meds you see most often in PICU?

  1. I'm currently doing private duty peds nursing but I'm doing everything I can do get into a hospital, preferably in the PICU. One thing I thought would be beneficial is studying up on my pharm. Can anyone direct me to a list of meds that are seen most often in the PICU or tell me what you use most often? I'm hoping that having these all solidly in my brain will help me rock any future interviews! Thanks!
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    About tots24

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 51; Likes: 49
    from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in pediatrics, orthopedics


  3. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    I think we already have a thread on this subject here somewhere. But here you are: morphine, midazolam, lorazepam, dexmedetomidine, ketamine, propofol, fentanyl, insulin, heparin, aspirin, dipyridamole, potassium chloride, magnesium sulfate, calcium chloride, dopamine, dobutamine*, milrinone*, epinephrine, norepinephrine, vasopressin, phenylephrine*, nitroprusside, clonidine, labetalol, nitroglycerin*, amiodarone, procainamide*, alprostadil*, sildenafil*, epoprostenol*, sodium bicarbonate, adenosine*, phenobarbital, phenytoin, sodium valproate, furosemide, ethacrynic acid, spironolactone/hydrochlorothiazide, acetazolamide, albuterol, piperacillin-tazobactam, meropenem, vancomycin, clindamycin, cefazolin, ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, ceftazidime, amphotericin B, fluconazole, metronidazole, famotidine, metoclopramide, diphenhydramine, dimenhydrinate, ondanstron, hydrocortisone, mannitol... that's a good start!

    This list is of the most commonly used drugs in a combined cardiac/medical-surgical PICU. Obviously, if the PICU where you wind up working doesn't have cardiac patients, some of these* will be only seen infrequently. I've had patients with at least ten of these drugs going as continuous infusions, which makes for a busy shift!

    Edited to add: those drugs underlined above may also be given as continuous infusions.
    Last edit by NotReady4PrimeTime on May 10, '14
  4. by   tots24
    Thank you! I thought there was a thread that existed already too, but I couldn't find it. Looks like I've got my work cut out for me!
  5. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    You're welcome! You already know some of this stuff. I think if you just have an idea of why they'd be ordered, what their main effects are and the usual range of doses you'd be about where all of us PICU-ers already are.
  6. by   umcRN
    I think interviewers would be more interested in hearing about the patients you take care of in the home though. Meds you can learn but the patient population is special. Do you have any trached kiddos you care for? Vented? Tube feeds? Complex medical history? I believe that information would be more impressive to an interviewer than your knowledge of meds. I have worked in two units, two interviews, and never once was I asked about meds, nor do I recall a question/situation where I would have talked about them
  7. by   tots24
    Quote from umcRN
    Meds you can learn but the patient population is special. Do you have any trached kiddos you care for? Vented? Tube feeds? Complex medical history?
    My kids have all of these things as well as infusion needs. I know that this is the bulk of my experience. I just also know that I see the same meds every day and want to make sure my pharm isn't too rusty before I start working on a unit! This question wasn't for interview purposes, just for my own knowledge. I know that things will be overwhelming and I'll have a ton of stuff to look up when I start, so I thought I would start reviewing meds now!