PCU orientation..enough?

  1. Is 8 weeks PCU orientation enough for a new grad? About half of that is class time. Does that sound appropriate? It seems weird to only have about 4 weeks on the floor. Also what is the usual nurse patient ratio in a PCU?

    Any help and/or advise will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
    Last edit by newexcitednurse on Oct 6, '11 : Reason: too much
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    About newexcitednurse

    Joined: Sep '11; Posts: 12


  3. by   WindyhillBSN
    I don't think it is enough. Especially if you are taking care of open heart surgery patients.
  4. by   newexcitednurse
    Thanks WindyhillBSN!!

    Do you know if PCU very similar to working on a med-surg unit? How do they differ?
    Last edit by newexcitednurse on Oct 6, '11 : Reason: too much
  5. by   tcvnurse
    My unit is essentially a PCU, though not officially, and we give our new grads 12-16 weeks of orientation. Once a week 8 hour classes for the Heart Center Core curriculum--stuff like Cardiac Surgery essentials, Thoracic essentials, Vascular essentials, etc. The grads get to go to the OR to watch open heart surgery. They get a day with interventional radiology, and a day with the acute pain service. They also get a day with the Cardiac nurse practitioner and a day with the discharge planner.

    They get assigned a primary preceptor, and stick mostly with that person. I as one of the preceptors, am to meet weekly with the nurse educator for our unit to discuss how the grad is progressing.

    Newexcitednurse, a PCU normally has lower nurse patient ratios because the patients are so much more acute. It's not only that they had the open heart, it's that they also have HTN, DM, COPD, PVD, HLD, CAD, anxiety, depression and chronic pain. (Did I miss any?)

    My unit the ratio can be 1:3 or more commonly 1:4.

    Hope this was helpful, and good luck!