Well i think it's great that you're considered cardiology as a possible area to specialize in
I graduated May 2005 and started working on a cardiology floor. I spent 10 months there and learned a lot. Many of the nurses had worked in critical care and other areas so i found them to be a great resource. I accepted a full time position in the CCU of a larger hospital in a different city. I feel that working on the ward or "floor" gives nurses an understanding of how chaotic it can be there. Often you are in charge of six or seven patients so this gives you the opportunity to develop your time management skills which are key in CCU.
Our CCU is very exciting and fast paced at times. But with this also comes responsibility. I wasn't at the top of my graduating class and I wasn't the top student in my clinical groups in school. I worked really hard- perhaps the hardest I had ever worked in my life during my last 9 months in the CCU. I had to prove to these nurses- some who had worked many years in this unit that I was as compentent as them in providing care. I remember one of the first days off my oreintation i received a patient from a neighboring community hospital in complete heart block and was symptomatic. The charge nurse that day (all the nurses take turns) had been a nurse on the unit for over 25 years and has a true balance between medicine and caring. Well, what she said to me that day I will never forget "You will see one, you will do one (assist) and teach one".
So picture me, fresh out of orientation, going down the hall to get the line cart praying that i give the doc the right cordis, the right sized pacer wire, etc.....The insertion went well, placement verified by CXR and in no time my guy was eating a tuna sandwich sitting up in bed.
The nurse in charge that day had the "see one, do one, teach one" expectation of me and it scared the beans out of me. Later on that afternoon she let me know that I had done a fine job. That day I finally understood all that was expected of me from my collegues, my manager and most importantly my patients. In an area such as CCU there are so many things to learn and skills to develop.
If there is one piece of advice I can offer you it is ASK QUESTIONS! do not ever feel like you cannot ask questions. Now mind you some are better than others at answering them and then there are the nurses that seem to get annoyed but your "newbie" years are the years to ask questions. I look at it this way- the more you ask the more you learn. Well, I feel as though I have rambled on way too long but if you have any questions, feel free to post more- perhaps specific questions