Critical care help


  • Specializes in General Surgery & Open Heart Teams; NICU.

I just finished my 2nd semester of nursing. I have med/surg again for the summer. But this fall, I will be in critical care.

Did anybody buy extra books or programs for critical care to go along with the required textbook???

Any suggestions about how to prepare for that experince. Our class is so nervous about the fall. The instructors also told us whatever your grade is now, it will drop 5-10 points in the fall. Is that true???

Did anyone have problems with the critical care???? And what did you do to get through it??


609 Posts

I'm in critical care right now and its NOT easy! Its a wake up call from med surg for sure. Now I can only speak for my school and how we're taught so it might be easier at your school. I reccommend getting Critical Care made incredibly easy, ECGs made incredibly easy, and if you're still having trouble then get the Lippincott's review series for Critical Care. You can find all of these book on ebay or amazon for real cheap. Critical care is tough but its not impossible.

As sick as it sounds.. I actually like being challenged lol.

I'm halfway through critical care now. So far we have learned ....... CAD, Valves, Inflammatory Heart Disease, Dysrhythmias, PACers and Defib, Hemodynamics and Cardiogenic Shock, PVD, ABGs. Its difficult but I don't think its impossible. From what Ive heard, we learn the hard stuff first then the easy stuff the rest of the semester which consists of.... airway management& Care, mechanical vents, COPD, DIC, Anemia, and Renal Diseases.

I just made a thread about ECG's so you can read it if you're interested:

stressgal, RN

589 Posts

Specializes in CCRN.

Fluids and electrolytes seemed to be the biggest challenge in our critical care rotation. If you have a good grasp on these, everything else kinda falls into place. I know some people struggled with the cardiac portion, a previous poster gave some good direction on that. It sounds as if you need to focus on the summer's class first. Cross the critical care bridge when you get there.


609 Posts

Thats interesting ^^.... we learned about fluid and electrolytes first thing in our medsurg rotation. I Had to use the fluid and eletrolytes made easy book for that too! I really never did learn them though.... i failed that exam lol


1,907 Posts

Specializes in OB, lactation.

I used Critical Care Nursing Made Incredibly Easy! to supplement my text book. It had the exact stuff we were doing in class (but more succinct) and I wish I'd found it at the beginning of the semester instead of later.


78 Posts

Specializes in General Surgery & Open Heart Teams; NICU.

Thanks for all the responses. I already have the ECGs made easy. I am planning a trip Barnes and Noble to get the critical care made easy. I want to try to read these and get an understanding before this fall. SInce I do have to go to school this summer (med/surg again) , that may be hard, but I want to make it. I am willing do do anything

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

here are some links you may find helpful. i suggest you bookmark the first link, nurse bob's micu/ccu survival guide. there is a wealth of information on the site. - nurse bob's micu/ccu survival guide. covers a host of icu procedures, has an extensive ekg section with nice explanation of the various rhythms and arrhythmias along with accompanying rhythm strips you can actual see very clearly, an extensive section on critical medications organized by categories, fluids and electrolytes, shock, and more! - icu procedures, many links to lots of nursing procedures - links to icu procedures - a very nice explanation of chest tubes and how they work - cardiac output - a class from vanderbilt medical center

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

here are more links that relate to critical care: - critical care medicine tutorials for medical students. some of the information here is very scholarly. topics include introduction to critical care, problem orientated approach, respiratory failure, shock, renal failure and sepsis. there is a great deal of information at this site. you have to surf around, especially using the links to see what is there if you don't want to read what is on the entire site. these are links into overviews of some of the topics that might interest you. there is much more specific information on these topics at this site. - acid base balance in critical care medicine, a 32 page document - respiratory failure - sepsis - hemodynamics (shock and hypotension)'tbreathe.htm (part 1)'tbreatheii.htm (part 2) - "i can't breathe!" 38 respiratory problems in the er. the links are for part 1 and part 2 of this very educational article. scenarios with focus on the problem solving of respiratory problems. each case will tell you what is going on, what needs to be done for the patient immediately and why. (emergency nursing) - the 10 commandments of airway management - this is a free online tutorial on how to use the pulmonary artery catheter in the clinical environment. you have to register to access this tutorial, but it is free.

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