Critical care orientation question

  1. HI, I will be graduating in December and want to work in ICU. In school clinicals we barely get to do any critical care (we only rotate through ICU for one day). Our lecture content also does not get to in depth. I was wondering what kinds of things you learn/are taught in critical care orientation/intern programs. Are you taught everything you need to know or do you have to learn a great deal on your own?
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    About irismae

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 18


  3. by   RNforLongTime
    Although I am not a new grad, I am relatively new to critical care nursing. Previously I worked on a medical cardiac respiratory floor. At my new job, I am currently enrolled in a critical care class that is a total of 5 to 8 weeks. Then it's on to Trauma Nursing Classes as I work in a SICU and take care of Trauma pts.

    Let me tell you, I feel like a new grad all over again. There are several new grads in the SICU, all of whom went through the hospital sponsored Graduate Nurse Externship program. They seem to be doing quite well. Although, I am still of the opinion that new grads don't belong in an ICU setting. I believe that a new RN needs to develop their assessment skills and all that in a Med-Surg environment before moving on to Critical care. But that's MY opinion.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck.
  4. by   sherbeari
    I was/am a new grad that went directly into the ICU. I graduated in December. I took a critical care class while orienting in the ICU. The content of the class goes over systems as they apply to a critical patient. Like nursing school, plus. The class introduced hemodynamic monitoring, ventilators and ACLS protocols, among other topics. The class I took was an AACN program. Good class.
    I have been off orientation for 3 months, if not more, now. I am learning something new every shift. I think one of the main things to be successful is to know your limitations. Understand when to ask for help and don't be afraid to ask. Take time at home to look up things and delve deeper to understand new concepts or clarify questions. My co-workers are real supportive of me.
    Hope this helps.:angel2:
  5. by   BadBird
    A lot of hospitals will put you through their own critical care classes. I took a critical care course at a community college years ago, it was excellent. The classes taught at the hospital I worked full time at were pitiful, I was so glad that I took the college course. One thing that I don't understand about PA is that no CEU's are required, I keep up my FL license so I stay current but with all the changes in health care it is up to us to stay current, you can't expect your employer to keep you up to date.
  6. by   nimbex
    in nc, we have a 12 week critical care school, teaches every body system, vents ABG's, swan ganz, IABP, drips, everything with clinicals... after that 8-12 weeks orientation on the floor.

    The school will teach you the basics... from then on you'll learn something new every day you swipe the clock...

    nsg. for 7 years and still learning..