New RN/1st job in Cardiology

Specialties CCU


Hey everyone. I am in my last semester of nursing school. I just accepted a position as a Graduate Nurse on a Cardiology unit. I am really excited about this opportunity, but also really nervous. I am wondering if anyone has any advice or resources that they think would be helpful at this point for me. I don't start this job till after I graduate in May. Thanks!

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.

Hello lacopelp

Congratulations on getting the job.

Check out the FAQ in this forum.

Hi! Congrats!!! I am two years into my job in telemetry, which I, like you, was hired into straight out of school. I hope you will soon find the cardiovascular system as fascinating as I do! The heart is incredible, and I love having a specialization. Also, being able to read tele and recognize all kinds of dysrhythmias aside from the major ones feels like a super power (and admittedly, it's fun to show off in front of my friends haha).

One of the major complaints I hear from my friends on other specialized floors (ortho, respiratory, trauma, even onc) is that they feel their beds become a dumping ground for general med surg overflow. That rarely happens on my cardiac floor. Heart disease is everywhere. Our beds are in such demand that we get cardiac patients almost exclusively. All heart, all the time.

Cardiac patients can be difficult to work with, but try not to let that jade you. Heart patients tend to be high fall risks & almost all are on blood thinners so falls can be decestating. Many can be confused, and due to prolonged QRSes, advanced age, or other co-morbs, we are often unable to give meds like Ativan or haldol. We just have to find a way to make it work. Love my patients anyways! They are also very sick and they can go from stable to unstable within seconds. An independent, oriented, totally ambulatory & relatively young patient hanging out awaiting a CABG can seem like an easy assignment, but he is actually a ticking time bomb. The code team nurse always tells us that when she hears a rapid response called to our floor, she runs, because she knows it can turn into a code situation within seconds. Critical thinking is mandatory. You will learn to be proactive and to anticipate problems before they happen.

I HIGHLY suggest you buy "Cardiovascular Nursing Secrets" NOW and start reading and rereading! Two years later and I still reread this book!! It will give you a crash course on ALL THINGS cardiac that you will work with daily! Also you'll get a feel for our abbreviations like "PTCA" or "LIMA to LAD". I was told recently by a pool nurse that "Out of all the floors and services I've worked on, y'all literally have your own unique language." It's important for you to get accustomed to the cardiac language as quick as possible!

Dont fret over the tele! You will learn how to read it and recognize all sorts of rhythms before you know it!

You will learn so much and your experience will set you up to go anywhere you want in the hospital! Good luck!!

English, RN

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