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Summer Breeze

Summer Breeze

PICU
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  1. Summer Breeze

    Should I quit my ICU job?

    This is a wordy reply... I bolded my main point. Haha! I can definitely relate to your anxiety Stella! During my orientation in the PICU I felt the same way with my preceptor. She kind of let me be on my own, even in the beginning of orientation. She would be busy chatting with other nurses and not around. She'd say I was doing a great job. But I was a new grad and this was my first nursing job ever. I needed some guidance and I wasn't really getting it from her. She wouldn't help me time manage, she kept saying things like "I can't even teach you all that you have to learn until you get better on time management." Yet she wouldn't give me pointers on how to be better. I seriously didn't learn very much from her, since I felt like I was on my own from the beginning. She wouldn't explain anything to me! For example, I was new and didn't know all of the doctors, apn's, residents. I asked her how she knows who to contact, where she finds this info from. She's like "oh you'll figure out who is who with time and just know." In reality, there was a call list and it would tell you who was on for the day/night. I didn't learn this until the second half of my orientation when I was on night shift. I would always panic over who to call if something bad happened, yet all it would have taken to ease my anxiety was if she showed me the call list!!!! I kind of felt like our personalities just didn't click and my learning style did not meet her teaching style. By my first month of orientation, she would seriously yell at me for asking questions... so I'd have to go to other nurses I met to ask them things. She would say things like "you should know this by now, you need to be more confident." But in reality I just didn't know and needed her to just help explain things to me. I remember drawing blood from an arterial line for the first time on my own after weeks of seeing it be done. I was a little nervous. She was on the computer so I told her I wanted to go over the steps as I drew from the line. I talked the steps out loud to myself and her (its the way I learn) and she just snapped at me that I've done this before and should know how to do it now. She didn't want me to explain the steps to myself as I did it. At this point, she stopped answering all of my questions and started to ignore me. She explained to me and my educator one day that this is the PICU and I'll be under stressful situations so I need to learn how to handle them on my own. I think she missed the point that it was orientation and I needed some guidance. Sorry for my rant! But on to something more positive: I had another preceptor while on day shift for the cardiac icu part of our PICU. And I couldn't believe how much I was learning and growing with her. I learned so much from her, but she didn't have to spoon feed me anything. She was just there and knew how to teach and explain things. She was ALWAYS there for support. I learned time management (even though this took a while! It wasn't until I was on my own that I really learned how to time manage better), she helped guide me on my plan for the day. I wish my educator listened to my complaints with my first preceptor. I wish those first few months didn't get wasted with her. I still feel anxious at the thought of working on day shift, I don't feel prepared for it at all.. so I work straight nights currently. My point is... it doesn't hurt to ask for a different preceptor. Some people just aren't compatible, and that's fine. You may need a different teaching style to help you get it. It wasn't until the end of my day shift orientation that I had a new preceptor for a short while and she was amazing. Luckily when I switched to night shift, my two preceptors were awesome and I learned so much from them. Advocate for yourself! It will be better in the long run, not only for you, but for your patients as well. As a new grad, going into an ICU setting is intense. You need someone to help you along your journey, it isn't fair to not get the full experience of the orientation because of a lousy preceptor. The idea of taking care of 3-4 ICU patients is also a little scary. Are the assignments fair? Are the patients a bit more stable than the others on the unit? I know the PICU that I work at, sometimes assignments can be 3 patients if we are short staffed... but those patients are usually the most stable. Even then, its sometimes the kids who are ready to transfer to the floor/go home that end up coding.
  2. Summer Breeze

    Appropriate to ask for schedule switch?

