First float as a critical care nurse

fear vs courageI feel that anytime you float to another unit, there’s some anxiety because you’ll call different providers, things are in different places and there’s usually a different patient population. Since I came off of probation, I have to float now.

My first float was at the SICU. While there, I had 2 medical patients, so at least I was used to that. Here are a couple of things there made me feel comfortable.

  1. A list of numbers for the MLPs (the critical care PA, vascular PA, and surgical PA), respiratory therapist, med cart code, nurses lounge. If the float unit is nice, then they will already have these on a sheet prepared for you. If not, then ask the charge nurse or the secretary for this information.
  2. Bringing my own SBAR form. The float unit may not have the same form as your home unit.
  3. A quick orientation of the unit. Having an idea of where everything is will give you the tools you need to succeed!
  4. Remembering names. Introducing yourself to the nurses next to you and to the axillary staff and remembering their names will make it much easier to get help (or help them!) and get the job done.
  5. Ask questions. As always, feel comfortable asking questions! Anything from, ‘Where can I find a 3cc syringe?’ to a patient’s deteriorating condition to ‘can I have a boost?’

Although I had a pretty good first float, I’ve heard other stories from my coworkers stating that they had too many patients. You should be able to get the same ratio of patient population as you would normally. Good luck on your first float! 🙂

Posted in ICU Nursing, Nursing and tagged , , .
  • joko99rn

    Congrats on surviving your first float!! May the rest go smoothly!