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New Graduate starting in SICU



I recently had an interview for SICU that gets transplants (livers, hearts, lungs), open hearts, LVAD, IABP, ENT, and overflow from other ICUs except stroke.

I am beyond elated at receiving a job offer at this unit due to the wide variety of cases coming through, and the amount of content I will be learning. I just purchased a copy of Fast Facts for Critical Care (blue binder), and also own a pdf copy of Quick Reference to Critical Care.

I understand they won't expect me know everything at once, but are some things I should drill into my brain before I start to make my life easier? I'm also coming in with a year and half experience as a SICU tech from another hospital, and I don't want to disappoint them with my "lack of expected/perceived knowledge."

I do plan to go over pharmacology for common ICU meds (pressors, sedatives, paralytics). Will def be going over ventilator & ventilation details, and I'm told ABGs are pretty common as well.

Serhilda, ADN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ICU.

I don't think they're going to have higher expectations just because you were a tech in another SICU. Being a nurse and being a nursing assistant are very, very different and they'll understand that.

You have a nice plan so far with learning more about pressors, sedatives, and vents. Understanding why you're doing what you're doing and what the signs and symptoms of complications are is the only thing I'd add to your list. You say you'll be learning about balloon pumps, for example. Do you know the indications for that procedure? How does it work? What about the nursing care after it's inserted? How will you know if the IABP is doing what it should be doing? What will you do if it's not? These are the types of questions you should be going over. I wouldn't go crazy with studying though because you'll learn a lot on orientation.

Thank you Serhilda!

Your example of questions is a great way for me approach my readings. 

And I guess you're right in that I'm not coming in as a nurse, but I don't want to disappoint them either with them picking me so to speak. 🙂 Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself.