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Nurses   (2,349 Views 2 Comments)
by megamaam megamaam (New Member) New Member

megamaam specializes in ER, MSICU.

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I was wondering if anyone has had to take the ICU PBDS? I'm getting very nervous as I hear experienced RNs are failing and I see that a large percentage of people resent this exam when I search threads here. I have been an ER nurse for 2 years, and my new nurse manager said that I'm going to be taking the ICU exam to start. I've taken the med/surg one and passed. What concerns me is in our small community ICU there are a lot of things we don't see or do. For example, a pt we had to paralyze to get reoxygenated we transfered, pt with the first signs of an MI or stroke we transfer...very hard to get follow-through with them and see lab trends, how the pt progresses...anyone have any advice on what to study for??

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HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

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I am very familiar with the PBDS assessment process and the content of the assessments. In my organization, we do not use PBDS for transfers because we rely on the managers judement. But when it is used for transfer assessment, the results are only intended to identify gaps - so that your orientation to your new unit won't waste time going over things that you already know.

There are three basic keys to success. First, make sure you pay attention to the directions - and follow them. Maintain awareness of the time (it is a timed assessment) so you don't run out before you are through.

Secondly, include detailed information. You will be presented with patient situations and asked to respond as if you were managing that patient. Write down everything you will do - don't omit anything. The assessments are evaluated by human beings who compare your answers to pre-determined criteria. If you omit something, they don't know whether you just forgot to put it in or whether you simply don't have a clue. So, for instance - instead of writing "notify MD', you would write "notify MD of abnormal ABG and anticipate orders for emergency intubation and mechanical ventilation to address impending respiratory failure"

Finally, don't overthink. This is just like any other standardized test. Identify the primary patient problem or issue rather than trying to list absolutely everything that could possibly be wrong. Then, when you list all the things you are going to do - for that problem - be sure to indicate which thing you will do first. You need to be able to show that you can prioritize appropriately. Don't identify everything as STAT - that indicates inexperience and inability to prioritize.

Relax. Take a deep breath. I am sure that your organization values you and your clinical competency. Otherwise, they would not be providing you with an opportunity to transfer. If you want to 'study', I would recommend that you review nursing management of the most common ICU-type clinical diagnoses.

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