Starting out in the burn icu

Posted
by Leadkrm Leadkrm, RN Member

Specializes in Pediatric Burn ICU.

Hello everyone,

I am a new grad RN. I was a tech in the hospital I put in all my applications at. I only really wanted to work on the burn unit and it was taking a while for them to contact me. I turned down 2 other offers waiting for the burn position and I found out about a week ago that I got the position on the unit. I couldn’t be happier. My question is, what should I be reading up on before I start? Orientation begins the 11th and I want to be brushed up on some common burn skills, common meds/fluids, interventions for patients as well. Is there anything I’m over looking? I want to be prepared for my team as much as I can. Any pointers will be much appreciated. Thank everyone for their time in advance.

UMichSCN07

UMichSCN07

Specializes in Trauma/Burn ICU. 108 Posts

First off, congratulations! I too started out as a new grad in a burn ICU.

Burn care is as much an art as it is a science, so most of what you are inquiring about will be learned on the job and will probably be somewhat specific to the unit you hired into. I’ve found out the hard way that, in general, no two burn units do things the same way; in fact, really, no two burn surgeons do things the same way, even within the same unit.

That being said, one of the best textbook resources out there is Total Burn Care by Herndon. I have yet to visit a burn unit that doesn’t keep a copy hanging around. I also recommend the AACN Procedure Manual for Critical Care, as it covers most of the non-burn-specific procedures you’re likely to see.

A great online resource is michiganburn.org. It was developed jointly by the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center and the State of Michigan as a resource for providers in the event of a burn mass casualty incident. There are a number of Flash-based presentations that you can watch which will give you good insight into the basics of burn care.

Best of luck to you!

Mike in CO

Leadkrm

Leadkrm, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Burn ICU. 211 Posts

On 2/4/2019 at 5:50 PM, UMichSCN07 said:

First off, congratulations! I too started out as a new grad in a burn ICU.

Burn care is as much an art as it is a science, so most of what you are inquiring about will be learned on the job and will probably be somewhat specific to the unit you hired into. I’ve found out the hard way that, in general, no two burn units do things the same way; in fact, really, no two burn surgeons do things the same way, even within the same unit.

That being said, one of the best textbook resources out there is Total Burn Care by Herndon. I have yet to visit a burn unit that doesn’t keep a copy hanging around. I also recommend the AACN Procedure Manual for Critical Care, as it covers most of the non-burn-specific procedures you’re likely to see.

A great online resource is michiganburn.org. It was developed jointly by the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center and the State of Michigan as a resource for providers in the event of a burn mass casualty incident. There are a number of Flash-based presentations that you can watch which will give you good insight into the basics of burn care.

Best of luck to you!

Mike in CO

Thank you very much for your time Mike. I look forward to looking into the resources that you listed. Your insight has been noted and is helpful.

Ricee

Ricee

13 Posts

I also will be starting as a new Grad in a Burn Unit. I am very excited and held out for the position. Any advice or information you'd like to pass on to another newbie?

How is it going for you since you've now been there a few months?

Leadkrm

Leadkrm, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Burn ICU. 211 Posts

7 hours ago, Ricee said:

I also will be starting as a new Grad in a Burn Unit. I am very excited and held out for the position. Any advice or information you'd like to pass on to another newbie?

How is it going for you since you've now been there a few months?

I have to be honest. The learning curve is steep. I’m getting in a decent groove with the easier patients. I still struggle with time management. I still have a large amount to learn. It will get better, but for now, I’m flying by the seat of my pants.

marienm, RN, CCRN

Specializes in Burn, ICU. Has 9 years experience. 289 Posts

It will continue to get better! I don't think I felt fully confident on "normal" shifts for at least a year, and even now as a charge nurse there are still nights that kick my butt. I'm not saying that to discourage you but to let you know that your experience is pretty normal.

The real questions are: What do you think about the smell of the electrocautery tool? Do you like debriding a fresh burn? Do you love doing dressing changes in 90-degree rooms? ?

Leadkrm

Leadkrm, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Burn ICU. 211 Posts

It’s not so bad so far. I’m gaining knowledge and techniques. The smells and visuals don’t bother me. It’s the crying and screaming. I have a good structure to lean on. I’m happy where I am now.

Ricee

Ricee

13 Posts

12 hours ago, marienm, RN, CCRN said:

It will continue to get better! I don't think I felt fully confident on "normal" shifts for at least a year, and even now as a charge nurse there are still nights that kick my butt. I'm not saying that to discourage you but to let you know that your experience is pretty normal.

The real questions are: What do you think about the smell of the electrocautery tool? Do you like debriding a fresh burn? Do you love doing dressing changes in 90-degree rooms? ?

I'm not a huge fan of the smells (who says that they enjoy the smells?). Psuedomonas was pretty rough, but I enjoyed the dressings, and everything I learned so far, and seen.