    I definitely know how brutal a schedule like that can be! I was supposed to work 6 nights in a row (my preceptor worked a super crazy schedule because she liked to travel a lot), but I did bring up my concerns to my educator. She was able to tweak my schedule a bit with my secondary preceptor.. but that just meant working 4 nights, day off, then working 2 nights. It was exhausting, but I managed to do it. I definitely felt like a zombie! I just accepted it since it seemed better than working 6 nights in a row lol. Good luck! I think its okay to bring up your concerns. Just let your manager know that you are a little worried because its hard on your body working so many nights in a row.
  3. I've been meaning to respond back to this for a while! Definitely fill us in on what happens with the NICU! If PICU is where your heart is set, keep applying for jobs! But I would definitely recommend accepting a NICU position if available. Its easier to transfer to another unit in the hospital after working for a year if the PICU is something you will still want. =)
  4. Summer Breeze

    Do people actually do safety checks?

    I'm a new grad working in the ICU. All of the nurses on our unit are really big on doing safety checks... Its the first thing I do when I walk into my patient's room. I think most of the nurses do them, your patients life could be on the line if you didn't. While doing safety checks I've only found suction not hooked up once and clamps not at the bedside.
  5. Summer Breeze

    One bad egg...

    Just out of curiosity, were lab coats a part of her school uniform? I know that my nursing school required us to have lab coats. Not everyone wore them all the time, but some of us sometimes did. They clearly identified that we were nursing students with our school patch on the shoulder. We also wore different colored scrubs, so we were easily identifiable. I wore white scrubs as a nursing student. worst color ever! I don't really know the dynamics of the situation or if the student was pretending to be a nurse. As long as the lab coat was in dress code and she identified herself as a student nurse, I don't see anything wrong with that. Again, I don't know the details. I'm sure the manager could have handled it better.
  6. Summer Breeze

    peds nurses

    I definitely agree with everything that ChristineN said! Especially in regards to having a senior practicum in peds, PICU, NICU. A lot of students tend to get hired on the units that they had their practicum on. I would also recommend taking every opportunity in nursing school to be involved with pediatric patients. For example, during my community clinical I was extremely lucky... I explained my interest in pediatrics to my clinical instructor and I was able to have my clinical in pediatric clinics and pediatric home health! During my other clinicals (med/surg, psych, etc), I also let my instructors know my interest in peds... I was able to shadow in the PICU, NICU, Peds ER multiple times! During your pediatric clinical... network!! Get to know your instructor and let her know that you absolutely love peds. Do your best during this clinical. Help staff with other patients (if you're allowed to) and try to get to know the managers. You never know who you'll meet and how they can help you obtain your dream job. Good luck!
  7. You still have time to figure out what you want to do. Good luck! I also wanted to share that I would get really lightheaded at the thought of blood.. thinking of starting IV's and drawing blood really freaked me out. It was weird.. I was in my anatomy and physiology class discussing red blood cells and I'd feel so dizzy! I was really paranoid that nursing wasn't for me, but I stuck it out. Luckily my school offered clinicals during my sophomore year, and I enjoyed it. When it came to drawing blood or even seeing a surgical procedure, I was totally cool with it! I don't know why... but the thought of blood used to make me squeamish (not anymore), but actually practicing it and seeing it in person didn't.
  8. Summer Breeze

    Questions for New Grads

    1. when did you graduate? may 2010 2. do you have a bsn or adn? bsn. 3. are you still looking for work? nope!! =) 4. if not, how long did it take you to find a job? three weeks after i found out i passed the nclex i had two interviews (one was for my dream job) 5. if you don't mind my asking, those who are working, what type of job or floor do you work on. i accepted both jobs. one is per diem and i work with pediatric patients, i started that right away. the other is for the picu and i begin in a few weeks!
  9. If you're still in nursing school, here is some advice that I can give you: 1. Get to know your clinical instructors and let them know what units you are interested in. They could possibly offer you a shadow day in the ER or OB! I know a lot of schools where I am from allow students clinical days on other units, ER was a popular choice. Your instructors can also help you network! You never know who they know. So do your best and get noticed during clinicals. 2. If your school offers a senior practicum, take this opportunity and request one of the units you want! I didn't realize that many schools did not do this... when I interviewed for my job I was one of the only candidates in our group interview who actually had a practicum on that specific unit. 3. Try to obtain a nursing assistant or PCT position! It always looks good because you'll learn time management skills and have experience in the hospital outside of clinicals. If this isn't possible, try to volunteer at a hospital you would like to work at. Good luck! Aim for what you want. =) But don't let it bring you down if you don't get exactly what you want. You never know where life will bring you, you may find you really enjoy a completely different type of unit.
  10. Summer Breeze

    Where is your heart at?

