Hello, I am an RN on the Cardiac Step down unit. I am in my mid 40's
but I have only been a nurse a little over a year. I see nurses every day who only "get through the shift" and have no real clue of the bigger picture. I also work with some who have questions out of thin air that are digging into the meat of the problem and I am just awed by it. These veterans know just what to look for.
I understand that experience is the best teacher. I just want some advice on how to get where I am doing more than just getting through my shift. I have looked for books online, journals etc. I am not great with all the mechanics of why things work the way they do. but I am trying to look at my patient as a whole. Any advice?
Pick up a PCCN review book and study for that test. What's your patient population? Is it truly a cardiac step down or is it a mix? The PCCN review book is a good start for you to review all the systems and put 2 and 2 together.
My floor does get some overflow but it's mainly step down patients. Thank you for your advice!
I like to watch Med Cram videos on YouTube. If you are on a step-down unit I would even ask to go watch a CABG or valve replacement. Maybe even shadow a cath lab nurse to see a few heart caths, PPM insertions, EPS, TAVRs, etc.
Literally look things up in the moment. Utilize your resources. Don't know what a "floating elephant trunk" on a Aortic repair is. Ask the surgeon or use Dr. Google. I literally look everything up if I am unsure of what it is. I do this as I chart in the moment. Often times I will print something out in it and keep it in a folder to read later. There is no "real" book or journal to read just a lot of time and curiosity.