I have just joined non-trauma CCU with only 6 beds. common diagnoses are sepsis, heart failure, afib, vent-fib, PEs etc. I have heard that there is no pharmacist in night shift. In all my jobs, there was always a pharmacist day or night but is this usual norm in small ICU's
Apr 7, '12
I have worked a few small places and not so small places that had no pharmacist at night. Usually you had very detailed instructions for making your own drips-as well as hoping day shift ordered plenty before the pharm left for the night. Or sometimes they were there until 2300 and you could request-otherwise you mixed your own drips. they could always be called for consult, or to come in for a major issue. It was never a problem where I was.
Apr 7, '12
Where I work WE are the pharmacists at night.
Not a big deal!
Apr 7, '12
I worked in a 12 bed ICU. No pharmacist from 10pm-6 AM. We mixed a lot of drips ourselves. The house supervisor was responsible for mixing certain ones. I recall a few unusual cases like when a patient required a different type of anti-seizure medication and we had to call hospitals all over to get it delivered...he spent all that time seizing, nothing we had was working.
There are disadvantages of small ICUs, but the team work tends to be great and you end up having to be creative.
Apr 8, '12
I know thats stuff they go over in nursing school but i'd rather leave that to the pros. luckily we have a pharmacist in house 24/7 but this will be great experience for you in the long run. And im sure if you run into any problems the other nurses will be more than happy to help. Good luck with the job
Apr 10, '12
we mix all of our gtts because it takes hours to get it from the pharmacy. if you have any questions call pharmacy. look it up, or ask a fellow nurse. when i first started i made a card and put it on my badge of drugs, concentration, what to mix it in, what to start it at, max level, and common side effects.
Apr 15, '12
We have a pharmacist on call and "virtual" pharmacy, that clears orders and helps a lot they are several states away but help a great deal with safety. We are VA and are NOT allowed to mix it is considered a HUGE risk liability and otherwise. But I give props to nurses that do :-) that's even more to-dos for burden ICU staff. Moral is you'll be fine :-)
Apr 24, '12
I work in a rural hospital ICU, where we too, mix our own drips. Just make sure you have a good resource available for information on mixing, storing, and administration. What might also come in handy is a resource for telling you which drips are compatible with each other, for those wonderful evenings when you get a patient that is crashing, need four drips, and in report you are told..."oh, by the way, they have one IV site, and there wasn't time to start any more!". This has happened more than once, as most people here can tell you. I made a compatibility chart for our unit a few years ago, and it has been great to have in a pinch! (I had our pharmacist verify it for accuracy before I made copies to hand out, just to be safe). Smartphones also have lots of apps that will do the same thing for you! Good luck!
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