceptor so you can get adjusted to things, but capture the opportunity to learn from a variety of staff, and once you've completed your orientation, you may have a little of the good of all of them rather than the limited good knowledge and skills of one of them. good luck!!!
  5. by   stiney77
    make sure you are trained to read the telemetry strips, and become ACLS certifed. I found that this helps alot. Learn all you can about the various drips you may hang, amiodarone, cardizem, integrelin, dopamine and such. Be sure to ask questions and read about anything cardiac.
  6. by   Spatialized
    It's a mixed bag. Having different preceptors can be a wonderful thing, or a nightmare, depending on the people involved. Like others above have said, positive thinking is a big thing. Try to find the silver lining with each preceptor. Hopefully with multiple people teaching you can find a meld of ways to run your own practice.

    As for books, Dale Durbin's book on EKG's is great. It nearly is the gold-standard. The ACLS guidebook/textbook is another good resource. Be sure to get trained in ACLS, it will make you more confident - at least you will know mostly what to do in an emergency.

    Take the opportunity to learn everything you can. Make sure the other nurses know you're orienting and hopefully they will track you down to see something "cool". We try on my unit to do this, or when we do things that are relatively rare on our unit (adjusting temporary pacemakers).

    Remember, the only stupid question is one not asked!

    Congrats on the new adventure and Good Luck!
  7. by   al7139
    Welcome to the wonderful world of cardiac nursing!
    I am also a new grad, working on a tele unit.
    It's really scary at first, but it does get better, I promise!
    I hope you find some other nurses on your unit who you feel you can go to with your questions. I was lucky to be on a good unit with nurses who are used to teaching (they have lots of students here), so there was already a teaching mentality established. The nurses you go to don't necessarily have to be your preceptors, but you should give them a chance and be open to learning from them (even if it's what NOT to do).
    Your hospital should have classes on reading tele strips, as well as other classes pertinent to new nurses. If for some reason they don't you should request to be scheduled for time with the telemetry monitors, since they are the experts. I spent a day with the tele techs, and actually learned more than I did in the classes! I also do not hesitate to call them if I am unsure about a rhythm, or see something "wierd" that I can't identify. They are very helpful.
    If you are really having trouble with a preceptor, you need to go to your supervisor, but make sure it's not just a "personality clash." I had preceptors who I did not like personally, but I still learned from in spite of that.
  8. by   jmunrs2010
    Congrats to the new graduates starting in cardiac nursing. I have two interviews Monday... one for a cardiac stepdown unit at Sentara Hospital and the other for telemetry at Virginia Beach General. For those of you who landed cardiac jobs as new grads do you have any advice to offer for the interview process? Are there any things I should mention, focus on, or make sure that I talk about in order to land the job. If you have any pieces of advice please share your tips, they are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  9. by   jmunrs2010
    Got both of the jobs I interviewed for!!! So I decided to take Norfolk Generel Heart Hospital cardiac stepdown unit position... and found out today I passed the NCLEX!!!!!! Any tips for a new grad on the cardiac step down unit? Any little pocket books I can purchase to carry with me on the unit, etc? Appreciate any advice
  10. by   gcupid
    Let's be honest..8-10 different preceptors will not be easy no matter how well you get along with others...People have different teaching styles & I bet when one preceptor suggests you do one thing one way, another preceptor will encourage you to do it another way.

    I could understand keeping a positive attitude with no more than 5 preceptors. You are going to either be the best or the worst from going through all those personalities and teaching styles.......... Good luck!
  11. by   chebre62
    This is a great pocket book and I would buy it used.