An IMCU Nurse plays a critical role in the functioning of the intensive medical care unit. These nurses must be able to think quickly, follow commands thoroughly, and utilize all aspects of their training to the best of their ability. These nurses see life and death situations every day. From working diligently, quickly, and intelligently, they have the potential to save lives.
Nurses who work in the IMCU have incredible opportunities and an exciting job, but they also face daunting challenges. Before starting their career, an IMCU Nurse should keep in mind the following five tips. These tips can play a dramatic role in whether or not an individual becomes a successful IMCU Nurse.
Continued Education Is Critical to Success
When many IMCU Nurses start working, they often feel overwhelmed at the vast number of topics and subjects that they encounter every shift. To stay on top of these concepts, new nurses should set aside some time every day to study. Many veterans of the IMCU claim that newbies should plan to devote at least ten hours per week to continuing their education. If possible, new nurses should keep a running list of every new idea or term that they encounter in a day, and they should look up these ideas after their shift. The ICU Book by John Marino is an excellent resource for new nurses to keep on hand. The more an IMCU Nurse learns during his or her first year on the job, the more successful they will be.
Never Under Estimate the Power of Teamwork
The experienced IMCU Nurses can be a gold mine of information. New nurses should introduce themselves to their more experienced colleagues, and they should express an interest in learning as much as possible. If possible, new nurses should ask the more experienced nurses to share interesting cases or procedures with them. This will give the new nurses the chance to boost their knowledge while practicing and learning about new skills. Teamwork can be critical to the success of the unit as a whole. If a new nurse’s patients are stable and easy, he or she should always offer to help their colleagues. These favors will be returned in the future, and it sets the tone for a positive team focused environment.
Report Sheets and Checklists Are Essential
Even if you only have one or two patients to handle, it can be daunting to remember everything that you need to check. In most cases, you will be responsible for checking everything from a patient’s vital signs to their oral care. Armed with a checklist, you can rest assured that you will never forget an important element.
Details Are Meaningful
When you spend the day reading vital signs, lab values, and other stats, it can be easy to overlook a small detail or two. However, it is critical that you pay close attention to the details. Oftentimes, the small detail that gets overlooked is the one that could have saved a patient’s life. There are countless stories of patients with temperatures that were one degree less than normal. This easily overlooked detail may be a symptom of something deadly like sepsis. By paying attention to every last detail, an IMCU Nurse has the power to save lives.
Intuition Can Be as Important as Technology
As an IMCU Nurse, you will see patients hooked up to ventilators, feeding tubes, and intravenous lines. You will monitor patients by reading heart monitors, oxygen monitors, and countless other monitors. Although these types of technology play a critical role in the monitoring and care of IMCU patients, the role of intuition should not be discounted. If an IMCU nurse has completed all the necessary protocol and then has a hunch or a suspicion about what else should be done, they should follow that hunch. In many cases, intuition may be right, and it can save lives.