New Grad starting off in CCU (half ICU and half non-high acuity)

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by pedsnurse223 pedsnurse223 (New) New

I just got a job offer to work in the Cardiac Care Unit in my hometown hospital. Half the floor are ICU patients and the other half are non-high acuity patients (stable). I am a new grad and have only had med-surg experience during nursing school, but cardiac has always interested me. Any advice on how to best prepare for my new position/new specialty? I am really nervous as I do not want to fail at my first job (90 day probation period) and i've heard new nurses get fired for not being able to do well on the job as a new grad.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience. 9,051 Posts

I am sure that your new employer has a orientation/transition plan for you, since this is an absolute necessity for any organization that hires new grads. My advice? Make sure you have a document that contains clear and accurate information about the goals and objectives for your initial employment period. You'll also need to know the criteria that are going to be used to evaluate your performance. For instance, if a goal is to "manage a full patient assignment", you need to know exactly what that means - 4 patients? 5? Does "manage" mean that you work completely independently without any help from your preceptor?

You need to assume accountability for meeting those goals and objectives. Keep track of everything. If it appears that you may be off track, ask the most appropriate person (e.g., supervisor, manager, educator, etc) for the resources or assistance needed to get back on track. Example - if a goal is to complete 4 post CV admissions & you have only done 3.... ask to be assigned to the next CV admit in order to meet the goal.

Take advantage of any education opportunities that come your way. If you see something interesting, ask to attend. Don't hesitate to invest in references or equipment (EKG calipers, high-quality stethoscope, etc.) that help you on the job.

You'll be fine.