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How to prepare for our CCU/ICU Semester


Hello Everyone,

It's summer for me now finally! And what more to wonder and ask all of you how we should prepare this summer for CCU/ICU in Fall, which is in 3 months?

These are my ideas on what to review: ABG's & F&E's, read nursing magazines? What else am I missing?

All your input and help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks and have a wonderful summer...


Thank you for asking this question.

I am also hoping to get myself prepared for critical care, in hopes of not having another stressful semester that med-surg brought on. :p

Looking forward to suggestions. :]

Oh, one thing I am trying to do this summer is getting in the hospital and working alongside a nurse in the CCU. Whether that be a job or just shadowing, I'm sure it will help.

ditto, I'd also like to know. CC scares me in the fall, but I already work in the ICU (just started about a month ago) as a tech. Besides absorbing as much as possible this summer there what else can I do?


Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, Emergency, SAFE.

Just off the top of my head, (just having finished the ICU semester.)

Things to read up on:

*Common Lab values ranges and meanings - ie. what does a low/high potassium mean and how does it manifest in the body?


*Fluids [replacement)

*read up on mechanical ventilation: Common terms include: PEEP, Fi02, Tidal Volume, Bundle [uP]

*ETT or trach care, respiratory rate

*cardiac monitors

*hemodynamic monitoring via Swan and A lines. What all the numbers (pressures) mean and what and how they affect the body.

*IV drips/lines

*feeding tubes, NG tubes

*all kinds of drains, chest tubes

*wound care

*Drugs used to treat typical medical conditions (diabetes, stroke, heart disease)

* Drugs used for things like medically induced comas, analgesics, induced sedation, reduce pain, and secondary infections prevention

Seems like a LOT, I realize..there was NEVER a bigger sign of relief than when I was done with ICU..but I enjoyed the experience SO much. You learn alot. Keep your eyes and ears open. Always offer yourself to any staff member when you can, and dont be afraid to do what they allow you to do (always keeping safety in mind of course.)

This is good advice. I'm going to add all of things on my TDL. Have a good one....

Daytonite, BSN, RN

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

there are weblinks in the sticky threads that you can check out:

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