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Neuro to CVICU Advice

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by CVVH CVVH Member

1,191 Profile Views; 16 Posts

Hi, so I'm grateful to be transitioning from a neurology unit to a CVICU soon.  I'm pretty nervous, as our CVICU is very high acuity (we do everything-ECMO, VADs, heart and lung transplants, etc.), and it's definitely going to be a lot different from where I've been in neurology stepdown, so I'm wondering if anyone has any tips to help me get started.


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ptier_MNMurse has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in CVICU.

67 Posts; 934 Profile Views

Be honest and open about your experience and that you want to learn and grow, but need help along the way.

Ask for help and don't be afraid to ask questions. People appreciate someone who speaks up and asks questions rather than someone who tries to be a cowboy.

They hired you, so they want you to succeed. They will teach you everything you need to know as you are ready for it.

Be patient with yourself and the process, soak in as much as you can and take things one step at a time. It can feel frustrating to some to "have to wait" to get trained to the next device or procedure or whatnot. But you will get there with time. Just focus on mastering and knowing everything about what they put in front of you. It all builds its way up to the more intense stuff and you need to master the little things before moving onto the bigger stuff. You will feel way more confident managing ECMO/post-ops/etc. if you don't have to worry about futzing with your Swan line to get it to function correctly. This just takes time and patience.

You may get paired post-op day 3+ patients for a while. Often I work harder in these assignments than my ECMO/post-ops (often more busy-work, but crazy stuff happens too!). Get good at running 2 patients' hemodynamics Q4H, ambulating patients 1-2x/day, up to chair x2, managing routine gtts and meds, Q1H I/O's and Q15min vitals and the rest of charting. Then when you feel comfortable with that they add stuff on.

Remember to get some you time in too! It is a lot to take in, so remember to destress!

Good luck!

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