Hoozdo

  1. Hi!!

    I can't PM you (or can I?) so I wanted to ask you.

    I need to pick a specialty for Preceptorship and was wondering if you could tell me more about the ICU. We go there but I think I have to put in for specialty before then. It attracts me that there is a low pt/nurse ratio even though I know that does not, by any means, translate into less work.

    Can you compare/contrast ICU to med-surg where nurse pt ratio 4-5-6/1?

    And I can't remember, did you start in ICU staight out of NS? If so, how was that?

    I need to pick something and I am starting to panic!:uhoh21:

    Thanks!
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   cardiacRN2006
    Thrashej, are you getting close to being done with NS???
  4. by   Curious1alwys
    Yep, last semester, God willing...
  5. by   cardiacRN2006
    Wow! Congrats!


    A bit of advice...

    I found as I was applying/interviewing for ICUs that a lot of them required 120 hours of ICU experience. That meant either a summer externship or preceptorship in the ICU. So those that didn't choose ICU for those 2 things weren't getting hired into the ICU. So, just to ensure your chances, pick the ICU as a externship. If it's no good for you then it's better to know earlier than later!
  6. by   Curious1alwys
    Cardiac..

    Do you have any advice. I see you are in the ICU too....???:uhoh21:
  7. by   cardiacRN2006
    I went straight into the ICU. I don't regret it, but in restrospect it was very hard!

    My advice is to go for the ICU preceptorship. You will know if it's not right for you. I did my preceptorship in the CVICU, and believe it or not, I just didn't like it! Here I was, working in a heart hospital for 9 years in an ICU, and I didn't like it. It caught me off-guard, that's for sure.

    I went with a med-surg ICU. LOVE IT! All kinds of stuff. Really challenging stuff.

    Med surg has higher ratios, and I dont' like the feeling like I'm constantly running like that.

    Now, I AM constantly running in ICU, but it's with 1 or 2 pts. I don't confuse all the info with other pts, I know my pts very well.

    So if you like knowing all the little things about your pts, or if you are analytical , then you will really like ICU. It's just so much fun!

    So, go for the ICU!!!


    Find a place that has a good training program. Interview at a few places and compare them. Length of time of the critical care class, when will you get ACLS, how many preceptors (I only had 1), how often will you and your educator meet, will they allow extra time if you need it on orientation...
    Then compare pay and benefits.

    Good luck!
  8. by   Curious1alwys
    Thank you Cardiac!

    Like you, I hate having to juggle a million patients. I don't mind being busy, but I hate having to keep track of so much and confuse pts. I like going thru charts and coming up with questions! I always want to know WHY. Why did this happen? or What caused that?, etc. I love to research and really have the chance to learn a lot, and put the big picture together. I need time to process my own information.. You never really get to do that in med surg... I don't know if I like the prospect of people coding on me though. I am really not an adrenaline junkie. But I thought maybe I would like taking 'expert' care of just two or so. What sorts of things do you see there? Give me a day in the life....:wink2:
  9. by   cardiacRN2006
    Ok.

    I'll sum up my last shift.

    I had 2 pts. One easy one, one hard one. Easy one a post-op pt who had a bowel perf. He had been post op many days now, but had a wound vac, with a large midline incision. Prior to that we were doing dressing changes BID. Lots of abx, Q6 fingersticks, cvp attatched to one of his ports on his central line. TPN running, and IVF. All ICU pts are Q2 assessments, Q1 I/Os and VS.

    Other pt was a old, old lady. S/P code (at home). Vent, triple lumen in one groin and a-line in the other, Insulin gtt-so fingersticks Q1 hr (and no tech), no urine output, NGT, on 2 pressors and barely keeping a pressure. I spent a lot of my day titrating up on the levophed and giving boluses. I also spent a lot of time updating each doctor as they came in on the pt status.

    I also work at a teaching hospital, so I spend some time correcting the mistakes made by residents. Here's where your knowledge of your pts is important!


    Some days you'll get pts that go to surgery right away, or who need procedure like a central line placement, or swan insertion. It's certainly scary at first, but fun.

    You'll learn so much in the first few months that you wil be amazed!
    Last edit by cardiacRN2006 on Jan 22, '07 : Reason: Clarification
  10. by   jamonit
    and i'll start fresh as a new grad in the PICU. woohoo!
  11. by   Hoozdo
    Quote from thrashej
    Hi!!

    I can't PM you (or can I?) so I wanted to ask you.

    I need to pick a specialty for Preceptorship and was wondering if you could tell me more about the ICU. We go there but I think I have to put in for specialty before then. It attracts me that there is a low pt/nurse ratio even though I know that does not, by any means, translate into less work.

    Can you compare/contrast ICU to med-surg where nurse pt ratio 4-5-6/1?

    And I can't remember, did you start in ICU staight out of NS? If so, how was that?

    I need to pick something and I am starting to panic!:uhoh21:

    Thanks!
    HI! :spin:
    Yeah, you could PM me. I have been out of circulation a few days. Some of you may have seen on the news about the 18 year old tasered in Gilbert on the 19th. That was my nephew......so I having been a lot of family centered activities :trout:

    I did my preceptorship in ICU. I love ICU, definitely put in for it. My second choice was tele. BTW, I don't think any Phoenix area hospital has a 4:1 ratio for med/surg. Tele at some hospitals has 4:1. Med/surg was definitely not something I wanted to do.

    Yes, I started in the medical ICU. I had a 6 month orientation, but had many, many different preceptors. My orientation sucked because all the nurses were burnt out from precepting and the added work of it. I made the best of it......and it wasn't easy.

    At Glendale, you might have a problem finding someone to precept you. If you do.........and you won't know you have a problem until right before your preceptorship starts, send me a PM. I know someone you can work with :spin:
    Congrats on being in your last semester, feels good, huh?

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