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ICU charge RN - how are you organizing yourself with COVID-19 crisis

Disasters   (431 Views | 2 Replies)

strength4unityRN specializes in critical care, PCU, PACU, LTC, HHC, AFC.

2,641 Profile Views; 25 Posts

Hi Nurses!

With all the changes & sicker patients in ICU d/t COVID 19, I am overwhelmed as most of you are, I am also the charge RN.

My unit was a mix of ICU/Stepdown pts, most of the staff I work with our not use to 1 pt this acute let alone the 7 vents who are going into ARDS, renal failure, difficult to sedate & oxygenate.

We have room for more pts (the unit is 14 pts) with the 5 rooms being semi-private with doors that have no windows They are talking about putting 2 patients on the same vent in those semi - private rooms.

I am want to be more proactive instead of reactive.

*Making sure everyone has enough fluids & bags to hang for their drips.

*laying eyes on all the patients to see who has what going on.

*making sure staffing is safe for the acuity of pts we have - this has been challenging, simply because we don’t have enough critical care nurses & they are pulling nurses to my unit that have never had art lines, gtts, etc.

*I feel like I am just ‘putting out fires’ fire here, fire there, new patient coming needs to be on a NRB & then another pt who needs intubation.

* I am doing the best I can (believe we all our) but I was looking for advice, on how to keep myself more organized & if you have suggestions for the charge role & what are you doing as the charge nurse in your ICU to help keep the unit safe & assist your nurses.

Thanks

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tfleuter has 9 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

589 Posts; 8,365 Profile Views

I wish I had a good answer for you. I am a ICU charge nurse as well and while our staff are used to caring for patients that are ventilated, proned and on multiple pressers, we have too many green nurses and not enough experienced nurses on a normal day. Now we are training nurses from other specialties that are being redeployed to us. Many are from surgical services and have no critical care experience. It's a bit daunting to take on honestly. How do you orient someone to the ICU in 2-3 weeks? There is no crash course for the kind of care we provide to these very sick and often unstable patients.

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strength4unityRN specializes in critical care, PCU, PACU, LTC, HHC, AFC.

25 Posts; 2,641 Profile Views

On 4/6/2020 at 11:36 PM, tfleuter said:

I wish I had a good answer for you. I am a ICU charge nurse as well and while our staff are used to caring for patients that are ventilated, proned and on multiple pressers, we have too many green nurses and not enough experienced nurses on a normal day. Now we are training nurses from other specialties that are being redeployed to us. Many are from surgical services and have no critical care experience. It's a bit daunting to take on honestly. How do you orient someone to the ICU in 2-3 weeks? There is no crash course for the kind of care we provide to these very sick and often unstable patients.

Yes I completely understand & empathize with you. You cannot train anyone to do this in 2-3 weeks let alone 2-3 months CC training, we just don’t have enough experienced nurses at the bedside anymore, let alone CC. Thanks for the reply & stay strong 💪

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