Utmost respect for Burn Unit Nurses. - page 2

by tookalongtime | 17,633 Views | 16 Comments

I am in my last semester of nursing school. Last week's clinical was in the Burn Unit. I was able to help with taking off dressings, hydrptherapy, and redressing. Some of these patients were on vents, had 12 or more IV drips... Read More


  1. 0
    I wholeheartedly agree with the above comments! My father was a patient in the Burn Unit a few years ago. I was constantly there to visit and get updated on his condition. The staff treated him and the family with respect. They were also very accommodating to our religion practices as we tried everything to help my father recover from his wounds. He was finally discharged from there about a year after his accident. Now that I am a nurse, I often thought about applying there, but I'm not sure if I could even come close to the compassion, respect, and commitment that those nurses showed my family.
  2. 0
    Personally, I can do compassion. Respect. Professionalism. No problem. But burns? No way - kudos to those that can, and do it so well. That's one thing I love about nursing - there are just so many niches and so much diversity.
    That brings to mind how much I appreciate night nurses, and med-surg nurses, and SNF nurses, by the way. The list goes on and on - Kudos to everyone!
  3. 3
    This past summer I was a patient in the burn unit. I remember screaming out in pain and agony that the nurses had no idea what it felt like and that they needed to be more gentle. It's now been 4 months since my accident and I've come to learn that a few of the nurses that had helped me with wound care had been burn patients themselves, so they very well did know what it was like and may have even had it worse without the same medical advances. I have never in my life had a desire to be a nurse. I've always wanted to be an Elementary teacher. Now I'm getting these strange feelings that I NEED to become a nurse and work in the burn unit. So, after this semester is over, I will be switching to nursing, and I couldn't be happier!
    wongb, ashleyisawesome, and justmeinlv like this.
  4. 0
    I woked on a Burn Unit for almost 10 years in NYC. I was drawn to Burn Nursing because at the time I liked seeing wounds heal. But Burn Nursing is so much more. For the most part these are really really sick patients with ventilators, lines, drips, cardiac monitors, tubes and on and on. Big social issues. Where I worked it was a mixed unit; babies, children, adults...what u see is quite horrific, sad and very unusal....but there has not been a job since my days on the burn unit where I knew I made a difference in somebody's life. You are really making a huge difference. What kept me going day after day was the extraordinary group of people that work on a Burn unit. From the RNs, LPNs, Aides, Housekeepers (oh my god the housekeepers are amazing), docs, PT, OT, Nutritionist, Social workers...what an incrediable group of people. You know you are on a team that is unlike anything else. Do it for 3-4 years, then move on. It is exhausting both physically, emotionally and mentally.
    Dallas
  5. 0
    I have thought about doing burn nursing, what kind of experience do you need? Also wound care...
  6. 1
    Quote from madpeys
    I have thought about doing burn nursing, what kind of experience do you need? Also wound care...
    Honestly, I'm a new grad who was hired directly onto a burn unit. (We have floor, tele, and ICU beds and we are expected to work them all.)

    Burn is SUCH a niche specialty, unless you have prior experience r/t military medic/RN stuff. Previous wound care experience is a plus but not necessarily always relevant because most wound care revolves around pressure ulcers, etc. on your general floors. The biggest area that was hit on when I interviewed was actually my ability to deal with psychiatric (diagnosed and undiagnosed) patients, as well as patients from a lower socioeconomic stratum. Why? Because the majority of burn patients are poor folks with psych/addiction issues.

    Don't know what you meant by the "also wound care" but, yes, you will be doing wound care. Depending on where you're applying, perhaps not as much as you'd think because most units have techs who are specialized in wound care. (Unfortunately, this does mean that you end up doing a lot of "tech work" like bathing, dressing, bedpans, etc. because the techs are doing dressing changes.) But it is a big part of the work and not something that you can get around.

    My best advice would definitely be to shadow on the burn unit. See if you can stomach it. I actually wasn't as grossed out as I thought I would be when I initially shadowed, and I shadowed with a ripe 85er% burn. Smell isn't as bad as you'd think or as bad as it can initially be down in the ER.

    'tho, thank god I'm a vegetarian because escharotomies smell like BBQ to me.
    Guttercat likes this.
  7. 0
    I realized burn was not mah thang some years ago when I worked ED, and a house fire victim came through our doors. The whole scene was so bad it was the only time I've ever had to physically remove myself to the bathroom to uurrp (ever try to start an IV on an arm that peels like charbroiled marshmallow when you pick it up?).


    It also took a long time to "get the smell out of my nose..." A couple of years in fact. Not to mention the horrible pain of the patient. I just can't go there.


    Hats off to those that can.


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