ICU Rotation- Oh My God!

  1. Today was the first day of my critical care/ICU rotation in the cardiovascular- surgical intensive care. Too intense! I learned more information the first 20 minutes than ever in life. All the nurses were real helpful but I felt like a joke! How can I learn all this stuff? It's gonna be a long semester. Anyone else in critical care with some thoughts?
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    About Krenee2007

    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 18


  3. by   JR816
    I start mine tomorrow. I guess I am a little nervous. I hope I learn a lot.
  4. by   dawn1971
    We do ICU next semester (our last). I am VERY nervous. Keep us posted... Good luck!
  5. by   Daytonite
    take a breath! slow down and focus on one thing at a time when you're away from the clinical area and thinking about all the things going on. you need to break it all down into their individual components. here's some help for you: - thread in general nursing student discussion forum, "critical care help" - thread in nursing student assistant forum. "how to be a good icu nurse" - a primer on critical care for patients and their families from the american thoracic society. there is a wealth of information here the includes discussions of the purpose of the intensive care unit, common illnesses of patients in the intensive care units, icu devices and procedures (foleys, stomach tubes, arterial catheters, central venous catheters, right heart catheterization, mechanical ventilation, weaning from the ventilator, tracheostomy, lumbar puncture, paracentesis, thoracentesis, chest tubes, bronchoscopy and hemodialysis), making decisions about the end of life, living wills, medical futility, withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments, commonly asked questions, a guideline to advanced directives.
  6. by   NeoNurseTX
    I start in the CVICU next week! I'm SOOO excited. I work in a CCU right now so I'm sorta familiar with ICU things, but I think the CVICU will be even more challenging.
  7. by   MMARN
    It does sound intense. I can't wait to do mine. However, I will try to take it as easily as I can. Keep us posted as to whether you would like to specialize in that area okay? Good luck!
  8. by   augigi
    Welcome to ICU - I think it's the coolest job in the world, particularly CVICU! First of all, remember you are a beginner, and not expected to know things, that is why you are there to learn! All experienced ICU nurses started at the same place you are!

    Make yourself a card to carry which has normal hemodynamics, lab values, blood gases, machine settings etc. Carry a notebook and make notes. It is often easiest to remember what to do for a certian type of patient when you can recall a specific patient you have cared for.

    Ask questions! Experienced ICU nurses know a lot, and usually are happy to share their knowledge with you. Ask "why did you do... xxx?" whenever you don't get it. Learn your hemodynamics, this is the most important thing you can learn and use every moment of every day.

    Most of all, enjoy it - it is an incredible learning opportunity!
  9. by   shellsgogreen
    i loved the cvicu rotation - i agree it is intense but the experience is amazing and i'm thinking of specializing in this area...
    don't be afraid to ask them questions!

    hope it goes well for you
  10. by   MsKieshaRN
    I start my critical care clinicals this week, and I am sweating bullets!!! I'm not sure if we continue to work as a group with our clinical instructor, or if we are going to work one on one with a nurse from the unit we're on.