Tips for Surviving Critical Care as a New Nurse

Nurses New Nurse


I am a new nurse starting in ICU. It's going pretty well so far. I'm very stressed though a lot of the time. Looking for advice from nurses who have been there, starting as a new grad in critical care.


435 Posts

Hey Jen

There's a lot been said here at allnurses about starting CriticalCare. I'll toss out three thoughts for you to think about.

First--focus on the patient not the monitors. How do they look? How do they feel? Can you palpate pulses or feel crepitance? And look in the chart (esp History&Physicals from MDs are important. Know the labwork.)

Second--focus on trends. A BP of 90/40 might be good or might be bad--depending on what it was 30 min ago, ya know?

Third--be a team member and don't be afraid to pick on one or two or three experienced nurses to be your advisors and role models. I tell 'baby nurses' this: NO critically ill Pt got great care from one nurse working his/her fanny off all alone. The entire team has to come together in a crisis--and building that teamwork spirit is part of our job. So be quick to help out your pals and to ask for their help.

Best of luck. It think ICU nursing is the best job in the world when we're doing it right.

Yer Papaw John


1,060 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry, ICU, Resource Pool, Dialysis.

In addition to the above advice...

1) DO not be afraid to ask questions if you aren't sure of something. More experienced nurses will expect you to ask lots of questions, so it's OK!! No one expects you to be an expert within the first month!!

2) DO NOT be afraid to speak up if you feel a patient assignment is too complicated or difficult for you to handle. I've seen too many new nurses get in over their head because they were afraid to be looked down on if they didn't feel comfortable with something.

3) DO NOT beat youself up if you don't know something, or make a mistake. There is alot to learn, and it will take time to feel comfortable. Set short term goals, and let your coworkers know what they are - so they can keep their eyes open for opportunities.

Good luck, and enjoy your learning experience!!

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X