LVN grad hired for cardiac stepdown unit....



So I'm new in this site. I graduated as as LVN early this year and now have been offered a position at a county hospital here in L.A. I'm a bit nervous on what I can expect as a NEW no experience nurse. If anyone has any experience in this unit please help!!! What things must I know or review to prepare myself

Has 9 years experience.

I have no words of advice. When you say, "L.A." do you mean Los Angeles? If so, congrats! Getting that type of a position in L.A. as a new grad LVN isn't easy. As a new grad I can say that whatever your position, it is going to be scary at first. Take lots of notes during orientation. I work in a psych facility in Ventura. Patient care is easy. It's the paperwork that is hard to get used to. Good luck :)

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

ekg monitor cardiac rhythms

resp. assessments

cardiac drips

managing chest pain


5 Articles; 4,547 Posts

Specializes in critical care.

^^^ that stuff, labs specific to cardiology and, believe it or not, renal function, since meds will impact renal function. Brush up on heart anatomy and maybe grab your med surg book to read through heart failure, hypertension, hypertrophy, myocardial infarction, etc. Typical things you'll see with cardiac problems - hypertension, renal failure, respiratory distress/failure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and I'm sure others that are escaping my brain at the moment. Common meds for those would be good. Get to know your drips. We see a lot of heparin and cardizem on my unit. Your facility will have protocols for any drip. You might also want to see if you do any pressors on your unit. We usually send those to ICU because they can monitor better.

And something to just stick in your brain - when you're on a cardiac unit, anxiety is a symptom, not a diagnosis. If you get someone who is suddenly anxious, you need to grab your charge nurse (while you're still a newbie and you don't know what's what) and see if something more might be happening.


318 Posts

Specializes in hospice.

I don't work in that unit, but I want to share some stuff I learned during my first year as an LPN. Assume nothing. If you're not 100% sure about something, ask. Communicate with your team members.

I am so jealous. LVNs don't get that kind of job in my neck of the woods.


2 Posts

Thank youbl guys for the advice. Yes the position is in los Angeles.

They have asked me to get ekg certified so I am working on that. Can anyone refer me to a place they know of????


5 Articles; 4,547 Posts

Specializes in critical care.

I'm of no help on that one. It was offered at my facility. I'm sorry!


245 Posts

Specializes in Ambulatory, Corrections, SNF, LTC, Rehab. Has 6 years experience.

Congrats! take notes, study the procedure. and know your job description. and smile at work everyday :)


12 Posts

As a new LPN 20 plus years ago this was my first job as well. The hospital that I was hired at had very extensive training to teach you about EKG's rhythm, rates everything. Unfortunately I was on a floor that ate their young, they didn't like the fact that LPN's were hired into their elite RN world. However I did learn a lot. My biggest problem was learning about the Heparin drips and titrating them. I am not sure what shift you are working but if it is night, find a nurse that will be a positive mentor, that will help you stay focused and positive. Do not be afraid to ask question after question after question. Get a small note pad and take good notes. I ended up staying for 3 years and learned so much. Good luck. Stay in a specialized field as an LPN it will take you far.

Specializes in 4. Has 7 years experience.

If you are working for a County Hospital then they will offer the EKG class for you in the Education Dept. County is a great place for LVN's to get hospital experience. It surely won't be easy but you will gain awesome experience. Good Luck!!!

Has 13 years experience.

First let me say congrats! Second I am SUPER jelous of you at the moment ;). Third - Maybe swing by your local book store and see what resources they have there to "study" for free. Also make sure you have a good notepad - take lots and lots of notes. Ask lots of questions. Just know that panicky feeling you have is normal so don't think you are alone. Good luck!!