The 'look' that people give you...

  1. 2
    I just recently got a job in a Burn ICU. When I tell people I got a new job, they ask what hospital, and then which unit. When I tell them Burn ICU, I get that 'look'. The one that just screams "omg, you're crazy!" or "better you than me." I get this from my current RN coworkers as well.

    I can only guess that for many nurses, Burn ICU is not something for them. I'm actually looking forward to this experience. I know it will be tough, but I want to be the best nurse I can be.

    -Kevin
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  3. 32 Comments so far...

  4. 14
    Quote from ihave206bones
    I just recently got a job in a Burn ICU. When I tell people I got a new job, they ask what hospital, and then which unit. When I tell them Burn ICU, I get that 'look'. The one that just screams "omg, you're crazy!" or "better you than me." I get this from my current RN coworkers as well.

    I can only guess that for many nurses, Burn ICU is not something for them. I'm actually looking forward to this experience. I know it will be tough, but I want to be the best nurse I can be.

    -Kevin
    Honestly...take it as a compliment.

    Normally the medical shows (the real ones) on Discovery Health don't feature serious injuries to children, but they brought into the ER this entire family that had been the victim of a fire in a mobile home.

    The father had the most serious burns b/c he kept going in to get the 3 kids out, who were infants and toddlers...stairsteps.

    The 15 month old, wasn't blackened (thank god), and didn't appear to be immediately blistered, but you could see where the skin rolled and the baby was swelled like a pumpkin.

    I broke down, into almost uncontrollable tears when I they couldn't start an IV on the baby after sticking him numerous times, they finally explained how they had to push it deep into his lower leg, and it appeared it was into the bone...and the child screamed like I had never heard a chlid scream before.

    I was watching with my husband, and I kept repeating over and over again, "Thank God we have people that can work with trauma such as that."

    Like me, even as a 1st semester student, I often think about other realms of nursing, such as Pediatric Oncology, and to me, like burn nurses, those nurses couldn't POSSIBLY be paid enough in my eyes, and I'm not a strong enough person to do that on my best day.

    I would kiss the ground those nurses walk on...that is how much respect I have for them.
  5. 2
    God bless, Kevin, because I couldn't handle it.
    NurseKitten and herring_RN like this.
  6. 4
    Yeah, most people that find out I work in a Burn Center ask me how I handle it and the get "that look" on their face. To be honest I don't purposely do anything to deal with it. I mean, when I'm off duty, I'm off and when I'm at work I'm 100% into caring for my patients.

    Maybe I just have a natural ability to seperate myself when I need to. I was a Paramedic for about 10 years prior to Burn Nursing and never had a problem seperating myself from the horrific scenes I saw. The only call that ever bothered me was an 18 month toddler that drown in a swimming pool that had a striking resemblence to my son who was 16 months at the time. I actually pulled the boy from the water, worked the code in the ambulance to the hospital and continued to help the ED staff for 1.5 hours before we called it...horrible.

    But yeah, the look...it's funny to me sometimes...
  7. 1
    If I met someone who was a burn ICU RN, I'm afraid I might have the same reaction. Not because I can't imagine anyone actually wanting to work c burn pts., but because I don't think I'd ever have the strength to do it myself.

    I have the utmost respect for burn RNs, and am thankful for you all.
    herring_RN likes this.
  8. 2
    I'm not a burn nurse, but I get the same reaction when I tell people I work in the NICU.

    Actually, I used to work at the hospital in which The Arizona Burn Center is, which is one of the biggest burn centers in the country. I had friends that worked in the Burn ICU and I admired them all greatly, as they saw a lot, but they absolutely loved their jobs.

    But I do know what you mean when people give you the look and you hear people say "I could never do that!" or "better you than me!" ...... but I just don't think they realize what they're saying or how it comes across.

    Good for you Kevin .... for finding something that you are looking forward to and that you're excited about! Your patients will have a great nurse and that's all that counts.
    mrsmamabear2002 and herring_RN like this.
  9. 1
    I think that working in a ICU Burn Unit takes a great deal of strength. I think that most people may act this way because while nursing maybe what they want to do, it takes a real special nurse to be able to handle this specialty. I personally am in awe of you. The pain that those poor patients are when they have to go through their treatments must be so horrendous.

    Kris
    herring_RN likes this.
  10. 3
    I would give you the look too, and same to any nurse that works in a PICU. It's a look of admiration and thanking god that someone has the cajones to do it, because I tried and couldn't.
  11. 1
    I get the same thing!!
    I left PACU recently and am starting in a BICU in Cleveland. I worked there as a new grad 5 years ago. One of my co workers bought me a book the doctor who started the BICU wrote. She wrote a little note and stuck it in the pages that said, "When I heard you were leaving PACU to work in the burn unit I was puzzled as to why....."
    Well, I don't like PACU nursing- that's for sure!
    I have heard, "There's no happiness there."
    "Why do you want to work with smelly burned people?" - to be honest I don't think the patients have a smell.
    I am going back to the BICU for a reason- I really liked it before and am going back to stay.
    herring_RN likes this.
  12. 1
    This is the one area of nursing I don't think I could ever do. Thank God for the nurses and medical staff that can. My heart literally aches when I even read about a burn victim. I could handle oncology and hospice neither of which are the happiest specialties, but burns are a no for me. I know my limitations.
    herring_RN likes this.


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