I started my career in a CVICU and because of location had to move to a hospital closer to home that does not offer ICU so now I do ER and I must say that I LOVE/LOVED being a CVICU nurse! It really is my passion, and I miss it every day. I loved the acuity of the patients, and how you can literally see them improve in front of your eyes. I used to work a lot of overtime (4 shifts a week regularly) and I was always amazed at the improvement just 4 days gives a person. I would take fresh open heart cases and (if able to) keep them all 4 of my shifts and it was amazing to take them from sedated/lined/tubed to walking around the unit interacting with their family members in just those 4 days.
In addition to seeing how quickly the patients change (because it can also go the other way unfortunately) I also loved the technology that is associated with it. I loved tracking all the trends, catching just the slightest thing that is not right and trying to figure out what was going on-it was always such a mental challenge for me that it really made going to work fun. So for me, personally, it is the best job ever!
Obviously everyone will be different and there are certainly some people that are not cut out for CVICU life, but I have found it to be where my heart is! (Sorry for the cheesy pun!)