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Suggestions to a NewGrad to ICU_3 wks to prep

Hello Everyone,

Im a new grad seeking advice from ICU RNs.

I'm about 10/10 scared, trained for ED but hired for ICU (but still very thankful).

I have 3 weeks to prepare before the first ICU preceptorship program.

Any advice, tips, forms to share, special topics/skills to review/focus???

Whether it's broad or specific, anything will be appreciated.

Thank you! :)

kool-aide, RN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in Cardiac.

Look up vasoactive drips/inotropes, know how they work, indications, teaching, side effects, etc. (Levophed, vasopressin, neosynephrin, epinephrine, dobutamine, milrinone, cardene, dopamine, nitroglycerin, nitroprusside)

Be weary of your pts LVEF before you bolus them with IVF for hypotension, even if they're not there for cardiac issues.

If your vented sedated pt becomes hypotensive, try turning down the propofol to correct it first.

Write down normal ranges for hemodynamics numbers.

Know the pathology of sepsis like the back of your hand.

If you have a pt that isn't vented, expect to be intubating them on your shift. That way you're never surprised or caught off guard. Even our seemingly stable pts are very sick most times--their bodies can only compensate for so long.

Thank you Kool-Aide RN! I will definitely study those points during these few weeks!

Da_Milk_of_Amnesia, MSN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in Critical Care.

Above all else, understand the WHY you are giving or doing something. Don't just do stuff because someone tells you to. Know your meds, receptors, expected responses, adverse effects etc. Learn to work thru problems before you go calling a doctor.


Has 7 years experience. Specializes in ICU,CVICU.

I wouldn't stress out about studying more. The hospital should have you enrolled in a new grad program/classes that will go over hemodynamics, gtts, vents, sepsis, etc. The sole most important factor in your preceptorship is your preceptor. Make sure you get along with him/her, they are experienced/organized/confident and most importantly you are comfortable asking them any and all questions. If you aren't sure about something, ASK!!! I can't stress that enough because once your preceptorship is over YOU are responsible for your patients.


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