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What do you never leave home without?

CCU   (6,459 Views 33 Comments)
by RNCRNA2BE RNCRNA2BE (Member) Member

1,565 Profile Views; 79 Posts

I may possibly be getting a job as a cvicu nurse and would like to know how you prepare yourself for work before you leave home. I know that as a tele nurse there are certain must haves that I don't leave home without, so can you crit care nurses out there(specifically cardiac icu) tell me what I should always have with me when I go to work should I get this job?

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zozzy777 has 11 years experience and specializes in Critical care/ER, SRNA.

104 Posts; 2,091 Profile Views

come on, some one has something, I'm sure!!

I would get a critical care pocket reference to have with you all the time. you will have lots of drips to know and titrate. Other than that, the usual stuff, stethescope, pen light, hemostats. Good luck! It's a lot of fun!!

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79 Posts; 1,565 Profile Views

I would get a critical care pocket reference to have with you all the time. you will have lots of drips to know and titrate. Other than that, the usual stuff, stethescope, pen light, hemostats. Good luck! It's a lot of fun!!

Wow!! Thank you for responding!! I seriously want to know those little helpful hints such as what you recommended. I know the usual, I just want to know things that specifically help you in crit care nursing. Also, thanks for the good luck wish, I'm sure I will be able to use it.

T

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walk6miles specializes in ICU of all kinds, CVICU, Cath Lab, ER..

2 Articles; 308 Posts; 6,680 Profile Views

Here goes 15 years of CVICU and transplant experience:

I learned my skills in Boston; one charge RN required us (great idea) to check all drips on the patient by old fashioned calculator method...the more you use those skills, the more ingrained they become.

You will check the patient's EVERYTHING down to the collection containers on the floor; you will become familiar with how these patients arrive from OR to recovery - either very bad shape (in which case, you will be hanging blood products and titrating drips all night) or very good shape (in which case you will sit by the patient and keep track of everything) there is seldom an in between - either good, or bad.

You gradually become attuned to the subtle changes that tell you something is amiss; you will at some point know every nuance to every drug used. It is one of the most rewarding types of nursing you will ever experience. I highly recommend it.

I worked at one point at a very large facility with approximately 9 CV surgeons - I still have the small binder for each surgeon - all their idiosyncrasies are listed; their preferences, etc. I kept a large wide-mouthed bag (like a carpenter bag) with all my pens, flashlight, clamps, you name its; you will find your own special gear.

I always carried my personal reference books; 2 stethoscopes, scissors, and so forth.

I wish you the best; if you have any problems or questions at any time, feel free to contact me.

God Bless!

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icunurse42066 has 14 years experience and specializes in neuro, critical care, open heart..

134 Posts; 3,940 Profile Views

i agree with walk6miles. I, by no means, have the same amount of experience (2 years compared to 15), but it is, in my opinion, one of, if not the most, challenging specialities out there! at the same time, it is also very rewarding. you will learn a lot!!!! Good luck with your endeavors

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79 Posts; 1,565 Profile Views

Here goes 15 years of CVICU and transplant experience:

I learned my skills in Boston; one charge RN required us (great idea) to check all drips on the patient by old fashioned calculator method...the more you use those skills, the more ingrained they become.

You will check the patient's EVERYTHING down to the collection containers on the floor; you will become familiar with how these patients arrive from OR to recovery - either very bad shape (in which case, you will be hanging blood products and titrating drips all night) or very good shape (in which case you will sit by the patient and keep track of everything) there is seldom an in between - either good, or bad.

You gradually become attuned to the subtle changes that tell you something is amiss; you will at some point know every nuance to every drug used. It is one of the most rewarding types of nursing you will ever experience. I highly recommend it.

I worked at one point at a very large facility with approximately 9 CV surgeons - I still have the small binder for each surgeon - all their idiosyncrasies are listed; their preferences, etc. I kept a large wide-mouthed bag (like a carpenter bag) with all my pens, flashlight, clamps, you name its; you will find your own special gear.

I always carried my personal reference books; 2 stethoscopes, scissors, and so forth.

I wish you the best; if you have any problems or questions at any time, feel free to contact me.

God Bless!

Thank you so much!! This definitely helps! Its nice to know someone out there will answer some questions if I have them, because I'm sure I'll have many!! :thankya:

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Jenny P specializes in CV-ICU.

1,164 Posts; 7,878 Profile Views

After 34 years in critical care; I never went to work without my own favorite med book, my stethescope, scissors, 2 hemostats, a penlight, my own 2 pens, and a critical care pocket reference book that I added my own paper to so I could add my own little "perls" to: I would add certain MD's odd little quirks (ie: if one surgeon liked some different lab test done that others didn't); hosp. and MD telephone numbers for emergencies; and if there were certain tests that were difficult to remember how to do them.

In other words, my extra pages of perls were the things I didn't use often but if I needed to use them I could find those things STAT.

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92 Posts; 2,794 Profile Views

I'm new in the ICU too...and I suggest an IV drug reference book. All those PO med's I gave on telemetry are scary when given IVP. Oh, and an extra pair of shoes in your locker!

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