    I've always known that I wanted to work with children, even before I started nursing school. My ability to shadow on multiple pediatric units (PICU, peds ER, NICU, Peds OR/PACU), pediatric clinical rotations + pediatric community rotation, and my practicum in the PICU really made me realize that I love pediatrics and thats the population that I really want to work with! My senior practicum also made me realize that I love the ICU setting. I'll be starting in the PICU as a new grad in a few weeks and I'm extremely excited about it. I also work with pediatrics as a per diem position when I obtained my license. I guess I've just always known I wanted to work with kids. =) I honestly don't have anything against adults! I always enjoyed taking care of them, but PICU is where my heart is.
  11. Summer Breeze

    Starting my first RN job next week...advice

    Don't worry about your preceptor! I know it isn't the same, but during my senior preceptorship in nursing school my preceptor had never precepted anyone before! I was her first person and she was SO amazing! I definitely learned a lot from her. I really enjoyed my experience. =) Good luck! I'm sure you'll do great.
  12. Summer Breeze

    It's all about who you know!

    I have to agree that networking and knowing someone is the best way to get the job. I think clinicals were the best way to network... with your clinical instructor or anyone you could have met during clinicals. I think I was extremely lucky with who I met. A lot of my clinical instructors knew people! Some were nursing supervisors, others just knew all of management and HR. So when I interviewed for my dream hospital and mentioned that I had clinicals with so and so... it seriously helped me! Because they knew what type of person my instructor was and she was able to give me a good reference. For new grads having a hard time now: with your friends who currently do have jobs, keep in touch with them! They can always put in a good word for you or let you know if anyone plans to hire soon. You could always use them as a reference (if your close enough).
  13. Summer Breeze

    Nursing Career & Relationships, Marriage

    Nursing school is definitely tough, but I'm sure your girlfriend will be able to find time to hangout. Its usually hardest in the beginning when you have to finally learn how to manage your time, get used to early clinicals, nursing care plans that can take hours to complete, etc. And the classes will get extremely stressful as well once she progresses in nursing school. Time management is key. I was always extremely organized and would try to stick to my schedules as much as possible. Do you guys go to the same school? Even if you don't, you two can at least study together. That's what my boyfriend and I did. =) She'll also need a few mental health days, encourage them! Sometimes I would study all day, and then spend the night relaxing and just hanging out with my BF for a few hours. I basically made sure we talked everyday as well. Texting between classes helped as well. Good luck. I hope all goes well for the two of you. =)
  14. Summer Breeze

    When do I initial the M.A.R.?

    I take a pencil and just make a small 'dot' on the medications that I have drawn out. That way I double check myself and know 100% that I took out all of the meds I need for that specific time. Once my patients take their meds, I go back and initial. I wouldn't sign off the medication if I didn't administer it, so I think its best to do it after the med is actually given.
  15. Summer Breeze

    Advice for 1st nursing shift as a new grad?

    Good luck! My biggest advice is to always ask questions, it doesn't matter how dumb your question may sound to you. =) Like my nursing instructors always said "the only dumb question is the one you don't ask." If you don't feel comfortable doing something, it's okay! Just ask your preceptor to show you, and then they can be there and watch you do it the next time. One important thing I learned is that I absolutely need a cheat sheet. So for each patient I have, I will write down all 12 hours on a piece of paper, and I'll write down whatever needs to be done. For example: 8am - pass meds, 9pm - start feeds, etc. =) It just helps me organize my day that way and I know I won't forget what to do. GOOD LUCK!!!!
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