1. Hey all, just wondering if there are any nurses out there that LOVE the PCU.

    I'm just pondering the thought if someone would like PCU instead of CCU (or even ICU)

    If so, why?

    If I were to guess, it'd go something like this:
    PCU is a good starting point for a new nurse. Just enough craziness to keep you on your toes, and you see such so much. After a year or three, ICU or CCU would be an excellent transition from PCU. <- Is this correct?

    Did anyone take this path? If so, do you miss PCU?
    (My assumption would be no, because instead of 5 or 6 patients, you get 2-3)
  2. Poll: Do you like PCU or CCU?

    • PCU!

      41.67% 10
    • CCU!

      29.17% 7
    • They both ROCK!

      29.17% 7
    24 Votes
  3. Visit blackvans1234 profile page

    About blackvans1234

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 389; Likes: 625
    from US


  4. by   EMEddie
    I chose PCU and will plan to transfer to MICU/Trauma ICU within a year and a half to two. I am a new grad, will be having 1:3 ratio which I think its great. It will keep you busy, but also give you enough time to critically think the disease process of the patient.
  5. by   turnforthenurse
    I started out on PCU, and I am still there. I think it's great for new grads who may consider going to CCU/MICU/SICU down the road. I'm not saying that a new grad shouldn't start out in CCU/MICU/SICU (providing they have a good, long orientation!) but PCU provides a good foundation. The nurse-to-patient ratio is generally 1:3-4 for PCUs. You see a lot of different things and a lot of PCUs take titratable medications so you will get an introduction to those, as well.

    I personally LOVE PCU. I also work with an amazing team of nurses so that makes a world of a difference. There are some nights where I am literally hitting the floor and running and other nights aren't as eventful, but I have learned so much since starting out here. You will see and get exposure to a lot of things.
  6. by   MBunny
    I started in CVICU, took my first open heart at 6 months and have never regretted my decision to begin in critical care. I learned in one year what it took my nursing school peers to learn in 3 years or maybe still haven't had the opportunity to learn. I'm a firm believer that once you have critical care skills, you can work anywhere. I also think you cannot assume that having one or two patients in critical care is easy, there is so much more critical thinking that is required. You have to know what to do at a moments notice, you have to use your judgement constantly to keep the patient safe. You generally do not have any other help like a CNA or techs, ICUs are usually always total care (bathing, meds, turning, cleaning after stooling, vitals, etc). In the years I have been a critical care nurse, I really don't remember sitting down too much, even with my 1:1 hearts, IABPs, CRRT, etc. If you are committed to learn, committed to a lifetime of constant learning and education, then go to critical care, if not, then it may not be the best fit.
  7. by   AnnersPSHMC
    I LOVE PCU nursing. I work in a Heart and Vascular PCU. We do a ton of iv med with/without titration (ntg, amio, dilt, nicardipene, milrinone, dobut, dopamine, etc.) But the reason I love it- we get some critical patients- but I CAN TALK TO MY PATIENTS. That is so huge for me- I am a very "how does the patient feel" kind of nurse. If their BP is 70/40 but the patient feels ok- my worry factor is way lower than if I was looking at the #s alone. All in all- I wouldn't trade my PCU job for anything.
  8. by   marilynbaker
    CCU > PCU
    maybe I just have a bad taste in my mouth from years and years ago when I did clinical on a PCU unit...