ICU to Tele

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    I've been an ICU nurse for 6 years. Started right out of nursing school. Lately I've been feeling burnt out and am now considering transferring to tele. Is there anyone here who has done the same and how did it work out for you? I think that the reason why I'm considering tele is because I want to be able to keep my knowledge base up but I'm getting tired of the critical care patient load. I'm talking about patients who are septic, need emergent intubation, need stat line placement, end up on 4 different pressors and despite all your best efforts still have a B/P that's in the toilet. That's if you can check a cuff B/P because no one can get an A-line placed. And then after taking your entire shift with this patient, they go into PEA and then you spend another hour coding them. Anyways lately when I get patients like this I just spend my whole time with a feeling of dread. I feel like I'm starting to doubt myself and feel like I just can't handle these kind of situations as well as I used to. But, like I said I'm considering tele because they are a step down unit from us and I feel like I'll still be able to keep up with many of the things that I have learned. Anyways, is there anyone here who has felt the same as me, how did you handle it? And how did transferring work out for you?
  2. 7 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Sounds like you are way burned out, and you need something other than a transfer. Your pt load sounds ideal to me, as a former ICU nurse. I love septic pts...but I think something else is amiss here..

    I don't want to insult you by telling you to 'take a vacation' but it really sounds like you need a break from the death and dying and some time to explore your feelings. This is a stressful time so take care of yourself...
    SnowShoeRN likes this.
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    Oh, and have you considered the cath lab (I'm a little biased...) ? I was incredibly burned out too, and wanted to leave nursing until I transferred to the lab. I love it! Your ICU experience is wonderful and you will be amazed and how much more you learn....
  5. 1
    Telemetry is very fast paced, and even stressful at times. Your patients may not be on 10 drips each plus a vent, but your workload will be complex and intricate. Telemetry really challenges a person's organization and time management skills. Maybe try working with one of the cardiologists you like?
    SnowShoeRN likes this.
  6. 0
    I am about to be in this situation. I have only been in ICU two years though, but now I'm moving to a different hospital. I have a job on a tele/cardiac stepdown floor. I'm nervous but hopefully I'll like it. There are things I like better about the floor and there are other things I like better about the unit so I guess we'll see how this goes...
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    hi palmettogirl just curious you say you are nervous about tele stepdown but you have icu experience that will serve you well.
    i guess i just figured once you gain icu experience nothing scares a nurse anymore! i am thinking of moving from tele to icu but i cant seem to push myself ot make that jump!
  8. 1
    Hi surferbettycrocker. I think I am nervous about having more patients and adjusting my time management skills. I worked on a med-surg floor for a year, and I feel that every unit has its own routine and time management skills that a nurse has to adjust to. (for example, not having a continuous pulse ox on my patient haha). I think I'm just nervous about change and changing my routine. There are things I like better about ICU and there are things I like better about step-down. I think if you want to try critical care you should go for it! or at least try to shadow to see if you would like it
    surferbettycrocker likes this.
  9. 0
    I worked in CCU for one year and transfered to our Cardiac intermediate floor (pre and post surgery/cath/ treatment) and I am very happy. I was only in ICU for a year but the many talks of pulling support on pt.s, hence their passing, wore on me. In the Cardiac floor we rarely have our pt.s die, they still may become critical and there is problem solving required but overall their outcomes are better. I enjoy talking to the pt.s and educating them on staying healthy - so many have many other issues outside of cadiac. Even though they are not in the ICU, many of the pt.s are scared and the RN support is welcomed. Your ICU backgrouund will only make you a strong RN, so when a code blue does happen on the floor, you will be a leader to many of the other RNs. Best wishes on your decision!


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