Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Intro

I've been working in a CVICU for almost 4 months now. In the beginning everything was fantastic. I felt fortunate to have landed a job in critical care because I had heard it was hard for new grads to accomplish this without prior nursing experience. There is an extensive program for new grads where I work. They call it a residency. For the first 6 weeks, we take critical care classes and do the usual hospital orientation. After that we're assigned a preceptor. I started with 6 other new grads in my unit so at least there was a mini support system built in. The hospital also has what I call a "New Grad support group". We meet once a month for a year and discuss things like:
What was my biggest screw-up so far and what did I learn from it?
What has been the most unexpected reality?
What am I most proud of so far?
What is the jury still out on?.
So the hospital has a great system in my opinion, but it still doesn't reduce the shock value of spending over 4 years on a degree to get out and find that you know absolutely nothing!
I've talked to more experienced nurses and they've all told me it takes about 1-2 years to be comfortable with everything. The #1 thing I need to work on is time management and knowing what to do when the patient starts going downhill. Thankfully, every day I learn a little more. I'm picking up faster ways of doing things (and still sticking to hospital policy). I'm learning what to look for in my patient's condition. I'm learning the politics of the unit. So there IS light at the end of the long, dark tunnel!
I'm here to share with all of you what I've learned so far, tips that have been recommended, and resources that have proven to be useful for new grads starting in ICU.

4 Comments:

At 3:05 AM, Blogger Allison said...

Hi, I am starting in the CVICU (im in orientation this week actually) any pointers on what to bring the first shift with my preceptor,what to brush up on, any tools or your own ideas of oraganizing? I think it will b helpful to me to hear from some one who is also a new grad AND in the same unit

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger goshenc said...

Thanks so much for the tips, they're really helpful. I'm about to start my first nursing job ever in the NICU. I'm extremely excited for it and want to give myself every advantage I can before my first shift. Can't wait to learn. :)

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger goshenc said...

Thanks so much for the tips, they're really helpful. I'm about to start my first nursing job ever in the NICU. I'm extremely excited for it and want to give myself every advantage I can before my first shift. Can't wait to learn. :)

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger goshenc said...

Thanks so much for the tips, they're really helpful. I'm about to start my first nursing job ever in the NICU. I'm extremely excited for it and want to give myself every advantage I can before my first shift. Can't wait to learn. :)

 

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