I think I'm in over my head :/ - page 2

Hello all! I am new to this site and I am just looking for some advice. I graduated in August and got a job in the MICU/CICU. I started in the beginning of November and it was the most intimidating... Read More

  1. by   samadams8
    Oh, and I forgot to ask the OP as well. . .

    Seriously is this an actual area in which you want to work. It's cool if it's not.
  2. by   LadyFree28
    Quote from samadams8
    OK, so which cardiac meds are you having trouble with? The best way to try and understand them is to first understand hemodynamics and of course, for antiarrhythmics or for the number of drugs that can be proarrthythmic, to know your dysrhythmias and basic EKG interp. I mean did they give you a critical care course with any of this information? Seems like a lot of places are forgoing this with people anymore.

    You need to know what effects what and where and how. You need to be secure w/lab interpretations and how labs can affect rhythms and dynamics. Same thing with fluids and electrolytes.

    You need to be a zip at ABG interpretation. And like anything else, the more you work with it, the better you become.

    This guy has a decent site for new nurses in the ICU.



    Of course it's adult ICU information.

    When you move into dealing with a lot of different types of direct post-op/SICU patients, you have to throw a lot of other stuff into your knowledge base, b/c the management can be very different.

    Same thing goes with PICU and NICU. A good understanding of basic critical is good for these areas as well, but management is much more specialized with the kids. Certain things are monitored and approaches to treatment can be quite different.

    In fact, if there is a pediatric hospital, see if they are hiring nurses on their step down or ICU/s. Usually it's more of a "mother, may I approach" b/c you are dealing with kids, and they don't give you a lot of room for error. Thus, for most of these children's hospitals, orientation/precepting is usually 12 full weeks, and you usually aren't thrown right into the fire. It's a liability thing. Good for newer nurses, but for adult ICU nurses, it can be an adjustment; b/c you become used to working more autonomously. But if you are interested in taking care of critically ill babies and children, you easily accept the change, b/c there's like zero lead time for crumping with babies and kids. Adults you can mark a downward trend earlier on in many cases.

    But what I am trying to say is in most children's hospitals I've worked or been in, they don't throw new nurses to the wolves. They may watch every tiny thing you do and be on your back, that's the nature of critical care areas; but most aren't going let a kid get into trouble for a second. Now I do think if you have experience in critical care, you can get dumped on, even in a children's hospital, but the fear factor is a bit greater in terms of liability. Just MHO>
    samadams, thanks for the valuable info! I'm preparing to be in the PICU soon-will be pouring over the info!!!

    OP, If you return to the ICU, I hope you return comfortable. I think you have a lot of valuable information from the posters. Advocate for yourself. Express that you still need support in the CC arena, if they are willing to help give you ideas on remembering hemodynamics, etc.

    Also, ask yourself if this is for you. If you were comfortable on a step-down unit, maybe you can stay there before moving into the ICU...either way, good luck.
  3. by   ErieSide
    I have been a nurse for decades and I still work with people who ask "what time was he admitted....what time did this or that happen....."when the patient has already been there for days and they have had the patient and know him. Other nurses will say "what's new" and when you answer "nothing" they say "ok". So who cares what time something happened four days ago? People who think they are better nurses if they bury you in minutiae. They give reprt the same way. Inspite if the fact that you have just been read an overview by the charge nurse they want to reread it to you and go over the entire mar with you and discuss every morsel of food they may have eaten. I'm not sure if they want to try to impress you with how thorough they are compared to you or if they just want to run up a lot of overtime. If most people are satisfied with your reports you have to start thinking its not me, it's them! One poster gave good links to reprt sheets but for some folks it will never be enough because they'd rather TALK about the patient than actually take care of the patient.