Hello. This is my first post, though I have been lurking for quite a while. I think this board is an amazing place to come for advice and support.

I know that ICU experience is required, etc. to get in. But what I would like to find out is what an RN should be expected to KNOW that will not be taught in the program.

My acute-care background is 2 years in the ER. I recently took a job in our Cardio Vascular Unit (CVU) which is also part of the Open Heart Recovery and SICU department. I will be cross-trained and floated to both of the other units. During my preceptorship into CVU, I am working with a woman who has been an RN as long as I (5 yrs) and has always worked in these units. She told me yesterday she has never been in a code. She has also looked to me many times during my first couple days there for advice on the pt we were taking care of. So, I can see that our level of experience with higher acuity pts differs.

Then I walked into the Open Heart Recovery room and saw our pt who was 1.5 hrs S/P CABG with about 10 different drips hanging, on the vent, had a Swan, etc. There was only one RN bedside making all the adjustments. Now, this is not a pt that I am ready to take care of just yet, knowing the surgeon who did the operation (translation: you REALLY need to know your crap if you are going to take care of his pt!).

In the ER, the RTs ran the vents and I had never seen a Swan put in, many straight central lines, but not a Swan. I have seen Art lines inserted. But on the other hand, I have coded many, many pts from newborns to elderly. I have seen and stabilized many pts across the lifespan with a variety of disease processes.

I am applying to Barry for next January. But I want to be sure I am prepared. What am I expected to KNOW before I enter a program.

Thanks so much!!!