CNA in a critical care unit


  • Specializes in Harm Reduction/Public Health. Has 1 years experience.

I am currently in a CNA programs at a college in western washington and have made plans to get a job at a great hospital in the area. I will be working within the stepdown from a CC unit and was wondering if anytbody else has had experience within this area and if you could tell of what it is like for you. What are some of the stuff that you do and if you enojy working in this environmment.


14 Posts

I work in a step-down CCU, which we call PCU and to me it is alot easier than working on the other units. Yes we do vitals Q2 compared to Q4, but you just walk in the room and press a button and it displays them on the monitor. (Dont have to drag the dinamap around to 25 different rooms and put the cuff/pulse-ox on everyone, move tables, write vitals on board, etc.) The worst part of it is the baths, but there is alot of down time to study or do whatever. We do alot of glucose checks though, far more than any other unit. Out of 7 units in the hospital, PCU is known to be the easiest. You should enjoy it!


48 Posts

Thanks for the info.... I am starting a PCT job in the PCU in a week!


83 Posts

Specializes in Student VN | Critical Care.

Not much downtime in my SDU. our CNA ratio is 1:6 because of high acuity's but sometimes are left with 13 patients (13 bed unit). Which is usually a staffing issue.. or whatever.

a lot of total care patients.

a lot of vents.

a lot of cords.. monitor wires and IV lines.

routine vitals are Q2.

a lot of patients are Q2 turns.

a lot of Q2 oral care cause of NPO patients or w/ NG tubes.

the nurses aren't like ICU nurses(who do pretty much all pt care)

they expect the CNA to do all of the patient cleaning. But some are great.

Anyways for me, I LOVE what I do. It's very rewarding. The workload is usually heavy. But I go home knowing I earned my pay and did the BEST I could for my patients.

And If you're a nursing student or future nursing student.. It is a great place to learn. You see a lot of things.. and the nurses usually like to teach you, just ask. :)


59 Posts

Specializes in Harm Reduction/Public Health. Has 1 years experience.

that's pretty cool. Thanks qbert :)