Best prep for burn nursing?

  1. I'm hoping people here can help me. I'm a nursing student, scheduled to graduate in May. During my time as a student, I've gotten extremely interested in burn care, and plan to work as a burn nurse.

    The thing is, I'm committed to working the next two years at a hospital that doesn't have a burn unit. (They picked up my tuition in exchange for the work commitment.)

    My main question is, what do you think would be the best preparation for getting into a burn unit when my time is up? I'm assuming critical care, but there are all sorts of ICU's. If I'm given a choice, should I shoot for SICU, MICU, or what?

    How hard is it to get a job in a burn unit? How does the pay compare to other staff nursing positions? Are there opportunities for overtime? I'd appreciate any insights people have.

  2. Visit fins profile page

    About fins

    Joined: Dec '03; Posts: 172; Likes: 249


  3. by   bwt02
    You can essentially write your own ticket. Since you are committed to another hospital I would say SICU is the next closest fit. Burn ICU is extremely different though than any other icu specialty.
  4. by   clgmezzo
    Well, i agree that surgical ICU is probably the closest fit, with the stress that is placed on getting as much body surface area covered as is possible many of our critical large surface area patients will go to surgery every day the first week they are with us trying to cover their body either with cadaver, or special coverings like integra. ICU is a definite stress, as most of your patients that are large burns will be intubated with vasopressive drugs, and albumin, mso4 and versed drips and many other things all running at the same time. I think burn nursing is great though, because at least in my burn center we have all kinds of different patients, infants children and adults, with all kinds of past medical histories, and in all stages, from an overnight observation, to outpatients to critical patients. Also those in the rehab phase, who may come in for a scar band release for example. It is great work, and i think the ICU is a great place to spend the time you have to, that or ER, because, if its anything like my burn center we take our burn triages directly as triages, with no ER intervention expect for what the outlaying hospital or life flight chooses to do, and sometimes just straight. Good luck, and its a great choice!
  5. by   redwinggirlie
    Go wherever you can to treat wounds. This way you will have practice with dressings, cleansing and, most importantly, medicating your patients for these commonly painful procedures. Burn=Pain.... both are four-letter words. Learn to medicate your patients properly and go where you will see things you just don't see everyday.