Got offered a CNA job in an ICU, what to expect?

  1. Hi, I was offered a CNA job today in a local hospital's ICU and I was wondering what I could expect working in an ICU? What would I do as a CNA in the ICU, etc. , ectc.? I am a pre-nursing student as well and I'm sure this experience would benefit me greatly, but honestly the thought of starting out in an ICU scares the crap outta me. Any CNA's out there in the ICU or really just anyone that works in the ICU, could ya shed some light on this for me?!?! Thank you!!!:smackingf
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    About mistiffy

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 125; Likes: 14


  3. by   nurseangel47
    Hmmmm. You're one of a lucky few, I guess, seeing as how most ICUs don't employ/utilize CNAs at all since the nurses doing the nursing care are doing exclusively primary nursing! If you're in ICU, expect to become ambidextrous in your equipment manipulation (i.e. lines, multiple is putting it mildly), while turning, repositioning, bathing, etc. the icu pts.
    So, being skilled in that dept would certainly help. You're going to be busy giving mostly baths, linen changing, pericare, hs care, that sort of thing. Emptying lots of garbage from rooms/dept., emptying foley cath bags after measuring output very carefully and properly documenting/or reporting it to the nurse. I cannot stress how important I & O is in the ICU...lots of intake from IVs, the output is important because it is reflective of how well the kidneys are functioning, the color, odor, consistency, etc. of the urine, so be sure to note those characteristics, also. They may train you in emptying additional lines of output, they will certainly be giving you specialized inservice/orientation on how and what to do....good luck! Oh, and probably will teach you to do fsbs, as well.
  4. by   rgroyer1RNBSN
    You can expect to have to work with lots of lines and drains, turn pts q2h, give lots of bed baths, I&O's are very important to us nurses, assist the nurses whenever you can, take vitals often if thats part of your job and yes it should scare the crap outta you these pts are in critical condition. oh yeah also run like he@# if you hear code blue lol.
  5. by   srna2008
    If you are wanting to go to nursing school, the ICU is a great place to be. I was a tech in the SICU at the local hospital during all of nursing school and now I am an RN there. I learned tons by working there. Once the nursing staff saw how much I wanted to learn, they taught me so much. That experience is making my transition into nursing much easier and a little less stressful, I am already used to all the lines, drains, vents, and what goes on in an ICU. You are fortunate to be offered that position, some of the other students I went to school with were techs on other floors and they did mostly vitals, passed trays, and baths. I feel very lucky to get the experience I got while in nursing school.

    Good luck with the new job and getting into nursing school
  6. by   ICURN2004
    good for you.... i would say go for it.... i agree with the fellow posters about the i&o's. in our unit you would not be left alone as an cna or PNT (nursing student) to do baths or take care of critcal patients. but when we are blessed with help, we need the extra help with turning and maybe changing sheets after a pt vomited or stools. a icu nurse will always be watching her pts VS but cant always chart them... that helps... good luck to ya.... debbie